Lens Analysis Overview



Lens analysis requires you to distill a concept, theory, method, or claim from a text (i.e. the “lens”) and then use it to interpret, analyze, or explore something else e.g. a first-hand experience, visual text, physical object or space, historical or current event or figure, a cultural phenomenon, an idea or even another text (i.e. “the exhibit”). A writer employing lens analysis seeks to assert something new and unexpected about the exhibit; she strives to go beyond the expected or the obvious, exploiting the lens to acquire novel insights. Furthermore, there is a reciprocal aspect in that the exploration of the exhibit should cause the writer to reflect, elaborate, or comment on the selected concept or claim. Using a concept developed by someone else to conduct an analysis or interpretation of one’s own is a fundamental move in academia, one that you will no doubt be required to perform time and time again in college.


In this assignment, you will use ideas from “Darwinism not Neodarwinism” and When Species Meet as lenses to analyze one scene (approximately 3-6 minutes) from the movie Venom. Your goal is to make and support your own argument about the way scientific or social concepts such as “symbiogenesis” or “becoming with” are taken up, illustrated, and mis/interpreted within the movie and what that interpretation reveals about contemporary hopes and fears about society, science, and technology. To do so, you will carefully explore how the scene takes up and interprets either symbiogenesis, neodarwinism, or both. You must consider, also, how Margulis and Sagan’s discussion of the social impact of pseudoscientific terms suggests a position those authors might takeaboutyour scene. You must also consider how your argument complicates or extends ideas from When Species Meet. Imagine you are writing to be considered for publication in an upcoming issue of a respected scholarly student journal focused on issues of science, technology, and society. The journal is distributed to colleges and universities around the country.



  • Identify a central questionworth addressing, using a scene from Venomthat you will analyze.
  • Formulate a strongthesis claimfrom your analysis that makes a specific, supportable, debatable, and insightful argument about the way the concept operates in the movie and something it reveals about society.
  • Establish amotivefor the essay in your introduction. Here you will answer the “So what?” question, suggesting why your essay might be valuable to an intelligent reader. Draw out the implication of your argument in your conclusion.
  • Summarize and accurately cite your exhibit, Venom, for an audience unfamiliar with the movie.
  • Structureyour essay around your thesis claim, making sure that each paragraph explores an essential piece of your argument.
  • Have cohesionand coherence in your prose on the sentence level and on the paragraph level. Be precise and avoid clichés of language and clichés of thought.
  • Have an interesting and informative title.
  • Adhere to the following MLA formatting guidelines: 12pt font, double-spaced pages, saved with your name and E2D(insert draft #) in the file name, in MS WORD document only.

The final draft must be a minimum of 1500 words.




Author: Alexis


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