15th August 2017

Significant connections

“Survival can be summed up in three words – Never give up. That’s the heart of it really, just keep trying” – Bear Grylls

For humans, there are many different types of survival and we all try to survive in our own ways. You can’t always control how your life’s going to turn out but you have to just keep trying to get through it, no matter what twists and turns your path may hold. The texts: “Cyberbully,” directed by Charles Biname, “Touching the Void,” written by Joe Simpson, “The Rabbit Proof Fence,” directed by Phillip Noyce and “Soul Surfer,” directed by Sean McNamara, all show multiple ways a person could choose to survive through their own mental, emotional, physical or social obstacles. These texts show how characters approach the problem and how they respond to their difficult situations they are forced to go through.

The nature of survival was shown in the film “Cyberbully” directed by Charles Biname. In the film we see Taylor trying to survive the ruthless online bullies. The first aspect of survival that was shown is letting hateful things get to you isn’t worth the pain.

This was shown when Taylor signs up for an online site called “Clicksters” not knowing all that is about to go wrong for Taylor. The viewer hears “should I add him back?” says Taylor after she gets her first friend request from a random guy, her friend replied “ if you don’t I will” this making Taylor more eager to add him back, she is so unaware of what this will do to her in her near future. It all starts off with her brother being a typical little brother he hacks her account and puts an inappropriate caption on, this is where all the grief all starts and Taylor makes the mistake of letting it hurt her “look what they wrote!” Taylor exclaims to her mother in tears. The viewer is shown an eye-level medium shot of a small group of girls sitting down on the grass beside the pavement Taylor is walking on, the girls are calling out abusive things to Taylor on her first day back at school after her brother had put up the status that was causing all her pain. The shot is shown at eye level to make the viewer aware that Taylor is at this point in the film similarly superior not yet been taken down the societal ranking system that everyone is aware of. Taylor tries to ignore them but she struggles to keep them out of her head. We are then shown a medium wide shot of Taylor pushed up against a tree crying, this is to show the effect of cyber bullies as Taylor has just got home from being harassed at school then coming home and getting more abuse online. We can see from this that it is truly hurting Taylor, she feels as though their’s nothing she can do and she’s letting the pain consume her. From this, we can see that Taylor is definitely letting what everyone is saying get to her and it’s hurting her more than she can handle.

The second aspect of survival that was shown in the text “ Cyberbully” is if you don’t reach out and get help things only get worst. This was shown when Taylor begins to stay home from school some days just scrolling through what some people have been saying about her. “ I don’t even understand what I did wrong” Taylor says as she begins questioning the situation she is in, she doesn’t understand why all these people feel the need to pester her with all this stuff and where it’s all coming from “I don’t get it why would someone say they slept with me… or got an STI from me?” Taylor is so confused and all her emotions are overwhelming her, but yet she still refuses to shut her account down and she won’t go to her mother for help which Taylor will soon realize to be a big mistake. As the viewer, we’re then shown an eye-level medium shot of Taylor crying and distressed in the changing rooms this shows us she feels so alone and doesn’t know what to do. She feels she has no one to go to for help as both her best friends have left her all alone because they don’t want to be hanging around the new “school slut”. The shot is shown with a blue tint to emphasize her feeling cold, sad and alone on the inside. This shot being in blue relates to all of the other blue tinged shots telling us that she is upset as the blue is symbolizing her sadness. This shows how much it can hurt someone to say all that abusive nonsense and keep it all bundled up inside because she doesn’t want to put her burden on someone else. If she had gone for help all the hate and pain could have stopped by this point and she wouldn’t be feeling this way but she thought she could handle it on her own without dragging anyone else into it and becoming “the snitch”. The viewer is then shown a low angle long shot of Taylor charging down the hallway crying because she feels as though she can’t take any more of it, she feels destroyed and consumed by the online terror. The director uses the low angle to show she is under a lot of pressure and it really undermines Taylor’s life and makes us aware of what she’ll do next. The next shot is a close up of the floor with red and white pills split everywhere as Taylor had just been trying to take all the pills to end her pain and leave all her suffering behind. Lucky Taylor was to shaken to succeed in what she was about to commit to for life. She finally gets her mum to help her find who was doing this to her and she then finally can stop the pain and embarrassment that has come over Taylor. This shows that it can take a lot for someone to survive when the hate and suffering continue through all hours of the day for most teenagers in their day-to-day life this sort of suffering could be happening but they also do not want to put their burden on someone else. Cyberbullying is something that takes a lot to survive but if you get help quickly and don’t let what people are saying affect you it’s easy to see there is a way of survival.

The nature of survival was shown in the text “Touching the void” written by Joe Simpson.The first aspect of survival that was shown was knowing your surroundings is critical to surviving, for Joe and Simon they show this in many ways as they continue to get bad luck throughout the book.

This was shown when a severe storm was making it way towards Siula Grande and Joe and Simon could see virtually nothing of their surroundings and they don’t no this mountainside well enough to carry on safely through the fog and they had no clue what to do as they had specific time goals to keep to as their equipment was an insufficient amount for the time they had enquired to be up on the mountain. This is shown in the lines, “The clouds closed in on us after half an hour…ten minutes later we were lost in the white-out.” this shows that the men do not understand what they’re getting themselves into by carrying on in this fog, later we read that Simon gets himself into a near death situation when he walks on a cornice of snow and since their vision was minimal in the fog there is no way they can see when there are cornices this is why it is critical to know your surrounding when out in a place where conditions can change at a very fast pace. This is different to “Cyberbully” because in the two men’s cases they are both determined to survive and they never give up when they come close to death they come back stronger from it, it gave them hope knowing they that could get away from death even as it was practically pulling at them both at times. In Taylor’s case they tried to survive but when she came close to death she didn’t fight it she physically felt she couldn’t come back from that it was too much pain to try to sustain, for Taylor she was lucky that her suicide didn’t go to her plan because if she had gone through with it she mentally and physically would not have made it out of the come she would have gone into.

Another aspect of survival that was shown in the text “Touching the Void”, was
Rational decision-making. Simon makes a quick decision to ensure his own survival, to cut the rope that is holding up Joe from falling straight into the mountain. Simon had to make this choice quickly without thinking of anyone but himself because if he did they would have both ended up dead. The text states, “I was alive and at that moment that was all I could think about. Where Joe was, or whether he was alive, didn’t concern me in the long silence of the cutting. His weight had gone from me.” Once Simon has cut the rope he is tormented by what he has done, Simon’s thoughts will not leave him alone “Had I killed him…I felt numb, freezing cold and shocked into a numbed silence.” Simon sits in silence questioning what he’s done and rationalizes what he’s done was the right choice to ensure his own survival. This shows that to survive you need to make quick rational decisions if you’re in a bad situation and in Simon’s case not thinking out the outcome for Joe helped him make this quick choice. This can be compared to “Cyberbully” because in this book everything the men do is thought out every move, every decision, but in Taylor’s case all her emotions are always too overwhelming for her to think properly about anything but they are similar in one point they both don’t think of the outcome Simons neglects thinking about what will happen to Joe and Taylor tries to take her own life without thinking of what her family and friends would go through from losing her and she might not even realize that once she does take her life that decision is forever there’s no coming back from that.

The nature of survival was shown in the film “The Rabbit Proof Fence” directed by Phillip Noyce. The first aspect of survival that was shown is always staying positive, for Molly and Daisy this is a simple task but as for Gracie she struggles with the mindset of staying positive the whole trip and that’s why she’s the one that didn’t survive the walk.

This was shown when Gracie finds out her mother is not at Jigalong Gracie is tempted to stop walking back there she wants to find her mother even if it means her getting caught Gracie is not worried about that anymore. The viewer hears “If they see us, they’ll catch us….We’re nearly there.” says Molly to Gracie when Gracie suggests going to Mekka, A medium shot then shows Gracie standing watching the other girls walk away from her this is her deciding point will she keep going with the girls or will she give into her disbelief of the long walk ahead and go to Mekka. This is important shot to the film because it shows that Gracie did debate going back to Jigalong but because of her not staying positive she was in a bad mindset and picked the wrong path that then made Gracie get caught and the other two made it home in one piece. This is different to the book “Touching the void” because in the book Joe constantly has a positive attitude which is why he got off the mountain and survived that torturous mission whereas Gracie has a negative attitude the whole way of there walk from start to getting caught so it makes sense that she was the one to be taken away again which shows us that in most cases a positive attitude can be what saves your life.

The second aspect of survival that was shown in the text “ The Rabbit Proof Fence” was hunting skills can be helpful, and we see this many times through the film mostly Molly displays it the most. This was shown when the girls are forced to leave the old farm-house when Mavis lives in the middle of the night because Molly knows Moodoo the tracker will be there in the morning she grabs socks to put on and only walks on rocks to cover her tracks. The viewer is shown a close up of Molly putting on the socks to cover her tracks we then also see a low angle shot of Moodoo to show his slight smile when he realizes what the girls have done and he decides to let the girls go because he see molly is too smart for her own good and Molly reminds him of his own daughter and just wants to let them be free and go to there mothers, the low angle is to show us that even though Moodoo has more power than the girls he has made a connection with Molly through tracking her.

This can be related to “Touching the Void” which shows that if Joe in touching the void didn’t know how to hunt/track he would have struggled a lot more because he followed Simons tracks through the snow the whole way back after getting stuck in the crevasse and that’s why Joe survived which is the same as the girls if Molly hadn’t known how to not be tracked she and the girls would have been tracked right away because Moodoo would have been onto them but Molly was smarter than anyone expected and that’s what contributed to the survival of Molly and Gracie.

The nature of survival was shown in the film “Soul Surfer” directed by Sean McNamara. The first aspect of survival was shown in the film is that something good comes from every bad situation.

This was displayed when Bethany is having a hard time accepting what has happened so she goes to her friend Sarah Hill and asks for some guidance “how can this be God’s plan for me” says Bethany this shown with a close up of Bethany in tears showing us how hurt she is and lost in life now that she thinks she won’t be able to surf again. Bethany’s life has revolved around surfing for so long making her question how she’ll go on without being able to surf. “I don’t no why bad things happen to good people but I have to believe something good is going to come out of this” said Sarah this giving Bethany hope for what’s going to come out of this and what actually comes from this is Bethany becoming one of the best surfers in the world even with one arm, she also not only became able to surf again but she also got a lot of other amazing opportunities like to help out people in need. This can be compared to “Cyberbully” because as we see in Cyberbully Taylor is so confused as to why people would do that to her because she’s always been a good girl and now Bethany is also asking herself that why did that happen to such a good person but in both cases, in the end, everyone was happy again.

Another aspect of survival in the film “Soul Surfer” nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it, Bethany proves this to us throughout the film. This was shown when Bethany loses her arm after a shark bites it off, Bethany has to overcome multiple hard things after this happens but getting back on the water was the hardest challenge for her. This was shown when we see a close-up eye level shot of Bethany in the water using her new and improved board that her dad made so that she’ll be able to duck dive. This shot is showing us her first wave she’s been able to duck dive since the accident the director used a close up to capture her facial expressions at that point in time and we see a sense of empowerment within her coming out making her overwhelmingly happy that she is now able to surf properly again, therefore, giving her hope that’ll shell be able to compete at nationals and actually have a fighting chance there. This scene shows us that no matter what problem it is that you have to overcome it’s never impossible and you can always find a way to get through it and come out of it happy. This is similar to the book “ touching the void” which tells us that Joe went through a similar situation when he made his time goals to get down the mountain, Bethany also made goals but she made goals on sizes of surfboards suggesting that they both were in close to impossible situations but they were both strong enough to make it through.

No matter what you’re trying to survive the way you chose to handle your situation determines your survival or not, that’s why it is essential that you make sure you handle the situation correctly. This is shown in the texts “Cyberbully,” directed by Charles Biname, “Touching the Void,” written by Joe Simpson, “The Rabbit Proof Fence,” directed by Phillip Noyce and “Soul Surfer,” directed by Sean McNamara. In all of these, the characters are put in unimaginable situations that your average person would struggle through but could happen to anyone and they are forced to survive effectively even though they have bumps along the way when it looked as though they wouldn’t make it they do. These film/texts all show the reality of what some people are put through and it makes the viewer/reader question what you would do that situation, which is just what the creators are intending for their book/films they want everyone to know how hard it actually is to survive mentally, emotionally, physically or socially and will help you understand how to get through similar things and help prepare you if you’re ever in any of those positions.

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Amy, in the first week of Term 4, you will be given a lesson to finalise your “Significant Connections” assessment. Key areas to strengthen:
    1) In your text “Cyberbully” for point 1, do you actually complete your discussion on: “letting hateful things get to you isn’t worth the pain”?
    2) You need to work on your comparisons/connections between texts: make sure that your comparison is based on the aspect that you have been discussing. You don’t have to say that the connection is similar; it could be different in a comparative text, but you must stay on point in your discussion?
    3) Have you talked about “hunting” in your “Rabbit Proof Fence” text analysis? Make sure you stay on track in your discussion here.
    4) Overall, have a final read through and fix any word, punctuation or spelling errors that you can see.
    Well done for all of your work on this assessment so far!


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