The Story of Tom Brennan

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“The experience of moving into the world can challenge individuals' beliefs and attitudes” Related text and one other” Core text + Related text

Individuals' beliefs and attitudes are the product of the world they live in, and consequently these beliefs and attitudes are challenged when one moves into a new or different world. Both The Story Of Tom Brennan (2005) by J.C. Burke and The Door (When) by Miroslav Holub explore this notion of change through the experiences encountered when moving into different worlds. The Story Of Tom Brennan explores the journey, growth and self discovery of the protagonist, Tom, following his brother's drunken car crash. Similarly, The Door demonstrates the benefits associated with exploring new worlds, and the growth that occurs as a result of that exploration. Nevertheless, despite their difference in medium and time of production, both texts demonstrate a change in an individuals beliefs and attitudes is product on moving into new and different worlds.

As a contemporary piece, the Story of Tom Brennan follows the psychological growth of its protagonist that is demanded in the aftermath of an alcohol related car accident, as he discovers himself and his place in his new world. This growth is cleverly explored through composers ability to intertwine the past and present in flashbacks. Flashbacks operate throughout the piece to contrast Tom's old world with his new world and his struggles to move into his new setting of Coghill. It is these flashbacks that lead to his introspection and realisation that he was known as “Daniel's brother” rather than “Tom Brennan”. This realisation led him on a journey of self discovery, in which he questioned his previous beliefs and attitudes that placed him in that position in the first place. Comparatively, Holub employs a commanding tone to order the audience to “Go and open the door”. This is immediately followed by an optimistic tone to list the possible outcomes of this adventure;...
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