Composers often use texts to challenge the value systems of their times. How true is this of
the texts you have studied this term?
Composers of texts courageously present a view which is unconventional to their era, prompting
new unaccustomed beliefs which challenged the previously accepted ideals. Harper Lee’s ‘To kill
a mockingbird’ and Cole’s ‘Dancing with the Prime Minister’, challenge the preconceived ideas
surrounding the African American and Indigenous Australian community. The audience not only
gain a deeper understanding of the context of both texts, but essentially are confronted with the
challenging ideas presented to them in regards to values, attitudes and social ...view middle of the document...
The audience’s stance towards the issue is challenged
through Lee strategically using scene contextualisation to prove that through removing this
nameless persona entrenched within the mob, and American’s 1950 era, one’s true identity is
revealed and they become less invested in their emotionally controlled preconceived ideas of the
The analysis of texts enables readers to discuss the barriers which surround one’s acceptance
within society. Cole scrutinises the concept of Indigenous Australians being negatively perceived
upon by the European community within contemporary Australia. “Each week, I'd go up and pay
money and pay it off,” uses repetition of the word ‘pay’ to describe the continuous paying action a
debutant took to purchase the dress. The audience learns of the debutantes willingness to greatly
exceed their normal expenses in order to become involved in a European tradition, hence,
challenging the collegial language that Aboriginals are ‘lazy gins’. The composer includes footage
of the Prime Minister accepting a debutante’s hand to show that reconciliation is possible, with the
video being slowed down and accompanied by soft non-diegetic score in order to further
emphasise the importance of this action. Cole disconnects this artiﬁcial event between Europeans
and Aboriginals with the discrimination occurring during this era to better relate to contemporary
times where racist actions are more minute and subtle. This inﬂuences the responder to take more notice towards their treatment of Indigenous Australians. This can be compared to Lee’s novel where she creates a cynical tone throughout the book because during her time of great social upheaval, racism was accepted as being a normal action, and hence, to better relate to her audience, she created obvious racist actions. Composers challenge the audiences preexisting
judgement of different cultures through presenting different aspects of society.
Lee challenges the audience to become more accepting of different cultures through presenting
the idea of racial prejudice towards the African American community causing them to conform
into the white society. This is revealed through the characterisation of Calpurnia, in which Lee
effectively uses as a symbol reﬂecting the whole African American culture, whereby the maids
personality within the two communities is contrasted in order to portray the extent of which these
harsh bias attitudes have affected their everyday living. Scout recognises...