2 — Social Codes and Food
Please respond to the following in a Google Doc (directions), and share it with Dr. Marshall. Also, before you begin, read the guide Writing about Film and TV.
- According to Sara Lewis Dunne, in what four ways does Seinfeld use food as a thematic thread, and which of the four have we come across so far this term? Be sure to list specific episodes.
- In "The Dinner Party" (5.3) one character mentions Farina. What is that, who mentions it, and does it conform to Dunne's argument about food and Seinfeld's characters?
- What is a comedy of manners, and who are these people—Moliere, Goldsmith, Congreve, Sheridan—about which David P. Pierson speaks?
- Why are rules so important to the comedy of manners, and how is this exhibited in Seinfeld's "The Dinner Party"?
- List six ways Seinfeld functions as a comedy of manners, according to Pierson. (Tip: start around page 53.)
Included periodically, SeinPosts will fill you in on terms, cultural events, people, etc. with which you may not be familiar. While these questions may not make much sense out of context, they will after we watch the episodes in which they're referenced! SeinPosts should never take long to answer.
- What is a matzah ball?
- Search "Raquel Welch" in Google Images. From looking at a few of these pictures, for what physical attribute do you think this actress might have been famous?
- What is a sadist?
- What is an anti-Semite?
- What is a bris? And a bar mitzvah?
- What does a mohel do?
- What is a schtickle?
- What is a shiksa, and which character on Seinfeld would most likely be an example of this?
Grad Students Only...
While listing several reasons Seinfeld may be read as a modern comedy of manners, David P. Pierson seems to list just as many reasons the series may be difficult to associate with the theatrical genre. Do you buy his overall argument(s) here? Why or why not?