War of the Worlds Writing Assignment: First listen to the Mercury Theatre broadcast at http://www.mercurytheatre.info/.
Just click on the “Real Audio” link for “The War of the Worlds”
(October 30,1938). If that site is not functioning, try this one:
Just find the War of the Worlds in the list of programs on the right of the website
and click on it.
After listening to the broadcast, pick one of the topics below and write a full-length (around 3 pages) essay on it.
Important: Use all the techniques I have taught you so far: Paraphrasing, Quoting,
Summarizing. You must also use parenthetical references for all borrowed
material (quoted or paraphrased). You must have a bibliography (not annotated this time).
1) Discuss the public reaction to Welles’ broadcast. Was the basis for it totally irrational–or was it
partially understandable? Use some of the resources listed in the Bibliography to support your thoughts.
2) Some reactions to this broadcast called for strict government censorship of the radio. What do you think of this outcry?
Does this problem have any contemporary applications, such as television, or . . . ? Should certain parts of the broadcast have been censored? Which ones??
3) When I originally created this topic (January 2010), many movies about a post-apocalyptic world were coming out. There were “2012,” “The Road,” and “The Book of Eli,” all of which dealt with events happening after the world as we know it ends. Now it is 2013, and the Mayan calendar was wrong about the end of the world.
Why is Hollywood focused on the end of the world (or at least civilization)? Should we be worried? Are there any similarities to the time of the “Martian invasion?” Use details from the 1938 broadcast to support your ideas.
* This essay is due Saturday, November 23