The texts studied in the Area of Study have been very significant in shaping my understanding of the concept of Changing Self. The novel Willow Tree and Olive, written by Irini Savvides, the short film Be My Brother (directed by Genevieve Clay, 2009) and the film About A Boy (directed by Paul and Chris Weitz, 2002), while different in form and cultural contexts, have both affirmed and challenged a range of ideas about Changing Self. One significant that these texts explore reflecting the complexity of changing self is that a change in self can involve a shift whether physical, emotional, social or intellectual change.
Further, the texts explore the idea that a change in self can be facilitated by an external catalyst. The novel “Willow Tree and Olive” by Irini Savvides explores the idea that changing self can involve a shift whether physical, emotional, and social or an intellectual change. Initially, Olive has experienced some trauma in her past, and only has brief recollections of it. She feels different from others and is detached from her family and friends because of the trauma. This is presented through the nightmares she recalls from the night of her rape: “It’s a memory – like a flashback, and I’m in it. The use of the simile reflects the event that took place upon her and recalls what happens. Later throughout the novel, Olive has a new appreciation for her family and friends. This is reflected through, “Dance. Watch people. Go for walks. Write poetry in my head. And I fall in love. With my people and their passion for life, and their acceptance of me, even though I am different. ” Here, Olive comes to the realisation that the people, who she loves, support her even throughout the horror and change she has experienced because of her past.
Thus, a change in self can involve a shift and is clearly demonstrated through the novel “Willow Tree and Olive” by Irini Savvides. Likewise, the film “About A Boy” (Paul and Chris Weitz, 2002) similarly explores the idea of changing self-involving a shift through a social and intellectual change. The main character, Will Freeman, is a rich, childfree and irresponsible 38-year-old slacker who, in search of available women, invents an imaginary son and starts attending single parent meetings.
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Initially, Will is a self-centred person who is unable to connect with people and being scared by commitment and love. Through cinematography, the montage of scenes of women Will has been out on a date with and also a connection with sentences convey the personality Will has, “I’m sorry, you’re breaking up with me? You, self-centred bastard, I can’t believe I have wasted all this time with you, you useless superficial loser. ” On the contrary, as Will meets Marcus, an awkward 12-year-old boy his view on life changes through a series of events. Once you open your door to one person, anyone can come in. ” This conveys that as he has let Marcus come into his life, more people are invited and he begins to make friends and have a closer bond with each of them. In addition, he has changed his view towards people which demonstrates social change. As a result, the film, “About A Boy” directed by Paul and Chris Weitz demonstrates that a change in self involves a shift, particularly a social and intellectual change. Another idea explored in the novel Willow Tree and Olive is that an external catalyst can facilitate a change in self.
The catalyst of Olive is Kerry who is her mentor in helping her through the trauma she has suffered. Initially, Olive is afraid of what Kerry will say if she told her about her traumatic past and if she will have a different view about Olive. She attempts to trust Kerry by telling her: “I CAN’T BELIEVE I SAID IT. WHAT IF KERRY NEVER SPEAKS TO ME AGAIN… BUT IT IS THE TRUTH. ” Through the use of capitalisation, it shows that Olive is conscious and anxious about what she has told Kerry. She also is reflecting upon what she has said and in disbelief about how and why she had told her.
Later in the novel, Olive begins to trust her friend Kerry that is shown through: “I wouldn’t have made it without your love. ” Olive shows an appreciation for her friend Kerry and it is evidence of Kerry’s support for Olive through her past trauma through her affection towards Olive. Thus, it is evident that an external catalyst can facilitate a change in self. Similarly the short film “Be My Brother” (Genevieve Clay, 2009) explores the idea of changing self being facilitated by an external catalyst. Initially, Amanda is in insularity and has a disconnection with Richard because she acts negatively towards him through body language.
Amanda’s posture is averted away from Richard and her facial expression with discomfort. In addition, Amanda and Richard are framed singularly and the proximity of their seating; Richard is on far left hand side of the seat and Amanda in the opposite. Later in the film, her previous assumptions about Richard’s intellect have been challenged and proven incorrect. This is characterised through the juxtaposition of Richard and Amanda in the same frame as well as the change in Amanda’s body language; her facial expression is positive as she is miling and she is facing Richard as they both converse. Thus, the short film, “Be My Brother” directed by Genevieve Clay, 2009 clearly demonstrates the idea of changing self being facilitated by an external catalyst. In conclusion, the range of texts I have studied have been influential in shaping my understanding about the concept of changing self, emphasising that changing self is a complex process that is highly individual and shaped by many factors which can be both internal and external.
The texts, “Willow Tree and Olive” by Irini Savvides, “Be My Brother” directed by Genevieve Clay, 2009 and “About A Boy” directed by Paul and Chris Weitz, 2002 explore a range of ideas such as a change in self can be facilitated by an external catalyst and it can also involve a shift whether physical, emotional, social or intellectual. The texts have assisted me to appreciate that there are various methods, which may be complex, that allow an individual to change self.
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