ENGL001 – LITERACY PREPARATION FOR TEACHERS (HSC BAND 4) UNIT COORDINATOR: LISA WARD ASSIGNMENT THREE COMPLETED BY JULIE PAPPS STUDENT NUMBER: 220076557
Assignment 3a)Write a review of ONE (1) of the following literary texts: • Case, Jo. ‘Hell Is Other Parents’. In: The Best Australian Stories 2009, ed. Delia Falconer. Melbourne, Black Inc., 2009, pp. 132-144 (access through eReserve). • D.H. Lawrence, ‘Last Lesson of the Afternoon’ (poem). In: Hough, Lyndall. Language, Context and Meaning: Book 1. Port Melbourne, Vic., Heinemann, 2003, p. 143 (access through eReserve). • D.H. Lawrence, extract from The Rainbow (novel). In: Hough, Lyndall. Language, Context and Meaning: Book 1. Port Melbourne, Vic., Heinemann, 2003, pp. 139-141 (access through eReserve).In the review, identify the main literary techniques used in the text, and comment on theuse of these techniques to shape meaning.The text that will be considered in this review is ‘Hell is Other Parents’. In The BestAustralian Stories 2009, written by Jo Case. This text is a lightweight story about the dailyhappenings of two mothers and their sons. The message that is being portrayed throughoutthe story is the contrasting styles of parenting. The narrator appears to think of herself as theimperfect parent that always makes the wrong decision, whereas she portrays the othermother, Vanessa, as the perfect parent. There are several literary techniques used throughoutthe story. The main techniques used are dialogue, imagery, emotive language, powerfulverbs, contrast, dramatic irony and pauses.Firstly, the author uses dialogue and italics as a literary technique by using spoken wordsbetween The Narrator and Vanessa. The use of dialogue makes the characters seem morelifelike and assists the audience to easily relate to the characters. The author has also useditalics throughout the text for two different reasons. First of all, to let the audience know whatthe character is thinking but not saying to the other character. This allows the audience toconnect and see both sides of the character, without other characters in the story knowing
everything. Secondly, italics are used to make certain words in the story standout to thereader.The author uses imagery by using descriptive writing and powerful verbs to describe differentobjects throughout the story, for example ‘Her dog is a waist-high German Shephard with aglossy coat and a fractious nature’ and ‘Vanessa and I collide at the front gate’. This assists ingiving the audience a clearer and more vivid picture of what the author is describing and addsmeaning to the text. The use of emotive language also livens up the story with the use ofwords such as ‘I fantasise about killing Vanessa’.The contrast between the narrator and Vanessa is described throughout the story, where thenarrator consistently portrays herself as the inferior mother, whereas Vanessa is constantlyportrayed as the perfect mother. The author also uses dramatic irony throughout the story toadd to the contrast of the story by displaying what the narrator is thinking to the audience butnot to Vanessa. Therefore the audience knows exactly what the narrator is thinking butVanessa has no idea, for example, ‘Like all those playboy magazine’s I keep in my bottomdrawer.”The author uses dashes throughout the story to explain to the audience the thoughts goingthrough the narrators mind without letting the other characters know. For example, ‘Shepulled me into the ‘good’ sitting room – the one they don’t actually use – to tell me about herafternoon.’ The author also uses ellipsis throughout the story as pauses so the reader reflectson what was previously said before the ellipsis. For example, I did have to put up with himsaying penis and vagina all weekend, but… but that was OK, I guess.’ Finally, the authoruses breaks between paragraphs to signify a shift in the story from one thought to the next.
Finally, the meaning of this text is shaped through the literary techniques discussed, togetherwith the written medium of production, literary text type, informal subjective language andthe irritated, anxious tone that is used by the narrator to entertain the audience.
Question 3b.Explain how, by changing the medium of production for the literary text reviewed in3(a), you could reshape the meaning of the text and influence responses to the text.The text that will be discussed in this document is ‘Hell is Other Parents’. In The BestAustralian Stories 2009, written by Jo Case. The medium of production used for this text isprint, as it is produced as a written short story delivering a literal message. When the mediumof production is changed into a short play, the audience is able to use sound and visual skillsto help assist in interpreting the deeper meaning of the text. Not only can the audience seeand hear the text, they can more easily understand what the author is implying.How a story is produced has a vast influence on what the text means. In regards to the storyabove, the use of a short play as the medium of production enables the author tocommunicate ideas, experiences and stories within the text through acting. By using vocaltone, sound, expression, movement, gesture, costumes and sets, the audience is able to useboth vision and sound to interpret the meaning of the story. Whereas, if the medium ofproduction for the same text is written, then depending on the audience’s prior knowledgeand understanding of the topic, the text may be interpreted in many different ways dependingon how each individual person comprehends the text.Now that the audience can see and hear the characters display of the text in the form of roleplay, the tone and the body language used by the characters accentuates the content. Forexample, in the first scene when the narrator and Vanessa ‘collide at the school gate, in atangle of dog leads and frantic barking’ these actions can be easily acted out on a stagethrough the use of guarded body language, awkward looks on the characters faces, and
barking dogs to provide the audience a visual example of the relationship between thenarrator and Vanessa.In order to reshape the meaning of the text, at times throughout the play the author could addan element of nervousness and uncertainty to the voices of the narrator and Vanessa. Thiswould suggest to the audience that the characters are worried about doing what is appropriatein regards to their differing parenting styles. This display of nervousness and uncertaintywould show that the characters feel pressured by today’s society to closely monitor theirchild’s behavior and for their child to behave perfectly, which in turn causes concern anduncertainty for all parents.In conclusion, the meaning and response to the text would be reshaped as the audience is ableto use their sound and visual skills to assist in interpreting the deeper meaning of the text.Whereas, if the author uses written text as the medium of production the audience can onlyuse their prior knowledge and understanding of the topic to interpret the meaning of the text.