Connections Between Texts

In: English and Literature

Submitted By rachiecosgrove
Words 2673
Pages 11
Connections 2.7 Report

Perhaps the greatest challenge faced by teenagers as they experience the social challenge of school is the pressure to conform or submit and the associated threat of separation and alienation from ‘the group.’
While some who suffer such alienation get lost in a dark world of low self-esteem, anti-social behaviour and intergroup conflict - others choose a path of reconciliation. They choose to see the positive possibilities of an us-oriented life and refuse to play the them-dominated role of the victim.
Much modern literature explores variations of this theme in different ways. I have chosen four works that illustrate the phenomenon:
Freedom Writers - a movie directed by Richard LaGravenese based on teacher Erin Gruwell’s book The Freedom Writer’s Diary;
The Sneetches - a classic children’s book by Dr Seuss;
The Power of One - a movie directed by John Avildsen based on Bryce Courtenay’s popular novel of the same name; and
The Wave - a young adult novel written by Todd Strasser who is also known by his pen name - Morton Rhue.

At the beginning of the film Freedom Writers, Ms Gruwell is attempting to teach her first English class, Room 203, which is full of gang and racial tension. She knows that they need to learn tolerance so that they can reclaim their shattered lives and gain a voice of their own. She tries many different teaching approaches to connect with and engage her class. This shows that she was trying to establish equality in the classroom and make enemies friends in order to help them see each other as people, not as problems or enemies. This is illustrated when she introduces the Line Game, a tool used to highlight the similarities between all of the students. They look into each others eyes and see the pain that has been caused by the rivalry. From then on they begin the journey of reconciliation further showing Ms…...

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