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Mock Exam: Gender (Doctor Who)

In TV Drama Levi Strausss theory of binary opposites is used is the majority of episodes in this case I am going to look at gender as a binary opposite in a clip of Doctor Who. This clip is a clip of two sides as the clip is flipped on its head half way through. At first we see a stereotypical female who is vulnerable and weak and a bold brassy male full of stereotypical male bravado. But as the female talks we see she has been putting up a front to convince the male he is dominant and we soon see the female switch to this domineering lady with a brave side and the male keeping his bravado up to the very end still not fearing the women until he finds out the result of her plan. `Im going to talk about the first half now in which the characters take up stereotypical positions in the scene and this is shown using various conventions. The first conventions that we noticed from the get go is camera and positioning. As the female character enters the scene at the start of the scene she is shot at the bottom of the stairs with a high angle shot looking down where as the man is shot at the top of the stairs on a raised platform. This gives the impression of him looking down on her as if he is better than her. This is because he believes he is as he has won in capturing her. Also as the camera is looking up at him it makes him superior and god like. Camera and positioning also to relates to the amount of people in each shot and when the female is shot the majority of the time she shares the screen with someone in the background where as he is always shot on his own. This gives the audience the impression that she is not important enough to be the sole person in the shot but he is. The next convention which is used to convey these binary opposite stereotypes is the way in which body language of the characters is used. The females body language throughout this part of the scene is very nervous as she takes big gulps also she is constantly looking to the floor as she believes she is defeated but we later see this is all a charade. The males body language however links in to this male bravado stereotype as he is very smug in what he believes to be victory as he is somewhat bowling around the place smirking. Also to tie in another convention, the males bravado is shown in his costuming as he is in a formal suit which is the sort of suit you would expect to see on top businessmen but he has his tie loose and top button undone as if the job is done and there is no more to worry about. The last few conventions I am going to mention for the first half is Dialogue and once again positioning. The Dialogue in the first half is dominated by the male as he doesnt give her the opportunity to get a word in it could even be classed as a monologue. This shows the audience he is dominating the scene and he feels like there is nothing she could even say he just wants to rub it in making the audience feel that he is bigheaded a typical trait stereotypically associated with males. I am going to tie in positioning now as during this rant

by the male he very dominantly commands the female to her knees then also to bow her head. These are very aggressive demands and the fact they are demands and he isnt asking shows the lack of respect he has for her. Bowing of the head during an execution is a sign that the person doesnt even deserve to face there killer and is a sign of disrespect. Now the second half of the scene completely subverts the stereotypes in the first half and turns the scene on its head. The female character now becomes this dominating strong figure who stands up to her male opposite and the male slowly begins to crumble this is all shown using various conventions again. The first convention used that begins the uprising of the female character is dialogue and more specific a mocking laugh which instantly pulls a reaction from the male and begins a back and forth in which the female has an answer for everything the male says and dominates the conversation. Body language and positioning are conventions in which this scene relies on throughout and in the second half body language and dialogue go hand in hand. Firstly the female character once she begins to talk she instantly get to her feet and begins to face her opposite in the eye showing the audience she is brave and not scared of him as for the male he begins to pace and crumble ever so slowly until he finally realises that he is losing control and is forced to her level at the bottom of the steps on his knees. Camera is the final convention Im going to discuss and in particular the fact that it becomes level for both characters showing the audience that both genders are equal but for the male it begins to look down on him as he is not worthy of being equal with her as he is the bad guy and has done horrible things hurting people in the process. To conclude this scene is a scene of two halves, firstly a stereotypical male dominating weak female style set up and then switching to both sexess being equal. This is done by the use of conventions such as Camera, Dialogue, body language, poisoning and many more. Al these combined makes for a good scene representing levy Strausss theory of binary opposites effectively.