(Re)Constituting community through narrative argument: Eros and Philia in the big chill (Re)Constituting community through narrative argument: Eros and Philia in the big chill
Quarterly Journal of Speech
This essay analyzes the way a specific narrative text—Lawrence Kasdan's 1983 feature film The Big Chill—confronts the relationship between communal norms and political possibilities. By inviting the audience to engage in a constant process of character and community identification and contrast, the film enacts a complex disjunctive narrative argument endorsing a specific form of communal affiliation (what Hannah Arendt refers to as philia) and rejecting its opposite (Arendt's sense of eros). In rejecting communities grounded in eros, the film also critiques what can be called “the politics of intimacy” and adumbrates an alternative “politics of friendship.” Additionally, the reading of the film illustrates the importance of narrative to communal constitution and political friendship.
Jasinski, James. "(Re) Constituting community through narrative argument: Eros and Philia in the big chill." Quarterly Journal of Speech 79.4 (1993): 467-486.