Conflicting Perspectives - Snow Falling on Cedars, Invictus

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Conflicting perspective always exist due to the inevitable subjectivity of composers, and the inevitable differing opinions of those around us. Conflicting perspectives are represented by the composer in a way that conveys their personal opinion with the aim to influence their responder’s perspective of the issues and themes presented, not in an unbiased and even-handed manner. This is evident within both Snow Falling on Cedars written by David Guterson and the 2008 film Invictus directed by Clint Eastwood within which the negative and ongoing impact of racial tension and prejudice is shown, and the differing perspectives and understanding of human values is explored by both composers. In Snow, the composer’s subjective opinion of the impact of racial tension and prejudice is clearly illustrated through the use of the personality of Nels Gudmunsson. This character is a blind man who has lost the use of one of his eyes, shown when he colloquially states “one of my eyes is useless”. It is shown that Nels is the only character present in the courtroom that is able to see the truth past the prejudice that has been exasperated within the island microcosm. The continued description of his eyes as a metaphor for his focus on the truth - with language such as “preternaturally observant” being used - is to demonstrate his perspective that has not been blinded by prejudice. Through the use of emotive and inspiring language, Guterson conveys to his audience the positive perspective he has of Nels and aims to influence their perspective through this. The opposing personality within the courtroom, Alvin Hookes is portrayed by the composer as a cold, unkind man who has been influenced by past prejudices and has opposing perspectives to Nels. He quotes “We’re talking about justice, finally... Look into his eyes, consider his face” in his closing statement. The word justice is in italics to show his emphasis on the word, however, this is ironic as he is asking them to deliver...
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