How To Analyse A Related Text

Posted on July 13, 2012 by Matrix Education

1. Identify key ideas in your related text.

2. Compile a list of techniques and examples which explore these ideas.

3. Compare and contrast those ideas to the ideas in your prescribed text and ask:

  • Which ideas are similar?
  • Which ideas are different?
  • How does the difference in medium (e.g. one might be a novel and the other a film) between your additional text and your prescribed text affect the delivery of the ideas?

4. Construct two paragraphs discussing the differences and similarities.

Example:
Relating the novel 1984 by George Orwell to prescribed text The Crucible.

The dystopian novel 1984, also illustrates the implications of non-conformity within societies that condemn free-thinking and individuality. Oppressive attitudes within Oceania are reflected through the manipulation of language and psychology in order to enforce rigid conformity. The maxims “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength” are presented as oxymorons to the reader, but are hailed as beliefs of faith to the Oceanian society, thereby depicting the far-reaching extent of mind control to imply that a sense of belonging is enhanced by the acceptance of and adherence to these statements within the context, as they are designed to erode any individual thought.

 

However, the protagonist Winston, mirrors the non-conformist ways of John Proctor, and secretly rebels against the totalitarian regime of his government by challenging the conventions of the Oceanian society and committing innumerable crimes. For example, the relationship he shares with Julia is an illegal act that provides the two of them with mutual interpersonal intimacy, but excludes them from social belonging on a larger scale. The metaphor, “It was a blow against the party. It was a political act,” and “If detected, it was reasonably certain that it would be punished by death,” conveys the rebellious nature of his behavior, exemplifying the ways in which individuals who refuse to conform may be excluded from mainstream society. Towards the end of the novel, however, Winston attains a false sense of belonging within his society through forced conformity, but at the price of his individuality and morality. Orwell’s detached third-person narration, He was falling backwards into enormous depths…through the darkness that enveloped him,” metaphorically symbolises the progressive downfall of Winston as a righteous and moral human being who, in contrast to Proctor, ultimately falls victim to the conventions of his repressive society.

 

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