What Have the Attitudes and Actions of People in Billy Elliot Revealed to You About Venturing Into Society?

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HSC 2008 Question 12 – Elective 2: Into the world (20 marks)

Question: What have the attitudes and actions of people in your texts revealed to you about venturing into society? In your response refer your prescribed texts and TWO texts of your own choosing. The attitudes and actions of the various characters within my chosen text shed light on the experiences individuals may encounter upon venturing into society. These characters reveal experiences of overcoming the sexual prejudices and stereotypes which are present in the world as well as dealing with the death of a love one. Both these experiences can be observed through the lives of the characters in the film, Billy Elliot, directed by Stephen Daldry. These can also be seen mirrored in the novel, The clan of the cave bear, written by Jean M. Auel as well as the short story Triple word score by Peter Goldsworthy. Collectively, these composers utilise many filmic and linguistic techniques in communicating these characters’ attitudes and actions to the responder. Gender stereotyping is explored through the protagonist, Billy Elliot, as he overcomes the sexual prejudices of Durham and fulfils his dream of moving into the world as a professional dancer. These gender stereotypes are initially suggested towards the beginning of the film in the actions of Billy’s boxing coach. He informs the boys that half the boxing hall is being used for ballet lessons and warns them to stay away from the girls, “No hanky panky is that understood?” This rhetorical question acts as an overlay to jump shorts between the girls in their tutus and the boys in their boxing gloves. The composer’s use of these techniques together is suggestive of the notion that only girls do ballet and only boys do boxing and as a result alludes to gender stereotyping. Further into the film we are again presented with another representation of gender stereotyping in the attitudes expressed in a conversation between Debbie and Billy. In this instance...
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