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Transcript of Conflicting perspectives
Conflicting Perspectives Module C: Conflicting Unwrapping the syllabus This module requires students to explore various... events, representations of personalities or situations. This is what the syllabus tells us... They evaluate how medium of production, textual form, perspective choice of language & influence meaning. but what does it mean? In this course... one must look at the representations of: events personalities situations Ned Kelly Hero or villian? Michael Jackson King of Pop or guilty of many crimes? Adolf Hitler Murderer or successful leader? Joan of Arc Saint or witch? Court cases Two sides to the case... Wars/Certain Battles The countries have 'conflicting perspectives' on who will win and their abilities Elections Politicans with different views use language to persuade people that their view is correct Moral debates on situations such as: Abortion Is it Murder of the innocent or giving women a choice? Euthanasia people have different views on what they think is right and wrong in various situations... Can you think of more? Events, personalities and situations can be viewed and represented in different ways. Conflicting = opposite/clashing Perspectives Perspectives = views, ways of seeing something Representation and Text Representation = the way that these ideas and conflicting perspectives are shown in the text These year... you will be studying The Justice Game by Geoffrey Robertson He uses many techniques in this non-fiction text to represent conflicting perspectives What is it about? Geoffrey Robertson is a human rights lawyer from Australia. In this non-fiction text, he outlines some of the cases he was involved in. He includes his own personal opinion in the cases but often quotes the opposition and explains their perspective. Can you see how this text would explore conflicting perspectives? Robertson uses a variety of techniques to show conflicting perspectives on events, personalities and situations. We shall closely analyse two chapters in this text in this presentation. 'The Trials of Oz' What is this chapter about? Oz was an underground magazine that started in 1963. The editors were charged with 'obscenity' and Robertson explains his involvement in the case and the conflicting perspectives evident. "extremely or deeply offensive according to contemporary community standards of morality or decency" (Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law) obscene = Robertson starts this chapter with the opening comments of treasury council Brian Leary. Robertson introduces the case and presents the conflicting perspectives in this chapter. "The prosecution explained how the defendants had conspired to publish the twenty-eighth edition of Oz - the 'Schoolkids' Edition'. The conspiracy had begun quite genteelly, with a story in the Daily Telegraph that the editors of Oz were feeling so old and boring that they wanted to give editorial control of one edition to school-children. As a result some two-dozen teenagers, cited as co-conspirators, had come to a basement at Notting Hill and compiled this magazine. The jurors would be required to read it in the privacy of their jury room, to decide whether it was (in order of importance) a conspiracy to corrupt public morals (Count 1), an obscene article (Count 2), or merely an indecent object sent to a few subscribers through the post (Count 3)." (pages 21-22) Conflicting Perspectives Explored... Was it porn or a joke?
Did the editors aim to corrupt morals of many or create a magazine for a select few?
What role did the Judge Argyle play in the trial? Was it just? Was Judge Argyle out of touch with society or a fair judge?
role of law and justice - Robertson points out that the case was ridiculous and should not have been brought to court. How are these conflicting perspectives explored in the text? Was it porn or a joke? Robertson uses many transcripts from the case to present the conflicting perspectives. the use of transcripts An example of this is the multiple transcripts discussing the Rupert Bear cartoon. Leary questions Anderson, Topolski, De Bono and Schofield about the Rupert Bear cartoon that showed the child cartoon with genitals. In the transcript between Leary and Anderson, repetition is used of the expression "Youthful genuis." Anderson says he believes it is "youthful genuis" and that is was "an extremely clever and funny idea." This is juxtaposed by Leary saying that, "whatever it is, it's not genuis, is it?" Leary uses this rhetorical question to persuade the audience that his view is right.
Juxtaposition is again utilised as Andrew mentions the "childhood symbol of innocence" and then Leary replies with vulgar language. This language presents the magazine as obscene and the opposite of innocent. "Leary: Does it make it art with a capital 'A' in your opinion?
Topolski: It makes it satricial art." The transcripts also show how ridiculous the case is and that the magazine should not be classified as 'obscene' as it was just a joke. The fact that Leary asks questions such as "What sort of age would you think Rupert is, to your mind?" convinces the audience that this case is absurd and unnecessary. By including these transcripts, Robertson makes the point that the case is ridiculous and, thus, shows his perspective. the use of extracts Robertson also uses extracts to present both sides of the case. Robertson includes extracts from John Mortimer's speech and Richard Neville's speech. They summed up their case and this was their final chance to persuade their view. These speeches present the view of the editors of the Oz Magazine. John Mortimer's speech addresses the length of time that they have been in court over the case. He uses persuasive language and rhetorical questions to persuade that the Oz magazine was just a joke. He says, "A huge quantity of public time and money has been spent in the ardent and eager pursuit of what? A schoolboy prank." The use of the word "prank" suggests that the magazine was just a joke and the fact that this has taken so long in court is absurd. He uses the simile, "The prosecution is like some nervous public offical who, when a child puts out a tongue at him in the street, calls out the army", to suggest that the case was an overreaction. Richard Neville's speech also used persuasive language to convince the audience that the Oz magazine was not pornographic. Neville uses an allusion to Barbara Cartland's novels to convince the audience that Leary's view on love is outdated and that Oz was just presenting a modern interpretation of love. He says that Oz aims to "redefine love, to broaden it, extend it, revitalise it." Neville also quotes a Bob Dylan song and this allusion supports his point that there is a generation gap and that the Oz magazine just provided what the public seeked. (pages 24-27) What was the role of Argyle? Was he fair or did his conservatice nature affect the case? Robertson presents Judge Argyle as being conservative and making mistakes in the case. This contradicts what Judge Argyle's role should be as a judge. How does Robertson persuade his view on Argyle? Robertson discredits him from the beginning by discussing how he gave out tough sentences and "boasted" about them. The use of the verb "boasted" expresses how Robertson believes that that Argyle was proud of what he did and acted in a way that was contrary to justice and fairness. Robertson also expresses how old-fashioned and out-of-touch Argyle is by including extracts from when he did not know the expression "Right on" and did not know the popular play, 'Hair'. Robertson also uses diction in the words that he choices to describe Argyle. He presents him as conservative and labels him "ineffably polite." This also explores how different Judge Argyle was to the young editors of Oz. The vulgar and offensive language used by Melly when talking to Argyle highlights Argyle's lack of knowledge of modern slang. Robertson's tone also presents his view on Judge Argyle. He ridicules Argyle's methods of recording the case and says there were "mistakes Judge Argyle made when he came to sum up the case to the jury." These comments and Robertson's ridiculing tone presents Judge Argyle as being bias and untruthful. Judge Argyle provides his opinion on the case: "Indecent is less than obscene. It refers to matters which are unbecoming and immodest. If you are on a beach with your children and a woman comes along and takes off all her clothes, and proceeds to walk about on the beach and then to swim, this is immodest or indecent in our society on a crowded beach: we just don't do this kind of thing in this country." (page 36) Argyle uses an anecdote to make the audience consider his point of view and the effect the Oz Magazine could have on daily situations. Argyle presents himself as a person of authority that wants the best for society. Argyle also uses persuasive and emotive language to express his point of view. What was the role of the court and law? Should this case have been taken to court? Extended theatrical metaphor " I was in the well of the court throughout, as stage-hand for the defence." (pg 21) "It was accomplished with perfect timing and a dramatic climax" (pg 25) "American lawyers in London all over for their Bar conference would jostle for seats in the public galleryas they might at a theatre, their roars of laughter silenced by ushers' booming cries of 'Silence' followed by the judge's regular threat to clear the public gallery. 'This is a courtroom, not a theatre,' he would remind them repeatedly." (pg 27) Robertson uses the extended theatrical metaphor to suggest that the case was a joke and should not have been taken to court. It was not a serious case. Robertson's Tone Robertson uses a sardonic and satiric tone throughout the chapter to convey the perspective that the case is ridiculous. He uses asides and anecdotes to discredit Judge Argyle. This is to support his own views on the case. He uses satire by repeating the Judge's tagline, "We just don't do this kind of thing in Birmingham." He continuously critises Judge Argyle's view on law and justice. This tone is effective as it conveys Robertson's perspective that the case was ludicrous. "In a theatre, the audience won't believe it happened in court" (pg 48) 'Michael X on Death Row' Related Text: 'Conviction' What is this chapter about? Conflicting Perspectives The character of Kenneth - Is he a cold blooded murderer or a loving brother?
The event of the murder - Is Kenneth guilty or innocent? Did he commit a crime?
Role of law and justice - Are the actions of the police just? Is the system always right? Bibliography Kenneth - cold blooded murderer or loving brother? Innocent or guilty? Role of the law and justice In this chapter, Robertson addresses the issue of capital punishment. Michael X was an English, black activist who was convicted for the murder of Joe Skerrit. Robertson describes him as, "the most vocal black-power prophet in sixties Britian." The chapter starts with Robertson meeting Michael X on death row. However, this chapter does not finish with Michael X's execution. Robertson continues the chapter with the arguments for and against capital punishment and clearly showing his view that it is wrong. He was also especially concerned about the amount of time convicted people spent on death row. Robertson describes the conditions on death row and how it is inhumane. Conflicting Perspectives Character of Michael X - cold blooded murderer or a victim of capital punishment?
the situtation of capital Punishment - Is it right or not?
How long is too long to stay on death row? Is it humane? Who is Michael X? Is he a terrible murderer or victim of capital punishment? Robertson softens the audience's opinion of Michael X through his use of language. Robertson juxtaposes these two ideas to present the idea that capital punishment is not right as many cases can have many perspectives and, as a result, individuals are wrongly convicted. He successfully uses emotive and persuasive language to make the audience identity with Michael X even though he is guilty of murder. Positive Perspective of Michael X "He was now a different man: four years on, the man whom the State of Trinidad wanted to kill was not the same man who with angry calculation had killed another.
He now cared about others, for a start."
(pg 78) As soon as Robertson meets Michael X he portrays him in a good light. He exaggerates Michael X's good features. He also uses the hyberbole in the quote above. He was definitely the same person physically. That statement is a lie and Robertson uses it to present Michael X as a victim of capital punishment. "Michael smiled, for the only time during our meeting. 'You see - for them you represent hope. Their only hope...That's why you should do it, not for me but for me "
(pg 79) Robertson uses anecdotes to influence the reader's opinion of Michael X. The anecdote on page 79 explains how the prisoners were listening to Robertson and wanted to be saved. Michael X is presented as being caring because he wants Robertson to do the case for all of the other prisoners, not for his own sake. Robertson chooses this anecdote to present him as a selfless, caring person which contradicts the idea of him being a heartless murderer. "When The Guardian ran a retrospective on Michael X in 1993, Darcus Howe (who had fallen out with him in the sixties) remained unforgiving: 'He made absolutely no impact on anybody.' He made an impact on me in December 1973"
(pg 79) Robertson quotes another perspective on Michael X. However, he discredits it through his use of an aside. Robertson uses the aside, "who had fallen out with him in the sixties", to indidicate that his perspective was bias because he had obtained a personal relationship with Michael X and personal issues had let to his bias views. Robertson also uses juxtaposition because he goes on to provide his own view, which is that Michael X had an impact on him personally. Robertson uses this persuasive language to persuade the audience that he is not a terrible person and that he is a victim of capital punishment. Negative Perspective of Michael X "Brought back in chains, Michael X became the cancer that the good people of Trinidad wanted cut out of their society."
(pg 82) Robertson identifies that Michael X was guilty of murder and the public did not like him regardless of the fact that he does try to soften the reader's opinion of Michael X. Robertson uses the metaphor that Michael X was "the cancer that the good people of Trinidad wanted cut out of their society." This explains that the general public's perspective was that he was a terrible murderer and was causing harm. Robertson also emphasises this through the use of the adjective, "good" which juxtaposes the idea of Michael X being "cancer". "In Britian, the News of the World headlined him as 'Michael X - the Devil on Death Row.' "
(pg 82) Robertson accumulates examples of negative perspectives of Michael X presented in the media, as shown in the quote above. This conflicting perspective is used by Robertson to show both sides to the character of Michael X and to present the public's view. " 'I'm in favour of abolishing the death penalty,' said the taxi driver to whom I had explained my reasons for visiting the Royal Gaol in Trinidad. My face brightened, until he added 'as soon as they hang Michael X'."
(pg 74) Robertson uses another anecdote in this chapter to show a particular point. He illustrates the perspective of the public who want Michael X killed. Robertson makes clear his perspective because his "face brightened" when he thought the taxi driver may have been on his side. This further indicates how Robertson explores conflicting perspectives in this text. Is capital punishment right or wrong? Robertson, as a human rights activist, is against the use of capital punishment. He makes this quite clear through his emotive and persuasive language. Use of language "What the latter are opposed to is punishment by way of human sacrifice." (pg 75) Robertson's diction and use of the phrase "human sacrifice" presents the process as being barbaric and old-fashioned. Human sacrifice was done in medevial times and earlier and Robertson is comparing the death penalty to a barbaric ritual. "I was taken to visit him, in the way that one might be taken by a zoo-keeper to see the rarest specimen in a monkey house." (pg 75-76) Robertson's metaphor explains the conditions on death row and how horrid they are. His use of animal imagery also explores the idea that these people are being treated inhumanely and this supports Robertson's view that capital punishment is cruel. "There were thirty men, sweating in the heat, fingers scratching through the wire of their concrete-floored cages, screeching and shouting at each other and at the warders." (pg 76) Robertson continues to use animal imagery to present the idea that capital punishment is not right and that conditions on death row are not satisfactory. The rest of the page includes him going into further detail of the cells and the situation. This presents his view on the death penalty. Robertson's diction such as words like "screeching" and "cages" also influence the reader's opinion on capital punishment. " 'In the name of Queen Elizabeth the Second by the Grace of God of Great Britian, Northern Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the seas Queen, Defender of the Faith, Greetings' Following this grotesque salutation from the monarch..." (pg 76) Robertson retells the process that is taken out before the death penalty is carried out. He quotes the salutation to convince the audience that the process is not right. Irony is used because the salutation speaks of God's grace and law whereas the death penalty is just killing the individual without grace. Robertson also uses the oxymoron, "grotesque salutation", to convince the audience that the whole process is unjust. "Capital punishment induces vicious behaviour, not only in prisoners on death row, but in the officals charged with their execution" (pg 103) Robertson uses irony to illustrate the point that capital punishment encourages further violence in the officals, as well as the prisoners. This is another point Robertson brings up against capital punishment. Robertson does use examples from American law about the death penalty. He critises American laws and shows inconsistencies in the law. This is explored in his extensive discussion about the Provy Counicl. Robertson does, however, provide the public's view on capital punishment and the conflicting perspective. The anecdote at the beginning of the chapter shows the taxi driver's opinion which is that capital punishment should be abolished but he was willing to make exceptions such as for Michael X. This shows the view that capital punishment is okay in certain cases. "Behind the scenes the five judges were divided. Eventually, three of them decided that the State could execute whenever and in any way it wished, and could keep inmates on death row for as long as it liked , providing it did not use a crueller method than hanging (such as burning at the stake)." (pg 91) Here, he does include the three judges' opinion that the State is free to execute and that it can not be crueller than hanging. However, Robertson does interject and include his perspective which is seen through his use of an aside. This aside compares that idea to medevial times when people were unjustly killed in an inhumane way. He mocks their view to convince the audience that his view is correct. Indeed, The Justice Game by Geoffrey Robertson shows many complex and varied forms of conflicting perspectives on people, situations and events. This is seen through 'Michael X on Death Row' and 'The Trials of Oz'. This module requires the student to research multiple pieces of related material to compare to The Justice Game. What could be some good texts to compare to the prescribed text?
In this presentation, the film, Convicted, will be explored and how this text could be used for a piece of related material in the HSC. This text could definitely be used for the HSC and to further develop a student's understanding of this module. This is because it clearly explores conflicting perspectives on the character of Kenneth Waters and the justice system. This is like The Justice Game because many characters are analysed but, generally, Robertson seeks to portray the views on justice and whether it is always fair and correct. Positive Perspective of Kenneth Waters Use of Flashbacks Director, Tony Goldwyn, uses multiple flashbacks throughout the film to depict Kenneth as a loving brother. The flashbacks show Kenneth and Betty when they were younger and how strong their relationship was and still is. There is a shot of him holding Betty's hand while she is crying and this presents him as a caring brother. Goldwyn also uses a flashback which is a long shot of Kenneth piggy-backing Betty and leaving home. They went through hardships when they were younger and this illustrates their relationship and the extent of Kenny's love for his sister. Conflicting Perspectives Introduced:
court papers shown multiple times at beginning of film saying,
"Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Kenneth Waters." Betty:
"My brother, Kenny, he got screwed by the system. He's been in prison now for 12 years without parole. He's innocent." Use of dialogue Betty's character uses strong, emotive language to present her perspective that her brother is innocent. Loving father as well? Goldwyn also presents Kenneth as a loving father. Betty says, "He's such a good dad." There are also shots of Kenneth dancing with Mandy, his daughter, and a close up of him kissing her on the forehead while they are dancing. This idea is further explored when Betty gives Mandy the beautiful, engraved box that Kenneth made for her when he was in gaol. A close-up shot of the box is utilised and there is also a close-up of the image of Kenny and Mandy together that is in the box. Betty also says, "He's had that on the wall of his cell the whole time." By the end of the film, Goldwyn represents Kenneth as a victim of the justice system and being innocent. The DNA testing proves he is innocent and the courts allow him to go free. When he leaves the court, piano music is played and this illustrates that justice has now been served but it is still unfortuante how he was portrayed as being a horrible murderer. Innocent? It is evident that Kenneth Waters was innocent but at various points throughout the film he is represented as being guilty and the audience often believe the conflicting perspective that he is a murderer. Negative Perspective of Kenneth Waters Barbaric Murderer? The film begins with a scene which pans the murder scene. Soft eerie music is played in the background to create suspense. A close up is used on the body of a woman that is covered in blood. This shows how the present that committed the murder was barbaric and cruel. Goldwyn uses many other techniques to support that the murderer could have been Kenneth and that the methods of killing were gruesome. Juxtaposition Kenny is presented a being a loving father by dancing with his daughter. However, this is juxtaposed by a shot of him knocking over a man and threatening to kill him with a bottle. The audience question whether or not he is a good father. This also shows his temper which could have been a reason for the murder. Accumulation of evidence against him When Kenneth is being trailed, Goldwyn represents him as being the murderer through the accumulation of evidence against him. Goldwyn uses short segments straight after each other of different people presenting various evidence against him. Firstly, his wife says, "I asked him if he killed that woman. He said, 'Yeah, what's it to you?' " In addition, there is a close-up of a knife which Kenneth's wife claims is the one he carried around on him and it was found at the murder site. Nancy Taylor said that no one could identify where he was after he left work. Brow's blood had been identified as blood group B and the murderer's blood was blood group O. It was announced that Kenneth's blood was from blood group O. Roseanna, a past "lover", says that, "He told me he stabbed her and took all her money"
The final witness is his mother who admits that he had been involved in crimes as a child. This evidence makes the audience believe that Kenneth must be guilty of the crime. "It's gonna test positive." The audience also question Kenneth's innocence when he refuses to take the test which would prove whether he was infact the murderer. He says that "It's gonna test positive." His daughter also believes he is guilty and says, "My father's a murderer." but she says this because this is what she has been told all her life. 'Convicted', like Robertson's The Justice Game, explores the role of law and justice and it questions whether the law is always correct. Irony is used because the audience are expected to trust the police and the officals because they have a role of authority. However, they lied and Nancy Taylor, in particular, used her position to frame Kenneth Waters. This is injust and is ironic because people trust the police and they are suppose to create justice. However, what Taylor did contradicted fairness and justice. Betty goes and visits Nancy Taylor when she is trying to collect evidence for the case. Nancy Taylor is no longer a police officer because she was accused of framing another officer. Irony is utilised again as a close-up is shown of Taylor's certificates and planks. One plank says, "In honour of your outstanding contribution to the public interest through your work in Commonwealth of Massachusettes vs. Kenneth Waters." She defends the charges against her and says, "The truth is, they never got over me solving the Brow murder." Betty responds by stating her perspective, "You didn't solve it. You put an innocent man in prison." Nancy bluntly states her opinion, "I am sorry you have wasted your life on this. Your brother killed that woman." "You put an innocent man in prison." "Then this is a travesty of justice and we will get him out." Irony: Kenneth does not trust the police because of what they did to him. He refuses to take the test. "It's been a year...I don't trust them. I'm not doing it... They'll find a way." "They're not gonna let him out without new evidence...because people don't like to admit they've made a mistake." It turned out Nancy Taylor had blackmailed the witnesses to make them lie in court. Roseanna later admitted,
"She [Nancy Taylor] kidnaps me, right? Her and this Chief of Police. And they take me to this room, this hotel, against my will. That ain't legal...saying they have all this evidence they didn't have, telling me that I'm gonna be an accessory."
It is also revealed that Taylor did a similar thing to Kenny's ex-wife.
This is unjust and against what police should represent. Goldwyn questions the fairness of the system. The closing titles explain what happened after the case and the fact that Betty won a case against Nancy Taylor and the police department. However, it says that "due to Massachusetts statue of limitations, Nancy Taylor was immune from criminal prosecution" which shows that the system has faults and can be used for an individual's wants. BOS NO: 22324969 Board of Studies. MODULE C: Representation and Text. http://hsc.csu.edu.au/english/advanced/representation/elect1/3664/conflicting_perspectives.htm (accessed 29 May 2011)
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Conviction. 2010. (motion picture).
ExecutedToday.com. 2011. 1975: Michael X. http://www.executedtoday.com/2009/05/16/1975-michael-x/ (accessed 31 May 2011)
Image obtained from: http://www.toxicscorpion.com.au/Portfolio%20Pages/Professional%20Gallery/NedKelly.html (accessed 31 May 2011)
IMBD. Conviction. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1244754/ (accessed 4 June 2011)
A Michael Jackson Story, May 1985. 2009. http://www.rawkblog.net/2009/06/a-michael-jackson-story-may-1985/ (accessed 29 May 2011)
Robertson, Geoffrey. 1998. The Justice Game. London: Random House.
Youtube. CONVICTION – Offical Trailer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrPtr0aQx3s (accessed 29 May 2011)