Atonement Essay

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How has your understanding of the concept of ‘telling the truth’ been enhanced by your story of the film Atonement and at least two poems that you have studied in class? The concept of ‘Telling the Truth’ is a complex idea. The truth can be dependent upon an individual’s perspective and may be distorted by experience and misunderstanding. The truth may also be covered up because it is difficult for people to cope with. These ideas are explored in Joe Wright’s film Atonement and the poems ‘Mirror’ and ‘Gulf War’ written by Bruce Dawe. Truth is a reliable, honest and faithful opinion not bending and manipulating white lies which change the viewpoint completely. The truth can different to every individual’s perspective. In the film Atonement directed by Wright the idea of truth altered by perspective of what has actually happened, the audience can also see the alteration in viewpoints. Wright shows the same event at the fountain from opposing perspectives and the audience is made aware that Briony has only seen and heard parts of the entire incident. Wright uses the motif of the window to specify a barrier to understanding and be changed because of an individual’s perspective. Similarly in the poem ‘Mirror’ by Sylvia Plath explores the idea of individual perspectives or understanding of the truth being unsettling and causing them to be distressed when faced with the reality of the truth. Plath, as a woman, was confined by the restrictions of the 1960s society which valued the idea of women staying at home and raising the children. ‘Mirror’ reflects the persona’s loss of identity and sense of self as she looks into the lake and sees only the ‘terrible fish’. By using this symbolic imagery Plath is signifying that the persona in the poem no longer sees her hopes and dreams, only what she has lost of been obligatory to give up. This shows how and individuals’ perspective of the truth can alter and change the way the opinion is heard and understood....
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