Analysis. Lesson aim: To understand what good analysis looks like To develop our own writing To evaluate areas for improvement. How do you turn this…. Into this…. The analysis. AOs. Analysis pyramid (plus tail)- for each point in your plan….
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To understand what good analysis looks like
To develop our own writing
To evaluate areas for improvement
Point- What point are you making to answer the question?
2. Language analysis (AO2)
3. Structural analysis (AO2)
4. Formal analysis (AO2)
5. Thematic analysis (AO2)
6. Contextual/comparative analysis (AO3/4)
7. Link back to question/argument (AO1)
Point- What element of the text are you using to support your argument/response to the question?
Meaning- Link back to question
The worst feature of dystopian worlds is their attempt to destroy individuality. To what extent do the dystopian texts you’ve studied conform to this theory?
The central, arguably the only feature of a dystopian world is that there is a drive towards the annihilation of the individual spirit. We can see this in The Handmaid’s Tale where Offred is desperate concerned with her own name as a remnant of her individuality. The name ‘Of-fred’ objectifies her, making her merely a possession of another, instead she longs for the identity of her previous name; “I want to be held and told my name. I want to be valued, in ways that I am not; I want to be more than valuable. I repeat my former name, remind myself of what I once could do, how others saw me. “ The repetition of the personal pronoun ‘I’ reaffirms Offred as an individual with a discreet identity. Atwood distinguishes between the words ‘valued’ , to indicate the inherent value as an individual that Offred felt prior to the Gileadean regime, and ‘valuable’, suggesting she is now merely seen as a commodity, only having value in terms of what she can be used for. Ironically by creating a dystopia which is articulated through a 1st person narrative perspective, Atwood triumphs the importance of the individual in the world, directly undermining the oppression of the Dystopian regime. Atwood was writing a distinctly feminine dystopia in response to the backlash against second wave feminism that was taking place in the USA in the 1980s. She was concerned about triumphing the rights of the individual and specifically the rights of individual women who in her contemporary society she saw to be widely objectified and ignored, much like Offred. As the author explains herself ‘I wanted to try a dystopia from the female point of view – the world according to Julia, as it were’. Ray Bradbury’s dystopian world is also concerned with the importance of the individual, however he explores this idea through the importance of the individual's freedom of thought. By restricting access to literature and overwhelming citizens with light entertainment, the powers-that-be in Bradbury’s novel restrict the freedom of individual thought by removing the very opportunities that create it. Montag slowly realises that the most important thing is to have free will and make decisions as an individual. He says to Faber "I don't want to change sides and just be told what to do. There's no reason to change if I do that." Even though Faber’s point of view is clearly preferred by Bradbury to that of Mildred or Beatty, he is emphasising the necessity for each individual to make his own decisions. Indeed this is the very thing a dystopian novel allows a writer to do, explore ideas and perspectives without enforcing the same oppression of thought on their readers that they are warning against. Bradbury was writing at the time of increased censorship of the media in the USA in response to the cold war and McCarthyism. He is reminding readers of the dangers of blind acceptance of the regime’s restriction of what we are allowed to know or think. As the preface to the novel says he is asking us to ‘write the other way’ when given ‘ruled paper’. In Brave New World, Huxley is also desperately concerned with the risks of the suppression of the individual. In Huxley’s dystopia genetic modification and eugenics has reached the point that members of society are limited in their actions from the moment they are born. A combination of genetic determinism and conditioning means that people are incapable of independence. When Lenina is asked “But wouldn't you like to be free to be happy in some other way, Lenina? In your own way, for example; not in everybody else's way.“ her response is “I don’t know what you mean”. Huxley is questioning whether being happy in ‘everybody else’s way is true happiness, or, in fact, we need to be happy in our own, individual way. Huxley, like Atwood and Bradbury questions what the true definition of happiness is and the unanimous conclusion seems to be that happiness is something that we choose as an individual rather than something that is imposed on us. As such these writer’s make the loss of individuality the most devastating element of their dystopias as they see it as the defining feature of humanity.
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