Texts are able to highlight the way individuals attitudes perceive the world, this is seen through the following texts, ‘The Simple Gift’ by Steven Herrick, a novel about 3 completely opposite lifestyles transitioning for the better through ‘the simple gifts” in life. And ‘New Boy’, a short film Directed by Stephen Green, a story about a boy transitioning into a new school after freeing from Africa. The ideas of Marginalisation and disconnection, Outcasts and Growth all greatly influence individuals for a better attitude towards the world.
Ideas of marginalisation and disconnection are seen throughout the novel, it creates difference in one another and takes away the concept of ‘The Simple Gift’, altering attitudes towards the world. In the chapter ‘Billy’s cave’ we are introduced to the contrast between Billy and Caitlin’s lifestyle. Billy outlines the “old bottles” and “tin drums” around “things he’d found” in contrast to Caitlin later describing her room with “its own bathroom” and “a large desk with a computer”. However due to Caitlin’s characterisation, she sees it as “a warm.. Billy’s cave”. Herrick utilises Caitlin as a ‘foil’ character, however in Billy’s cave she grows to believe that the little things in life, the people you’re with matter the most. The profound sense of marginalisation and disconnection are diminished throughout as her values differ and she begins to perceive the simple gifts of comfort with numeral possessions. Caitlin is seen “stepping into heaven”, ‘heaven’ being a metaphor for Billy’s world. “Billy smiling…proud of what he created”, Caitlin is consuming Billy’s level of appreciation and learns to appreciate like Billy, Her sense of marginalisation is burned away through her characterisation while she lays “long and gentle” in ‘heaven’.
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New boy highlights the way in which difficulty transitioning into a new lifestyle influences an individual’s attitude towards the world. ‘Outcast’ is a theme used by Green to emphasise the struggle of being picked on and isolated in a new environment. The over the shoulder shot used in the opening scene depicts that the young boy is unsure about being the new boy at a school he has never been to. This is shown through the use of having a blurred camera in the distance of the shot. Green utilises this to reflect that the boy is struggling with the idea of having his first day at a new school after moving to a different area. The shot of the 3 boys in the hallway after lunch represent that the boys have bonded over something very small and that not all problems have to end in a battle and they can be resolved through the use of humour. It highlights that the boy is young and that life moves on and issues which seemed huge at the time fade away. Through the use of mise-en-scene and the boys facial expressions and body language it allows the audience to see that all three characters are now friends and that there problems with one another have been solve by them laughing over a small thing. Through Green’s use of visual techniques we are able to picture the transitions needed for a changed attitude towards the world.
The theme of Growth is used in novel to adapt and transition into an individual capable of influence attitudes towards the world this is evident through the house key given by ‘Old Bill’ to ‘Billy’, the key symbolises the solution to a better life, as well as the key to O.B’s past. “I held the keys. To wellington road”, is also signifying, ‘Billy’ holding the keys to the future. The ring ‘Billy’ bought for ‘Caitlin’ signifies more than just a gift/token of appreciation, the ring is also perceived as ‘Billy’ being the satellite that orbits ‘Caitlin’, “Beautiful green emerald ring… her eyes”, his (Billy) appreciation and attention to detail shows how an individual can transition and grow through appreciation of ‘The simple Gift’. Herrick’s use of kindness is seen to catalyse Caitlin’s transition as she cooks for Bill and Old Bill, “To the richest house in Bendarat”, A small joke emphasising their appreciation and humor to the marginalised lifestyles between the 3. Herrick’s use of the simple gift is used to influence the attitudes of the 3 towards a better world.
Attitudes towards the world are altered and transitioned through the authors use of the stated themes and texts. Through being pushed away and isolated, the individuals attitudes transition to gratefulness and appreciation leading to a positive outcome and positive attitude towards the world.