Changing Perspectives

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveller, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; “Changing one’s perspective can be confronting and enriching. ” The Encarta Concise English Dictionary defines perspective as “A particular evaluation of a situation or facts, especially from one person’s point of view. ” This perspective is shaped by events in a person’s life. These may be decisions they make, or knowledge and change thrust upon them. No matter which circumstances that cause his change in perspective, the effect will be a growth of character in the person. A change in perspective is therefore a change in a person’s evaluation of a situation.
The effect of this change can be confronting or enriching to a person. Change in perspective can impact on a person in one of three ways, attitudinally, intellectually and emotionally. By analysing the film, Looking For Alibrandi and my other related text, The Road Not Taken I will show how changing one’s perspective can be both confronting and enriching. The film, Looking for Alibrandi by Katie Woods is a ildungsroman, which explores changing perspectives in the life of the protagonist Josephine Alibrandi. The events which occur in the film, give an insight into Josie’s life and create a change of perspective on her plight in the film. The Director uses a variety of film techniques to present this change of perspective and growth of character. Josie is presented as a character who is conflicted in her situation. She is a fatherless child in a highly patriarchal society and rejects and freely clashes with her Italian culture and heritage. In the first scene of the film a sepia wash is used, but
Josie is presented in bright colour. This shows her character in conflict with the world surrounding her. She furthers this notion in a voiceover where she says “this may be where I am from, but do I really belong here? ” This emphasises the difference between Josie’s concept of herself and her place in the world. The voice over positions the audience to sympathise with Josie’s situation. Josie has a confronting change of perspective when she discovers that her father Michael Andretti, has come back from Adelaide and she is faced with meeting him for the first time. In this scene the slow racking of the camera in to frame the faces of Josie and her mother, emphasises the gravity of Michael’s reappearance and how possibly explosive this could be. Josie has another confronting change of perspective when John Barton, the boy that she likes, commits suicide. Josie questions how she can possibly continue when John, who seemingly had everything, felt he had to end his own life.

When Josie tears up the note he gave her and throws it out the window, this gesture is coupled with the use of the mournful non-diagetic music “with or without you”, to symbolise her loss of nnocence, perspective and understanding. “Why can’t anyone see, if John Barton couldn’t be alright, no-ones going to be alright? ” This heartfelt questioning by Josie further demonstrates the depth of her confusion and struggle with her perception of her situation in life. Josie is enriched by her final change of perspective when she accepts who she is despite her faults and embraces her Italian heritage. This is symbolised by how she invites her boyfriend and friends to celebrate “tomato day” with herself and her family. And also by her choice to enjoy the song Tintarella de
Luna, instead of changing as she had prior to her change in perspective. In the credits this song changes to a punk version which highlights the generational and cultural change. The words stay the same, but the tune changes, this is a conflation of culture. The final line of dialogue in the movie, a voiceover delivered by Josie, demonstrates just how comfortable she now is, with her life when she declares; “I am Christina and Michael’s daughter and Katia’s granddaughter. We’re not cursed, we’re blessed. ” The poem The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost is an extended metaphor for the choices we make in life.
The poem consists of four stanzas and follows a rhyming pattern, except for the last stanza, which puts an emphasis on the first line. In the first stanza the composer describes how he is faced with two choices or roads, and that he would like to travel both, but he knows he cannot do this. So he tries to see down each road to decide on his path. The second stanza shows the struggle of choosing between two similar paths. The man in the poem chooses one path. In the third stanza he stipulates that neither path has been followed recently, and that one day he would ike to come back and travel the other road, however due to the way in life that one thing leads to another, he doubted he would. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the difference.
In this final stanza, because of the line “ages and ages hence” we must realise that we cannot assign meaning to the words sigh and difference, because the speaker himself cannot know how his choice will affect his future until he has lived it. The ambiguity of the sigh furthers the point that e is unsure where his choice will take him. It is this ambiguity which makes the poem far more complex. This poem does not moralize about choice; it simply says that choice is inevitable and that you never understand how your choice will affect you, until you have lived it. Changes in perspective are shaped by events in a person’s life. These may be decisions they make, or knowledge and change is thrust upon them. One thing is certain, whether the change is confronting or enriching, we will always have some regrets and wish for the best of both outcomes. But it is these perspectives that shape who we are.

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