Closed reading Severance and Annihilation Essay
Close reading assignment 3
For the third close reading assignment, we will examine two specific texts: Severance and Annihilation .For each of the texts, answer the following questions:
* What is the disaster conveyed in the text? Why is it a disaster?
* Can you identify ONE distinctive element about the way in which disaster is articulated in the text (for instance, any recurrent image, words, symbols…)?
* How does the disaster serve as a way to think about identity?
When responding to the close reading, keep in mind that:
• Answers are meant to be concise–this is not an essay but an assignment to foster engagement with the texts for the week.
• You need to provide textual evidence (quotes) to support your answer.
Please read the rubric to understand how your answers will be evaluated.
Annihilation, Alex Garland (director; streamed through IU Swank Motion Pictures).
Content note: This film, considered sci-fi horror (this is a fictional story, and it is NOT based on any real addresses and portrays several sensitive topics and situations. There are depictions of cancer, mutating creatures, animal attacks, injured and cut bodies, hallucinations; these portrayals can be graphic and triggering. Please read the film’s summary on Wikipedia before watching it and the short list with some of the graphic portrayals as they appear in the film (I compiled this list, and it does not cover every graphic depiction, for there could be some other portrayals that can be triggering for people that I did not identify). Before watching it, determine if there are topics or situations that you would have a hard time watching and engaging with; you can fast-forward the listed scenes, for example, and still have the experience of the film.
Wiki summary : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annihilation_(film)
You should be able to find the movie for free on Hulu.com, you just need to subscribe it and watch it with free trial if you don’t have an account with them.
Trigger scenes (this is not a finite list; times are approximate)
* 10:40 – 11:43: person convulsing; depiction of convulsion and blood.
* 34: 20: crocodile attack (crocodile is a mutation).
* 45:00 – 46:30: a person (soldier), who is alive, is deeply cut by another soldier; intestines are revealed (a sci-fi depiction of intestines)
* 47:37 – 49:02: body parts of deceased people are embedded in a coral-type formation. Body parts are visible; they are dispersed in this coral-like formation (head, torso, legs).
* 55:-28 – 56:08: bear attack (bear is a mutation).
* 1:02-1:03: dead woman.
* 1:14-1:17:28: Mutated bear attacks (again). Its roaring sounds like the cries for help of one of the deceased soldiers. There is also a depiction of a maimed body by the bear (a person who subsequently dies because of the attack).
* 1:24:26-1:25-18: Human skeletons outside the lighthouse.
* 1:25: 43 – 1:26: 34: Mummified cadaver.
* 1:26: 40 – 1:29: 20: Monologue that could be interpreted as a mental breakdown (psychosis); ends with the person activating a grenade.
If you are find
ing yourself confused after watching the film, you are not alone. The film has several ways and levels of interpretation. If you are curious or want to read a short but fairly informative piece about it, please read "Let’s Talk about the Ending of Annihilation," by Emily Yoshida (Vulture):
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