Change whether is be physical, emotional, spiritual or mental, is an inevitable and transforming experience which has the ability to be viewed as either positive or negative depending on the individuals perception of change. Change and change in self is a process that occurs from the day we are conceived and continues until the day we die. Nothing is constant, even the few perpetual processes that we undertake in life, such as birth and death, are unpredictable. The one consistency of change is that it will eventually occur and similarly the effects of change are just as inevitable as the change itself. In exploring change in self we consider texts such as the door, sky high and fractals from the Changing Stimulus Booklet, the film American History X by Tony Kay, the poems Barn owl and Nightfall by Gwen Harwood and the song Inspiration by John Butler Trio. These texts use language and film techniques to shape this meaning of change and change in self.
In the various texts noted above the changes that occurred to individuals perspective, attitudes, surroundings and ultimately themselves were brought on largely by external influences, usually in the form of a dramatic realization or by a series of smaller discoveries. In the short story Sky-High by Hannah Roberts, the external force that influenced her change in self was brought on due the fact that she has aged and matured. The washing line in this short reflective piece, as the narrator remembers her childhood experiences, symbolizes the changes in ones life and the strength of memories. We see this throughout the story with the use of metaphors, e. g. “The best climbing tree in the yard, stood proud on a mound of concrete.” The metaphor here describes the washing line as a tree that she can climb, rather than a metal machine in the garden.
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The use of the metaphor reveals the imaginative perspective of the child and highlights the way children can find something fascinating in everyday object. Also the metaphorical sentence “I can see the almond tree in its shady corner, next to the incinerator and our attempted veggie patch; its boughs stretch out to me beseechingly”, emphasizes the imaginative impulse of children and the fascination that every detail of their world can offer them. In the first paragraph, the washing line is referred to as the ‘best climbing tree in the yard. In the last paragraph, it is described as ‘a more age- warped washing line’ with ‘sagging wires’ and ‘spotted metallic arms’, a shadow of what it used to be. The washing line is not the one who has majorly changed, it is the personas perception that has changed. This change is shown largely by the descriptive language e.
g. ‘sagging wires’ ‘spotted metallic arms’. Here the speaker is describing what the washing line looks like. It is this descriptive language which shows the change between the younger washing line and the present line, however this language is really commenting on the change of the persona Just as Hannah Roberts short story Sky High, shows the change in self as we age and mature, so does Gwen Harwoods poems Barn Owl and Nightfall.
In these poems the relationship between father and child changes with time. We see this when still a child, the personas father seemed the powerful ‘no-slayer’ who rules the child’s actions. However in the second stanza, the child has grown into an adult and the father into a blind old man, who now is the one whom requires looking after. We see this when we juxtapose different lines in the two poems e. g. “let him dream of a child obedient, angle-mild.
... the inevitability of this experience as a part of a child's changing self towards adulthood. The third person point of view ... and evokes nostalgia. Personification of a "struggling sapling", the washing line standing "proud", and an "almond tree stretch[ing] out to ... the beginning of maturity due to an external catalyst. The poem suggests change may be traumatic and may result in loss. Strong ...
Here we are clearly stating that the child is going against their father’s orders and that he is the one who is in control. This meaning is created by the mischievous and fast paced tone to show the single mindedness of the child. When we coincide this with the line “your passionate face is grown to ancient innocent” it highlights the change. Here we are being told by juxtaposing the two stanzas that the roles have been reversed and the father has adopted ‘the ancient innocent’s he once had. Harwood uses strong descriptive language to portray the pain the child has bestowed on the owl e. g.
“bundle of stuff that dropped, and dribbled through the loose straw tangling in boughs and hopped blindingly closer.” This saddened tone is used to make the audience feel sympathetic towards the young child, dismayed by its own actions. However, by the end of the poem, we are presented with the line “for what I have begun” suggesting to the audience that the child has lost his innocence and fathers trust, beginning something which cannot be reversed. These two poems show that there are patterns in life, and that these patterns repeat themselves, and the more they repeat themselves, the more things stay the same. A further example of this is in “fractals” which deals with constant change, but this change consists of self repeating units.
Looking at the content aspect of fractals, we see it is a mathematical concept whereby shapes are repeated regardless of the magnification of the particles. Fractals constantly change and each magnification is a new image but it is essentially a repeated pattern. A fractal reminds us of the notion of the unchanging nature of things- each transformation gives an illusion of change, which is superficial as essentially nothing is really changing, merely a pattern is being formed and replicated. This meaning is conveyed by the format of this text. When you enter fractals Microsoft Encarta 96 Encyclopedia and click on “Infinite Complexity”, which is the image presented to us in the stimulus booklet, we get a demonstration of this ‘self-similarity’ of fractals. Each image you click on within the white square magnifies the image, by this technique we can clearly see the self-similarity at each stage of magnification.
... Our guide, a short medium build size man with black hair, explained the procedures and rules to us as ... for anyone experiencing his or her first White Water Rafting trip. A small trip to North Carolina ... families with us on our little venture along the white water in other rafts. As we drifted along, ... the shore waiting to devour us like a great white shark. Our adrenaline is pumping as it does ...
Each stage is accompanied by information explaining what is happening at each stage. This tool clearly tells us what change in self is occurring at each stage of the process. The text goes on to give an example of fractals in nature. This helps us relate to what fractals are and how they work e.
g. A tree example is given, where the whole tree, the branch and the leaf are all shown to be similar and self repeating even though each section is being magnified closer. The use of this example is to help us relate and see an example that is simple and which we see everyday. The song ‘Inspiration’ by John Butler Trio, does not agree with this concept that when you change the more things stay the same, for in his song he expresses that he does go out and change himself the way he wanted. The colloquial language used throughout this song is appropriate in context. This is a song about a man, feeling lost and going on a journey to find himself.
This is an expressive piece where this language device is a tool the composer uses to express himself e. g. ‘Gonna find some inspiration’ and ‘Cos I’m riding through this valley’. This colloquial language shows that this is how the person is comfortable expressing himself or herself, it gives us the sense that this person is being honest with us.
The composer show us why they go on this journey of self re-discovery with the use of metaphors, e. g.’ Cos I’ve chained myself to someone’s hip, so long now, I can’t see .” What Butler is saying here is that he has followed people for so long that he has lost himself. The use of the metaphor, ‘I can’t see’ and ‘chained myself’ is not literally what he meant. This language technique simply created the meaning by giving an example of how lost this whole situation has gotten them.
The change in self is expressed by repetition. The word ‘gonna’ is repeated several times and its effect implies to us that the persona is going out and doing something to change their self. We get an idea of this change as Butler takes us on a journey with the percussion music. This happens especially at the end when we are taken on a journey to the new way the persona has become, this is expressed to us through the percussion music and also through the lines ” Hey I’m coming home, Hey I’m coming home.” This repetition that occurs after the percussion solo shows us the journey we were taken on. The persona has found there new self and that is what these lines express, that they are going home to their new self.
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This song shows that change in self is a journey and a process, as does Tony Kay’s film American History X. This is a movie that deals with the loss of ones innocents and the change in self as situation and actions take place, quiet like Gwen Harwoods father and child poems. This movie conveys themes of race, family, morals, and changing of ones self. Derk Vineyard is the leader of a white-power gang and throughout the movie he experiences many situations which result in him changing. Kay’s use of film techniques used to convey the change in Derk and his brother Danny are most apparent after Danny witnesses the murder that Derk undertakes on two black males.
At this moment in the movie, when this action takes place, a slow motion effect is utilized and slow string music fads in. This technique is used to let us reflect on what has occurred and also amplifies the significance of the action. This high pitched music adds to the tension and shock of the moment as we realizes what had just taken place and we also realizes at this moment that this change is going to bring many consequences which in turn implement the rest of the changes throughout the whole movie. Throughout the film the audience are presented with various scenes of the past, which are presented in black and white. The black and white effect shows us the background of how they got where they are today. I feel the black and white effect has a double meaning, it is a way of letting us know the action occurring in black and white has already happened, but it also shows that this action relates directly to the rivalry between blacks and whites.
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The attitudes of the characters in the black and white are very different from those in the striking colour, and this is exactly what the director intended on achieving. This broken story telling allows the audience to clearly see the various changes that these two brothers go through. The narrative form allows us to see this change within the brothers. By this technique we get taking deeper into their emotions and what they are feeling.
The change is self is conveyed largely through this narrative speech. Kay’s use of camera techniques and dramatic music are very effective at shaping meaning. At the point where Derek is walking toward the black man to kill him, the camera is only focused on the waist up. This section is filmed in black and white, the background is black, his body is white and he has a foot sized nazi tattoo on his chest. This tattoo is intended to show very predominantly against his white skin for it expresses to us his beliefs and what he stands for. This camera angle is directed to show that nazi beliefs are part of who he is.
Derek changes dramatically while in goal, largely due to a black man who befriends him. Derek works with this black man however they do not talk due to his beliefs. We see a change from the Derek who is a leader of a white power movement into a person who has befriended a black man when Derek talks to the black man for the first time. The camera angle shows this connection by being above them looking down, this effectively shows them now working together simultaneously.
This is a major turning point in the movie for this black man was the one who really instigated the change in Derek. Once Derek is out of goal him and Danny show they have changed by proving it through action. With no sound, only slow music, the two brothers look at each other and know what they have to do. They show that they have changed by taking down all the nazi, Hitler propaganda they had hung on their walls.
This action is extremely symbolic of the change that has occurred to Derek and in turn has influenced Danny to change. This moment is heightened by the fact that they did not speak. It gave it more depth, for it showed that inside them they both knew what was right. The slow music that was present in this scene added meaning to this moment as it let us reflect on this change and what change brings.
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The text ” The door” By Miroslav Holux also deals with these themes of change and what change brings. This text comments on the nature of change and what it brings to ones self. It reflects that any change is better than no change, this is conveyed through the use of repetition. The line ” Go and open the door” is repeated at the beginning of each stanza. The use of this repetition creates an emphatic tone and makes this line act as a command which is very strong by the way it starts each stanza. The full stop after this statement makes us stop, pause and think, adding to its effect.
Change is a process and is beneficial, we see this throughout the text by the use of examples E. g. Maybe outside there’s a tree, or a wood, a garden or a magic city. Wood, Garden, and city, this is a process and conveys the meaning that once you “open the door” to change other things will eventuate from this initiating change. The adjective ‘magical’ gives the effect that the change will be positive and beneficial.
Just as the first stanza shows the beneficial aspects of change, and with change come bigger change, the second stanza is expressing that change can help you look closer at things E. g. Dog, face, eye and the picture of a picture. This is a process that goes within, expressing that change can make you find personal happiness. The lines “if there’s a fog, it will clear” have a very optimistic tone. This tone with the use of the metaphor in this section shows that change is beneficial.
These lines are saying, that even if there is a problem it will clear, and even if you cant see the change straight away, be patient it will happen. The phrase at the end of the poem “At least” conveys the whole meaning of what the poem was expressing. If you “Go and open the door” One single element of change will happen, even if it is just the movement of the door. Change is a process that is inevitable and needs an action to take place in order for it to occur.
By taking action this gets the benefits of change as mentioned in “The door.” Further change can come from external relationships such as in “American History X” when ones perception was completely changed. Change can become apparent through the passage of time as seen in “sky high” or as in “fractals where all made of same elements but it is the changing or ay which creates change. All these text explore the nature of change and how it influences the changing of self. We see that individuals attitudes towards the change has a great deal of influence on the outcome of change.
We all experience many changes throughout our life, most of them occurring within our selves, This is just an inevitable part of life which we live. hen you enter fractals Microsoft Encarta 96 Encyclopedia and click on “Infinite Complexity”, which is the image presented to us in the stimulus booklet, we get a demonstration of this ‘self-similarity’ of fractals. Each image you click on within the white square magnifies the image, by this technique we can clearly see the self-similarity at each stage of magnification. Each stage is accompanied by information explaining what is happening at each magnification. This tool clearly tells us what change in self is occurring at each stage of the process. The text goes on to give an example of fractals in nature.
This helps us relate to what fractals are and how they work e. g. A tree example is given, where the whole tree, the branch and the leaf are all shown to be similar and self repeating even.