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General Vision Viewpoint Essays

This is a very good essay from a Leaving Cert student. It's published under our #625Lab section that reviews the strengths and weaknesses of students' essays.

If you are looking for model H1 essays on General Vision and Viewpoint, here you go:

The general vision and viewpoint is shaped by the reader’s feeling of either optimism or pessimism in reading the text. It is the view of life that emerges in the reader’s interpretation interception of the text, and is therefore shaped by each individual reader. During my comparative course, I have studied "The Fault in Our Stars" written by John Green, "Children of Men" directed by Alfonso Cauron, and “1984” written by George Orwell. The general vision and viewpoint of each of these texts correlate and diverge in several interesting ways, with feelings of both optimism and pessimism throughout. 

Winston Smith in “1984” has his life fully controlled by "The Inner Party". Everywhere is monitored by Big Brother with telescreens. “Big Brother is watching you” is placed on posters, scattered around the main city of Oceania. (Retelling the story. How do you say what you need to say and not retell the story? Simply make it clear that you are using these facts to suggest that it is a bleak setting.) Winston feels lonely and isolated, with no individuality. From the beginning, “1984” has a pessimistic setting. Similarly, "The Fault in Our Stars" has a pessimistic setting. Hazel Grace is a cancer sufferer, but still has a humorous side. “There is only one thing in this world worse than biting it from cancer when you’re sixteen, and that’s having a kid who bites it from cancer.” Hazel is mocking her illness and therefore adds a sense of optimism. 

Theo Faron in "Children of Men" is divorced and lives in an environment of riots and government disaster. He hates his job, as seen in the film, when Theo uses the excuse of baby Diego’s death to leave early. This, just like in “1984”, creates a pessimistic setting. Down the line, Theo becomes reunited with ex-wife Julian. Theo’s attitude towards life changes drastically while with her. This is similar in “1984” when Winston meets Julia. Winston Smith has always felt a connection with Julia, so when she writes him a note saying "I love you", his life almost has a meaning. This significant event creates an optimistic point. This corresponds to Hazel Grace when she first meets the charming Augustus Waters in support group. They both connect instantly and Gus invites Hazel to his home. In all three texts, optimism develops when the central characters meet another who makes them have meaning in their dull, gloomy lives. 

Winston and Julia escape to the countryside together to have the freedom as individuals and to forget about "Big Brother". This contrasts with Hazel and Gus when they go to the local park to have a picnic. This corresponds to the first excursion to Jaspers house in "Children of Men".(An example of where the author will lose marks for Efficiency of Language: her writing here vaguely makes sense, but it's messy.)As Winston and Julia sneak away, they fulfil his sexual fantasies. While this to me is optimistic because Winston gets his wishes, it adds to the overall pessimistic side to the story. The fact that Winston must escape from everyday life to get happiness, shows how dark and depressing his reality is of living with constant monitoring. This is like "Children of Men" as Theo visits his dear friend Jasper. Jasper's house makes Theo forget about the riots of government failure and the messed up rate of infertility. Therefore, these two similar scenes show both pessimism and optimism in that both characters need to escape their dark lives. These contrast with "The Fault in Our Stars", as Gus and Hazel Grace go on a picnic, so that Augustus can share his surprise with her. Overall the significant event adds optimism to the storyline and creates excitement and positively. The three texts all have a key scene, where nothing else matters and all their thoughts are focused on this one moment. 

Unfortunately, these events soon conclude as "reality" starts to appear in every text. In "1984" Winston and Julia get caught by the thought police, whom takes them to get tortured. I felt sympathy towards them as their whole rebellion of sneaking around "The Party" is destroyed. Equally Hazel Grace's relapse seems to have changed everything. The trip to Amsterdam looks bleak. These two scenes create a pessimistic outlook and have a strong impact on readers by constructing such shallow, disheartening events. 

Betrayal is a significant event to show the general vision or viewpoint. (It is indeed, but it would have been much better if we had some kind of warning shot that this transition is about to happen. The author lacks clarity in her structure. Every paragraph is a vaguely connected lump of text, but we can only guess what the author's main idea was. The author would lose marks for Coherence of Delivery here.) In "Children of Men", the fishes, a group that Julian trusted, betrayed both Theo and Julian. Not only did they kill Julian, but they later fool Theo and plot to kill him for Kee’s baby. This is like O’Brien’s betrayal in ‘1984’. As Winston and Julia had confronted him about the brotherhood, there was a clear trust and bond between them both. O’Brien quickly crushed this by stating he’s head torturer. Peter Van Houten in "The Fault in Our Stars" is very much like O’Brien. Peter was Hazel’s inspirational idol, who quickly let her down by being an obnoxious, drunken loser. Despite Peter's attitude, this significant event created both an optimistic and pessimistic atmosphere. (Why?) This contrasts with O’Brien and "The Fishes", as Peter didn’t change the moods of Hazel and Gus. 

"Children of Men" ends with a mixture of optimism and pessimism. Theo, despite obstacles like "The Fishes" and constant riots, manages to get Kee to safety, in exchange of taking his own life. From watching this scene, we notice Theo passing away with a smile on his face. This is like the ending of "The Fault in Our Stars", as Hazel-Grace is mourning over the loss of Augustus. John Green manages to make a bright finish by adding in a letter written by Augustus, which makes Hazel feel secure and loved. Both texts differ from "1984", as its ending is the completely pessimistic. As Winston becomes brainwashed by the party, he ends up betraying Julia. Betraying Julia was his biggest fear, but this resolution pessimistically tells us that the party conquers all.

All in all, my three comparative texts vary with the general vision and viewpoint. One event can change the whole outlook on a story which has clearly been stated in my essay.(If it has been clearly stated, it will speak for itself.)Despite completely different lifestyles, all central characters can relate to each other in some way or another. (Mess!) UsWe, as readers, can experience how the characters are feeling with the use of optimism and pessimism. Therefore, significant events can defiantly definitely change the overall outlook of a text.

Leaving Cert essays are marked using "PCLM"

Clarity of purpose:

- The message isn't really clear. The author doesn't list her main points in the intro nor does she explain them at the beginning of each respective paragraph. She always backed up her points with reference to the text. 

- What about purpose? She definitely tried to answer the question, but it feels like a virtually structureless selection points comparing both texts. The author definitely has the knowledge, but she didn't organise her thoughts clearly enough.

Coherence of Delivery

- The ideas aren't presented in a consistent manner. There is no real continuity or transitions. The conclusion feels like she cannot wait to finish writing the damn thing.

Efficiency of Language Use

- It's messy in parts as seen above. There is some logic - and I am sure the author is a bright and knowledgeable individual. However, she didn't organise her work clearly enough and this could sabotage her in the exam.

Accuracy of Mechanics

It has all been tidied up here, but remember that this counts for 10%!

‘The general vision and viewpoint of a text can be determined by the success or failure of a central character in his/ her efforts to achieve fulfilment.’ In the light of the above statement, compare the general vision and viewpoint in the three texts you have studied on your comparativecourse.

The outlook of life in a text, known as general vision and viewpoint, is shaped by central characters’ primary concerns, which are conventionally centered around achieving a state of contentment. The central character’s journey through the text is focused on this task; thus when considering general vision and viewpoint one can consider the various elements of a text which are focused on in the revealing of how the journey plays out, such as the text’s subject matter, aspects of life focused on, characters’ vision of life and the ending of a text. This is seen in the texts I have studied, Macbeth (M), The Old Man and the Sea (OMS) and I’m Not Scared (INS).

The subject matter of a text reveals why and how central characters’ journeys comes about. As is the case with my three texts, journeys often come about due to unfavorable circumstances, which indicates a dark outlook on life as it shows characters in undesirable situations which they either wish to escape or do not have control of.

HMM focuses on Alexander Moore’s changing view of his home which reveals a dark outlook as this causes him to become disillusioned with a place one should feel comfortable in, and a result he is forced to depart and experience the horrors of war. Moore says at the text’s beginning that  ‘Because I am an officer and gentleman they have given me notebooks, pen, ink and paper. So I write and wait’ and thus reveals that he is waiting to be sentenced to death for crimes at war; the story then tragically shows how his faded love for home led him to such an end. Initially Moore is satisfied with his surroundings, evidenced as he views his home and wonders ‘if it would ever be possible to love any person as (he) loved those blocked of granite, the sleeping windows, the uncompromising greyness, the stern perfection of the building in front’. He holds a deep connection to his surroundings, revealed when he speaks of the hills ‘which protected us from the world’, and he tells the reader that ‘Some mornings when I looked out of my window the hills seemed so close that I only had to stretch a hand out beyond the glass to touch them’.

The subject matter of Macbeth is depressing, focusing on the fall of a great servant to the king due to his ambition. This presents a bleak outlook as it can be argued this is not of Macbeth’s doing; such a viewpoint endorses the individual’s lack of control in determining their fate and thus suggests that one can suffer an irreconcilable fall simply due to the actions of others. The play begins by praising Macbeth, revealing to the audience how fine a warrior and servant to the king he is, with Duncan telling Ross to award Macbeth with titles such as ‘Thane of Glamis’ and ‘Thane of Cawdor’ due to his prowess in war. Such is Macbeth’s dedication to the king that Duncan later remarks he loves Macbeth, upon arriving to his home for a feast and to stay the night, commenting of his ‘great love’ for his prized warrior. However, Macbeth suffers a fall from grace which it can be argued he is not blameworthy of; when he is returning to the royal court with Banquo after the war he meets the three witches who awake his ambition by telling him ‘Thou shalt be king’; this cannot be ignored as his ambition is too powerful a force (it a natural human trait), and also as the witches’ name the ‘Wyrd Sisters’ implies that the chain of events they set in place will inevitably come to pass (Macbeth becoming king), as ‘Wyrd’ is the Ango-Saxon word for fate. However, for Macbeth to take Duncan’s place he must commit the cardinal sin of regicide, ‘This even-handed justice/ Commends th’ingredience of our poisoned chalice/ To our own lips’. When this is complete he does all he can to safeguard his newly  attained position so as to satisfy his ‘vaulting ambition’, such as killing his best friend and attempting to kill his son Fleance, as the witches also foretold that Banquo’s family would inherit the throne. His fall from grace is truly tragic as it is not of his own doing but results in his decline from rewarded warrior to treasonous murderer; his death can be seen as paralleled with that of the tyrant Macdonwald he killed at the beginning, emphasizing his position as enemy of the state as the play comes to a close.

OMS matches M. The text presents a bleak outlook as it focuses in part on the isolation Santiago wrongly endures due to an unjustified misconception that he is unlucky. We are told at the text’s beginning that the protagonist of the text is ‘an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.’ However it is revealed that he was not alone for all of this time; rather Manolin, a young boy, had accompanied him for almost half of this time, ‘In the first forty days a boy had been with him.’ Manolin’s parents are then revealed to have caused the divide between the old man and their son; they decided that for the boy to be successful in his potential career as a fish he had to move to another group, as the old man was cursed, ‘now definitely and finally salao, which is the worst form of unlucky, and the boy had gone at their orders in another boat which caught three good fish in the first week.’ Such is Santiago’s pitiful and isolated state that the boy grew sad at seeing the old man returning empty-handed each day; he thus helped him bring in his fishing equipment, ‘he always went down to help him carry either the coiled lines or the gaff and harpoon and the sail that was furled around the mast.’

INS echoes the other texts. The text’s subject matter presents a depressing outlook, as it tells the story of the mistreatment of children, both by children and adults. While most focus will centre on the adults’ kidnapping of Filippo and Michele’s father shooting of his son, the mistreatment of children is most explicitly seen in the episode at the text’s beginning as certain children mistreat each other. While it is to be expected that adult characters will be cruel to each other, because of economic and political prejudices (as is seen in the text) the child characters in the text are cruel to each other, which is depressing as they are at an age where such individuals are usually socially enthusiastic; this reveals how even at a young age when individuals should be forming social bonds and learning about relationships they are already concerned with hurting others. This is seen near the text’s beginning with Skull’s treatment of Michele’s sister; when the group of children race through the wheat fields to the abandoned farmhouse Michele and his sister are last, and Michelle admits he must endure the forfeit, ‘I’ll pay up. I came last’. While it is his duty to Skull ignores this, and instructs Michele’s sister to reveal herself to the boys, displaying a desire to isolate her because of her gender. Similarly, when Michele’s sister looks to the other boys in the group for help to stop this none will help, which may be gender motivated but regardless shows an acceptance of Skull’s actions.


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