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Relationships

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How have three texts you have studied enhanced your understanding of relationships? Refer to Maestro and two other texts of your choosing?

Relationships are a complex part of today's society and affect all areas. All relationships are different, and they influence the decisions made by people and others around them. The three texts 'Maestro' by Peter Goldsworthy, 'Dead Poets Society' directed by Peter Weir and 'Goodnight Mr Tom' by Michelle Magorian all enhance the understanding of relationships.

These three texts, all show various types of relationships, are all presented in various ways. The main relationship presented in 'Maestro' involves the unlikely friendship developed between a teacher (Keller) and his student (Paul). The main relationship in 'Goodnight Mr Tom' is rather similar and involves the relationship between an elderly man (Tom) and an evacuee he was forced to take on- a young boy (Willie). Finally the main relationship exposed in 'Dead Poets Society' is between a teacher (John Keating) and his pupils including Neil and Todd.

All of these relationships in these texts enhance ones understanding of relationships by techniques used. 'Maestro's' unique technique, is not only the use of first person, but how the whole story is a combination of flashbacks and memories by the narrator Paul of when 'he was only a child'. From this perspective, the narrator reflects back on this enchanted period of childhood and adolescence. His relationship with Keller is very cold at first, and we know this is misleading through the first line when Paul quotes 'First Impressions? Misleading, of course. As always'. The first chapter is about Paul and Keller, and how they do not get along. Through the first line, we know that this is a false impression of their relationship and that it will improve. This line that Paul recites, generally describes all relationships. They are false on first impressions, as the person is not familiar to you.

'Goodnight Mr Tom' has a traditional layout, with chronological chapters, and written in third person. When Tom first meets Willie, it is an awkward experience for Tom, and a frightening experience for Willie as to Willie Mr Tom 'was a towering giant with skin like coarse, wrinkled brown paper and a voice like thunder'. However as one continues through the book it is recognized that William Beech and his relationship with Mr. Tom shows the reader the meaning of true love and what entails a family.

Dead Poets Society explores the conflict between realism and romanticism and is set in Welton Academy Boys. Keating, a replacement English teacher arrives, and brings with him a passion for teaching romanticism, thus opening a never-before-seen world to his students. In one of the first scenes, Keating takes his students in front of photos of old boys and quotes, 'listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? ... Carpe... hear it? ...carpe, carpe Diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary." Here Keating explains to the boys that they are all going to die eventually, so it is up to them to make the most of their lives - to seize the day before it is too late. This is such an important scene for the development of relationships between Keating and his students because he shows them so much passion, and cares about them incredibly.

Another important feature used in all three texts that enhance the understanding of relationships is the use of themes. There are many themes in each of these texts. In 'Maestro' the most significant theme is respect. This develops more understanding towards a particular kind of relationships, in this case a teacher/student relationship. Paul's respect for Keller may not have been apparent at first, however it continued to grow as the relationship progressed. Years later Paul realizes that, 'You don't know what you've got till it's gone''. This line is essential because it is very true in today's society. The message Peter Goldsworthy expresses is that, to value the relationships you have, because once it is lost, you will realize the true meaning of them, and regret that you took it for granted.

Respect is also seen through 'Dead Poets Society' by the end of the movie. All students have learnt to respect and value Keating for his teaching methods and for inspiring them. They all stand up, and with the assistance of the underscoring this turns out to be a very dramatic scene, as they stand up and saluting the teacher 'Oh Captain, my Captain' when he is removed from teaching. The low-angle shot and the lighting, emphasizes the importance of Keating to the students, who are conveyed with mid-shots. Even those who had disapproved of Keating's teaching methods in the beginning of the movie, stood up to respect and salute him, as they finally accept him. Respect is something essential in a relationship and these composers express that respect is essential for a successful relationship.

Willie's respect

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