Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Comparative Essay Sample Paragraph: Cultural Context

Characters are shaped by their cultural context. To what extent would you agree with this statement, with reference to the texts you have studied?

Macbeth:  Feudalism
The Road: Dystopian
 The society of a time indubitably dictates the personality that its inhabitants are expected to conform to; their behavior, their morality – even their appearance. The three texts I have studied – Children of Men (COM), Macbeth and The Road – each portrays a different facet of this idea, showing the effects of this influence on the characters existing within these diverse cultures. The Road depicts the world as it would be when all remnants of society have fallen apart. The cultural context of the Father and son forces them to lose some traits of humanity is central to their survival within their dystopia. The nightmare that is their reality leaves them no choice but to conform to the “Barren.Silent.Godless.” world, at least to an extent, if they have any hope of surviving. This idea recurs in (COM). - a culture on the brink of extinction, where the desperation pervading the world”since women stopped being able to have babies” is the driving force behind Theo’s and Kee’s mission. For them, it is the last chance to survive, and often it is the recklessness spurred on by this desperation that keeps them alive. Macbeth, while devoid of the anonymity created by the seeming irrelevance of existence in The Road, or the desperation to extend the lifespan of humanity in (COM), provides an extreme towards the other end of the spectrum. Macbeth’s tragic ambition is undoubtedly nurtured by his cultural context. Within it, it is the lack of anonymity that creates the pressure to ”dare do all that may become a man”, and the ambitiousness to climb to the top of the feudalistic ladder, to prove his worth. This helps shape Macbeth into the man that persists until his tragic end. These three texts show the profound effect societal structures, or lack there of, can have on a character both in terms of their actions and their personalities.
Children of Men: Dystopian