In what ways are people and their experience brought to life through distinctive voices?
The life and crimes of Harry Lavender, Marele day guides the reader into the world of the novel through narrative perspective, tone, detailed description and personifying the setting. Bruce Dawes anti-war poem, “Weapons training uses a low first person perspective, strong tone, but also uses rhetorical questions and onomatopoeia to convey the brutality of the war, while Day uses descriptive language to convey the characters as well as the action. In both texts we uphold a strong sense of the person behind the distinctive narrative voice.
This resource should be used to establish your understanding of the Syllabus requirements through explanation, examples and activities. The ideas provided cannot substitute your own close study of your set text, which you need to know well. This resource should be used in conjunction with that set text as a springboard into the elective, initially, and then into your set text. Always follow your teacher’s guidance and professional approach to achieve the best result in your HSC examination.
Be very familiar with how the syllabus documents describe the Module and Elective:
… students examine particular language structures and features used in the prescribed text and in a range of situations that they encounter in their daily lives. They explore, examine and analyse how the conventions of textual forms, language modes and media shape meaning. Composition focuses on experimentation with variations of purpose, audience and form to achieve different effects. These compositions may be realised in a variety of forms and media.” Stage 6 Syllabus – ENGLISH Board of Studies 1999 page 33
“This module requires students to explore the uses of a particular aspect of language. It develops students’ awareness of language and helps them understand how our perceptions of and relationships with others and the world are shaped in written, spoken and visual language… English Stage 6 Prescriptions 2009 -2012 page 12
“In responding and composing students consider various types and functions of voices in texts. They explore the ways language is used to create voices in texts, how the use of this language affects interpretation and shapes meaning. Students examine one prescribed text, in addition to other texts providing examples of distinctive voices.” English Stage 6 Prescriptions 2009-2012 page 12
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Defining Distinctive Voices
All texts, regardless of form or composer, inherently present different voices in their composition. The voices within a text may or may not be a continuation or extension of the authorial voice.
The distinctive voices, inherent in any text/s, can be deconstructed to develop an understanding which may validate, challenge or disprove society’s values and/or beliefs within a given context. Language, in all its forms, is a human thing, and bears the traces or imprints of human use, not inherently but in its use. It allows opportunities for the composers to use their work to criticise societies; promote a specific political agenda, record or recreate social and cultural perspectives, persuade acceptance or denial of a particular point of view, and develop lifelike recreations of characters. A text may promote obvious distinction between the authorial voice and character's viewpoint.
However, regardless of the movement between the distinctive voices that assist in defining any text, you cannot surgically remove the voice/s from the creative process without destroying the mechanism of the creative process itself. These mechanisms can be considered in relation to the forms and features of texts, influenceing interpretation and how meaning is shaped in and through texts.
The context of the text is paramount. To successfully understand the context of a text it is necessary to have some understanding of composer’s background. This includes...
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