Year 12 English Standard Assessment Task Part A: Reading & Writing – Analysis Written by Izak Lucas-Parr
Text 1: Edward Scissorhands (Film)
Directed by Tim Burton
Edward Scissorhands (1990) tells us a story about an artificial man, Edward ‘Scissorhands’, who was made by a lonely inventor in his mansion atop a hill near a small town. Long after his inventor’s death, Edward is brought into society by Meg, a local resident and encounters many new and interesting things as he attempts to belong in civilization. The text explores concepts of belonging to groups or communities and a sense of belonging in relationships shown by Edward’s endless struggle to find clarity and purpose. A sense of isolation can come from one’s difference to others, whether it be physical, mental or spiritual. Edward’s hands made out of sharp scissors are iconic of his separation from the rest of society. They create a physical barrier between him and others which greatly limits the amount of physical contact Edward can have with others and the rest of the world and in turn creates a sense of isolation. This is carefully and noticeably communicated by Burton through the use of colour and contrast. Specifically, Edwards initial costume is completely black leather, decorated with metal studs and rings. His hair is jet black and very messy and his face is pale white. This along with Edward’s mansion, a dark place riddled with cobwebs and falling apart, so far away from society, juxtaposes fantastically with the bright and vibrant colours of the town, the houses and the clothes and outfits of the townspeople. He in fact only finds a sense of belonging when he is shown kindness and outreach by Meg. She gives him clothes to wear, which although do not seem to break his theme of darkness and dullness, do still symbolise his inclusion and belonging in their society. She also offers him purpose, letting him use his scissors to trim her garden hedges and in doing this, she turns what Edward, among...
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