The Cabin In The Woods Sacrifice

The film The Cabin In The Woods deals with the slaughter/sacrifice of young characters for the purposes of
appeasing dangerous, ancient gods. This is conducted as a ritual — a specific sequence of acts, conducted at a
specific time and/or place, with important symbolic meanings that affirm power structures within both society
and the cosmos. Discuss one scene from the film that shows how the film is concerned with ritual, and then go
on to discuss how rituals reinforce social identity, relationships, and power in religious societies. How do
religious rituals define the identity of a religious community? How do they maintain power structures and
figures of authority? How might they connect with myths that are fostered within religious traditions? You
should use one example of a ritual from a religious tradition we’ve looked at to help flesh out your discussion.
You do not have to use an academic source for this essay but it may help you to do so. If you go through your
essay and find that you need to support some of your assertions or observations with a source, go ahead and use
a secondary academic source (make sure it’s from an appropriate publication — no random websites or
Wikipedia, folks!) to back up what you’ve written.
As with the midterm essay, here are the rubrics/guidelines for this one…
An “A” paper will almost always abide by the following rubrics/guidelines:
Discussion flows smoothly and is not repetitive
The discussion stays focused and addresses the questions in the prompt
Paper is structured according to critical criteria addressed in the writing workshop
Typological errors and grammatical errors are kept to a minimum (i.e., PROOFREAD!!)
Arguments are made based on facts and the critical evaluation of those facts
Assertions/opinions not rooted in demonstrable facts or evidence are avoided
Source material is treated carefully and responsibly: scenes from films are discussed accurately, academic texts
are used judiciously and credit is assigned to the scholars who wrote those texts, other materials are similarly
used strategically and cautiously and credited properly.
Conclusions emerge from careful deliberation and connect the discussion to a wider network of intellectual
Discussion stays on topic and serves the purposes of the assignment; a paper is an opportunity to contribute to
scholarship, not to affirm a religious or political belief. A scholarly contribution can have IMPLICATIONS for
the way people believe things, but the goal must be to stay within the bounds of academic discourse and critical,
fact-based thinking.
The more of these points you manage to factor into your paper, the higher the grade will likely be. The fewer of
these points you work into your paper, the lower the grade will be.

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