How would you analyze the article ''Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema'' by Laura Mulvey through the discourse analysis method? 

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appletrees eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mulvey's article is a very popular one, used in many cinema studies courses. She is considered a prominent scholar of cinema and the reading of her work is considered an important foundation for an understanding of feminist film theory.

Mulvey states at the outset that she seeks to redefine cinematic meaning to reflect a feminist perspective when she says she is attempting "a theory and a practice which will challenge this cinema of the past." She seeks through her article to establish a new paradigm of feminist film study, and given how influential this article has been, she succeeds. Mulvey uses strong imagery and provocative language to make her points, as when she says that the representation of the female form in traditional "Freudian" cinema "speaks castration and nothing else."

Mulvey also assumes a readership interested in feminism, and addresses her readers thus: "It gets us nearer to the roots of our oppression." She later says: "It is said that analyzing pleasure, or beauty, destroys it. That is the intention of this article. The satisfaction and reinforcement of the ego that represent the high point of film history hitherto must be attacked." She wants nothing less than a total re-assessment of cinema on feminist terms, "daring to break with normal pleasurable expectations in order to conceive a new language of desire."

Mulvey's writing style and assertive tone pave the way for readers interested in feminist readings of film to encounter this new paradigm she sets forth. But it is possible that some readers may read her words as biased or hostile, making it harder for them to engage with these controversial ideas. 

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