Whale Rider Essay Notes
How is Whale Rider a good example of a mythological story? * Based on a legend- A story from the past, believed to explain how the Maori people came to be in New Zealand. It is regarded as historical although not verifiable. It’s a modern interpretation of an ancient Maori myth. * Strong basis in the culture of Maori people- Myths support and strengthen culture and reinforce cultural values. * Voice-over- Paikea explaining the legend of her ancestor Paikea throughout the film (story telling technique of myth/legend) and her journey to become the next leader. * Use of symbols- Waka (canoe), whales, Koro’s staff * Magical Object- Whale Tooth * Music- Creates a mystical, ancient atmosphere enhances that Paikea’s journey is destined to be. Made up of mixture of Mori songs, whale sounds, sea sound and instrumental music * Contrast of opposites- Between characters (wise vs. foolish, young vs. old) * Structure of Plot- Orientation, Complication, Climax, Resolution * Development of ‘hero’ character- Who faces challenges placed in front of her and achieves her goal even though it endangers her life. * Paikea’s journey- To become leader of the tribe. Shows her leadership * Incredible events- Birth of destined one, calling whales, whale response, riding the whale * Symbolic/magical objects- Associated with the hero, her quest and the culture she comes from: waka, rope, whales, Koro’s staff, whale tooth * Moral/lesson- If you believe in yourself you can achieve your goals. It should not matter what gender you are, these are not the determining factors in achieving your goals.
Themes * Love * Wisdom * Leadership * Expectations * Man’s relationship with the natural world * Role of women * Dealing with change
Context (explanation of meaning to Maori context)