Throughout this course, we have traced the evolution of film noir from the 1940s

Throughout this course, we have traced the evolution of film noir from the 1940s to the present through the legacy of the Coen Bros as well as Fargo, the television series. In Richard Gaughran’s essay, “What Kind of Man Are You: The Coen Brothers and Existentialist Role Playing” he cites a passage from Robert G. Porfirio’s essay, “What Kind of Man Are You?,” which makes connections between existentialism and film noir. Porfirio states, “Existentialism is an outlook which begins with a disoriented individual facing a confused world that he cannot accept. It places its emphasis on man’s contingency in a world where there are no transcendental values or moral absolutes, a world devoid of any meaning but the one man himself creates” (229).
SHORT ESSAY PROMPT: Existentialism is a major theme within all of the Coen Bros neo-noirs that we have watched so far it also extends to notions such as the the role of chance/randomness/coincidence vs. fate, the uncertainty principle, as well as the breakdown of myth/religion, meaning, language (i.e. miscommunication), civilization and morality, which are all addressed in Fargo, the television series. How does Porfirio’s ideas about existentialism or “the loss of meaning” in film noir apply to season 1 of Noah Hawley’s Fargo? Is meaning restored by the end of Fargo, season 1 or does existentialism still prevail? In your 3-4 page analysis response, please focus on key scenes, characters and lines of dialogue from Fargo, season 1 that you feel are most essential to your argument.
Using the WHAT, HOW, WHY model for thesis statements that I explain in the FS 120 Thesis Statement Workshop below, start with a Thesis (i.e. your main argument about the Fargo, season 1 and existentialism and film noir).
In your short essay, you must cite at least ONE passage from Richard Gaughran’s essay, “What Kind of Man Are You: The Coen Brothers and Existentialist Role Playing” (pdf).
In your analysis, I encourage you to draw comparisons from Fargo, season 1 to other noirs that we have watched in this class if applicable.
You are welcome to incorporate key ideas from the discussions, but please do not simply cut and paste these into your response; instead, reintegrate them into the context of this prompt and expand on these points, etc.
Use a formal tone and avoid using “I” unless absolutely necessary.