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I used to show a great short film in classes based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Bernice Bobs Her Hair." It starred a young Shelley Duvall as Bernice, who is convinced to cut off her long hair, hoping that her new bob will make her even more popular. It doesn't, and she regrets losing one of the things most precious to her.
The Julia Roberts film, "Sleeping with the Enemy" is a great, suspensful film about a controlling personality who manipulates his wife into behaving the way he wants her to.
Also, Jennifer Lopez's "Enough" is also a frustrating, interesting look at manipulation in relationships.
I think this would make a great discussion question as you will get a range of responses which you will then be able to choose from.
I would recommend 'Lamb to the Slaughter' by Roald Dahl as a short story. The wife kills her husband with a joint of meat and gets the police investigating his death to eat it! You could also try 'Tickets, Please' by D H Lawrence where a persuasive young man has pushed the women too far in courting then leaving them, until they exact a revenge. 'The Geranium', a short story by Patricia Grace, deals with a woman so dominated by her husband she is afraid to leave the house.
The films which spring to mind for me are 1984 based on the George Orwell novel, and 'The Truman Show'. 1984 is a dystopian view of the future where all aspects of humanity are fiercely controlled. In 'The Truman Show' a man has his whole life dictated and engineered to create a television series without his knowledge.
Good luck with your assignment - I'm sure others will recommend ideas too!
Thanks to everyone who commented! You were all a huge help :D
Here's a list of short stories:
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