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Sample Essay: Eyes Wide Shut Film Analysis

Below is a sample outline and a well-developed film literary analysis essay in MLA on “Eyes Wide Shut” directed by Stanley Kubrick. This example is meant to help students in organizing their thoughts and ideas for their essays.

“Eyes Wide Shut” Film Analysis Essay

Essay Outline

  1. Introduction
    • Brief overview of “Eyes Wide Shut” and its director, Stanley Kubrick.
    • Thesis statement: Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut” delves into themes of sexual desire, marriage, and societal masks through its meticulously crafted visuals, character dynamics, and symbolism.
  2. Cinematic Aesthetics
    • Examination of the film’s visual style. Evidence: Cinematography, lighting, and mise-en-scène.
    • Analysis of how the visual aesthetics contribute to the film’s atmosphere and themes. Evidence: The use of color, shadow, and framing to create a dreamlike and eerie atmosphere.
  3. Characters
    • Analysis of the film’s central characters. Evidence: Dr. Bill Harford and Alice Harford.
    • Exploration of character development and their roles in the narrative. Evidence: How Dr. Bill’s journey exposes the cracks in his marriage and understanding of desire.
  4. Themes
    • Discussion of key themes in the film. Evidence: Sexual desire, secrecy, and the duality of human nature.
    • Analysis of how these themes are depicted and developed throughout the narrative. Evidence: The masked rituals, the exploration of hidden desires, and societal expectations.
  5. Symbolism
    • Exploration of important symbols in the film. Evidence: Masks, mirrors, and the recurring use of Christmas lights.
    • Analysis of how these symbols add depth to the storytelling and thematic exploration. Evidence: How masks represent the facades people wear in society, and mirrors reflect inner desires.
  6. Social Commentary
    • Examination of the film’s commentary on relationships and societal norms. Evidence: The exploration of jealousy, infidelity, and the tension between desire and societal constraints.
    • Analysis of how the film reflects the time in which it was made and its relevance to contemporary society. Evidence: The film’s examination of the human condition and the complexities of modern relationships.
  7. Conclusion
    • Restate thesis and summarize main points.
    • Discuss the film’s legacy and its place in the body of work of Stanley Kubrick.
    • Offer final thoughts on the film’s lasting impact in the realm of cinema and its exploration of the human psyche.

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