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Views, Values and Contexts

Overview of AoS2 Views, Values and Contexts for Unit 3 VCE Literature.
by

Penelope Monger

on 1 February 2013

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Transcript of Views, Values and Contexts

Views, Values and Contexts
AoS2 In VCE Literature we study how texts comment on human experience, and analyse what it is that they have to tell us. What do you think 'Wanting' has to say about the human experience? And whose experience does it reflect? Whenever we study a text, we consider three core things - and this is a skill that you should apply to your study of every text this year. Those core things are: views, values and contexts. Views: What are the views that are being expressed by the author in any given text? Values: What values are explored or expressed by the author? Context: What is the context/s or setting/s of the text itself? And what is the context of the author who created the text? If you can articulate these three elements, you will develop the skills to engage closely with the text, and analyse the core concerns of the author. This is a vital skill for all of VCE Literature. Views – opinions or attitudes – a way of considering something. Do you have a favourable or unfavourable view of a particular concern or issue? Values - core ideas or principles. They are things that we live by - usually considered positive. Context – This relates to both the exterior world that has influenced the creation of the text, and the interior world that is depicted within the text. Contexts include:
Social – the type of society the text was created in and also the type of society that is depicted in text.
Historical – the aspects of society and politics that belong to a particular time in history. Eg. WWII as depicted in Atonement or Victorian England in Wanting.
Cultural – the artistic pursuits - novels, poetry, art - referred to in the text and which belong to a particular period.
Ideological – the philosophy or school of thought that belong to a particular time. For example, feminism as a predominantly 20th Century idea. You need to start developing your skills in identifying the views and values and contexts of 'Wanting' by Richard Flanagan, and developing your ability to write about them and analyse them for your SAC. It is important to recognise the fact that any book we read and/or study draws on the ideas and attitudes of when it was written, and also when it was set. Do you understand the difference between those two ideas? All texts are influenced by the times and places in which they are created and they can stand as testament to the views and values of that particular author. So a historical novel, like 'Wanting', reflects not only the attitudes of 21st Century Australia (Richard Flanagan), but also of Victorian England (1837-1901) and early Colonial Australia. Have you ever watched a film or read book and cried at the end, or had a particular reaction to a character? What you need to think about is that any text that you read is a construction of the author to elicit a response by the reader. These constructions are what you need to be able to identify and analyse in your study of Literature this year. In your study of all of our texts, including 'Wanting', you must consider closely the views, values and contexts and one way of dong this is via a checklist. 1.Author’s context – when was the text created? Where was it written? How would the context of the author influence the construction of the text? Is there evidence of the author’s context in the text? 2.Context of the text itself – the setting/s, historical period, etc. – how important is this context in understanding the values explored? How important is it that Atonement is set in different time periods, for example? How important is it that Wanting is set in different decades and in different continents? Ask yourself why the author has made those choices. 3.Your own context – As readers we bring our own attitudes and values to a text. How is it that within this one class, we can have 18 different reactions to the same text? Why is it that half of us will sympathise with a particular character, and the other half won't? Everybody has their own context, experiences, views and values. How is it that half of 'Twilight' readers love Edward, and the rest love Jacob? These differences lead us into interpreting texts in different ways – which is one of the most exciting things about the study of literature. 4.Construction of the text – in Literature you must advance your skills to identify, describe and analyse how the author has crafted the writing into a piece of literature, and to elicit a certain response from or position the reader in a certain way. It’s not enough to say that we know that the author has created a character or written about a setting. What separates you as literature students from everyone else is that you are able to identify the features of the text – eg. metaphor, diction, symbolism – and articulate how those features have been used to create a response in the reader. How is Flanagan urging his reader to interpret characters or events in a particular way? How does Flanagan position us to respond to Mathinna? You also need to be able to recognise whether your response is what the author likely intended? Or whether you have arrived at a different conclusion.If it is the latter, then perhaps it is your own views and values that have had a bearing on your response. 5.What ideas/concerns are being explored in the text? Once you have identified the key concerns, then you can start thinking about how the author is promoting, challenging, etc. those ideas. Eg. love – is it explored positively or negatively? Or is it not really challenged but left open? Think about the point of view of the author – what are they trying to promote in their text? All of these questions must be brought to all texts we study this year. What is the context of the cartoon? Is it the same as the author/s context? Is it the same as your context?
What concern is being depicted?
What value/s do you think are evident?
What view does the author have of the values and/or concern? Does he endorse or challenge the values depicted?
How does the author position us to respond to Australia Day?
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