How an idea becomes an essay
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How an idea becomes an essay. Learning goals: To identify symbolism To trace the evolution of an essay. Key Vocab: Symbol. Symbol: something used to represent something else. Anything can be sym bolic : words, colours , songs, etc… Symbolism symbolic symbolises .

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How an idea becomes an essay

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How an idea becomes an essay

How an idea becomes an essay

Learning goals:

To identify symbolism

To trace the evolution of an essay


Key vocab symbol

Key Vocab: Symbol

Symbol: something used to represent something else. Anything can be symbolic: words, colours, songs, etc…

Symbolism symbolic symbolises


What do you see

What do you see?


What you saw an example from the homework

What you saw - An example from the homework:

Guernica by Picasso is a very chaotic painting. There are many figures of people in pain, the people are in white, surrounded by darkness. There are a few shining lights, one through a window and another from a light bulb. The painting shows people on fire, being trampled upon, mothers holding their dead babies and also a few screaming animals.


Hmmmmm true however

Hmmmmm…. true… however:

Very descriptive – but simply too literal. A computer could scan this image and it would reveal pretty much the same information.

We want to be able to draw some conclusions.


Opportunities to discuss symbolism

Opportunities to discuss symbolism:

Guernica by Picasso is a very chaotic painting. There are many figures of people in pain, the people are in white, surrounded by darkness. There are a few shining lights, one through a window and another from a light bulb. The painting shows people on fire, being trampled upon, mothers holding their dead babies and also a few screaming animals.


Question attack planning

Question Attack/Planning

You were given a prompt on Friday and asked to plan some ideas

However you plan, you must always think of the big ideas and broad questions first. Then you can think of some specific examples. If you have specific examples that you know you want to use, then work backwards until you find the big idea!

“It is difficult not to conform to a dominant reality.” Discuss.


Now you can bring in the detail

Now you can bring in the detail

Think about how we might use Pablo Picasso and his painting ‘Guernica’ to help us explore some of our big ideas, or to answer some of our broad questions.

Also think about how Leunig’s ideas about the painting fit into our big ideas.

We are not going to try and respond to every idea with Picasso or even Leunig(and especially not with Disney films) – we want a variety of sources.


Sample essay

Clearly it is an intro. Ideas are discussed, the prompt is used and everything is nice and general

SAMPLE ESSAY

There is comfort in conformity. Humans are social animals and for the most part we like to know that we are ‘fitting in’. Education, employment, marriage, children, retirement, these are all boxes that many of us will tick. Yet right down to the clothes we wear, the food we eat and the music we listen to, it would seem that the dominant reality is making choices for us and that to defy them is not only difficult, but often costly.

Green is direct reference to prompt: It is difficult not to conform to a dominant reality

Blue is discussion of ideas directly related to the prompt

Purple is for examples from the focus text

Red is for examples from outside sources


How an idea becomes an essay

Big idea drawn directly from the prompt

Most would argue that a certain level of conformity is necessary: beeping a car horn at a driver who has failed to notice the lights changing, instead of firing a few shots at her, just makes sense. For the most part, people tend to agree with the law and with the various rules and processes that have evolved for us all to get along. But what about those areas of our lives where we are free to make choices without causing harm to others? Why is it that we often conform to a dominant reality when we are completely free to express ourselves?

Example

Big ideas

Use of rhetorical questions to raise more ideas


How an idea becomes an essay

Big idea drawn directly from the prompt

Fear is certainly a driving factor leading many people to conform. We worry that others will not accept us. Even members of sub-cultures fear being ostracised from their groups and conform to their own clearly defined reality. We might think that they are based around shared interests, but what chance is there that amongst a group of boys who enjoy surfing, that all will share the same taste in music, film, literature, cars, food and so on? Very little, yet surfers who listen to Justin Bieber, drive pink BMWs and like silent Russian films are hard to find.

Example


How an idea becomes an essay

Big idea drawn directly from the prompt

Name used in full as it is the first time mentioned

What is it that we fear? Cartoonist Michael Leunig explores through his writings the media’s power to influence us to be attractive. Drawing on the ideas of Orwell, Leunig portrays the media as an all seeing “great dictator”, ordering us to be “…charming, strong, good-looking, confident…” or anything else that the dominant reality considers attractive. It’s true; we have never “lived in so much fear of being unattractive” and Leunig worries that in order to be loved by others we end up losing ourselves. With our very souls at stake, why is it then that people still hide who they really are?

Surname used as name has already been used in full once

Big idea drawn directly from the prompt, convey using a rhetorical question


How an idea becomes an essay

Big idea drawn directly from the prompt

Although it is hard, people can try to convey their subjective reality which clashes with the dominant reality.In Pablo Picasso’s painting ‘Guernica’ we see how the Spanish artist felt about the destruction of his homeland during the Spanish Civil War. Many photos exist of the bombing of Guernica, and they provide us with an objective reality of this event. Of course, very few people will ever see them as the conflict has long since left our collective memory. On the other hand, Picasso’s painting of the event resonates with people even to this day, as it not only portrays the suffering of the inhabitants of Guernica, but also conveys the chaos, confusion and pain of all military conflicts.

First mention of name so it is used in full

Extended example


How an idea becomes an essay

Extended example

In Guernica we see many people in pain, the figures are in white, symbolising their purity and innocence and are surrounded by the darkness of war. There are a few shining lights, one through a window and another from a light bulb; however, the bulb is naked, exposing the victims’ suffering. The painting shows people on fire, being trampled upon, mothers holding their dead babies and animals screaming in pain. Nothing escapes the tragedy that is war. In a time when many felt that war was a necessary part of our existence, Picasso urged them to rebel against the dominant view. Initially, Picasso’s painting met with little praise, one unimpressed art critic simply called it a “brainstorm”. In the face of a dominant reality, Picasso’s non-conformist ideas were not readily adopted.

Big idea drawn directly from the prompt


How an idea becomes an essay

Big idea drawn directly from the prompt

Time changes what is considered the dominant reality and many people now see Guernica as a masterpiece. So much so that those like Leunig worry that some people might find the painting “more important to the world than the event upon which it is based”. What matters to Leunig is the “spirit of art itself”. He sees our modern society obsessed with Picasso’s celebrity rather than his message; much like the hip girl wearing a T-Shirt displaying a print of Mao, Leunig urges us to look beyond the surface gloss of modernity and forces us to question the choices we make, especially what we think is ‘real’. Where we see Guernica, a never before heard of Spanish town, bombed in a long forgotten conflict, Leunig sees Fallujah, a city in Iraq which suffered destruction at the hands of the US military in much more recent times. What might interest Leunig is that in 2003 a US press conference promoting the war which led to the “blood and mess and moral stench” in Fallujah was made in front of a large copy of Guernica, yet it was covered up by a blue screen to avoid any painful reminders of what war brings.

Direct discussion of the focus text – linked to other examples – demonstrates comparison and evaluation

Example with use of Leunig quote


How an idea becomes an essay

Big idea drawn directly from the prompt

Leunig urges us to “swim against the tide”, but the penalty we pay for failing to conform to the dominant reality can be high.Although homosexuality is widely accepted in our modern society, even celebrated, there are certain organisations which still maintain a strictly ‘straight’ image. With over 300 players in the AFL, it is somewhat hard to believe that there are no gay players. They are not breaking any laws, yet remain silent for fear that attending the Brownlow’s with anything other than a rake-thin model, or their mother, on their arm would spell disaster.

Example


How an idea becomes an essay

Big idea drawn directly from the prompt

People have suffered worse fates when challenging the dominate reality; some have paid the price of nonconformity with their lives. In the 1500s Sir Thomas More was one of the most powerful men in England, but refused to acknowledge King Henry VIII as the supreme head of the church. More was a Catholic and he refused to alter his beliefs at a time when the majority of his peers quickly followed the King’s instruction. For failing to conform, More was beheaded.

Example


How an idea becomes an essay

Direct reference to the prompt

This conclusion is made up of two paragraphs

Reference to Leunig and use of quote.

It is difficult not to conform to a dominant reality, but like Leunig we can try to wear our “true coat”. It might mean that we have to suffer some degree of discomfort, but it may ultimately lead to a more fulfilling life.

Whether the dominant reality likes it or not, those rarest of people, the nonconformists, will continue to challenge us. A painting like Guernica is probably on show right now, and being ignored because it goes against the grain. Hopefully for those individuals who choose such a path, such as the first AFL player who takes a brave step from out of the closet, the likes of Michael Leunig will be there to defend them and any other person who “courts a difficult life” by choosing to be different.

Return to the idea of Guernica

Return to the idea of nonconformists such as Picasso and Sir Thomas More

Return to the example of homosexuality in the AFL

Final mention of Leunig with quotation


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