Apr 22, 2015 - Communication    No Comments

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However, by the end of the novel these values are healed through the effect McMurphy’s individualism has upon her dictatorship and the rest of the patients within the asylum and this is most accurately represented through the character of Chief Bromden who turns from a shadow of his former self, who would rather be assumed as deaf mute, to a giant of a man who holds enough strength to literally break through his captivity. The narrator later describes how McMurphy was “a giant come out of the sky to save” them and it is this influence McMurphy has which portrays that the strength of an individual can force through the power of an oppressive oligarchy however, only if he can rally those around him to support his cause. The size of this uprising is very much dependent upon the size of those oppressed as while McMurphy gains the support of the majority of the ward, in 1984 Winston is nowhere close to summoning the strength of the proles who make up 85% of the population. What Winston fails to do through his fear of Big Brother, McMurphy succeeds as through his charisma and belief that he can change the system he gives those around him, the patients, the ability to take back their masculinity and power back from Nurse Ratched. Kesey creates a martyr in McMurphy who can be relied upon to vouch for those around him, even giving up his life for his fellow men on the ward. Although on the other hand Orwell creates a character so ordinary the support of others is compulsory in order to have any success, thus reinforcing his message. In this way the characters themselves are representations for the unique messages on individualism placed forth to the reader by the authors themselves.

After this exposure she orders the lobotomy on McMurphy although she still fails as he is quelled of his suffering by being suffocated by Chief Bromden, thus allowing him to be preserved as a symbol of the rebellion instead of a representation of a triumph by the hegemony over the common man. This is an important input by Kesey as he is expressing that for one to defeat the oppression he/she has to look beyond the facade created by the oppressors themselves and ultimately leave an ever lasting mark upon it.

familiar narrative voice through its lack of formality. Sentences begin with “anyway” and “actually” and this provides a spontaneity to Kathy’s story but also a sense of restriction as it is almost as if she doesn’t know which aspects of her story take priority. The prose style of the narrator is clipped with impeccable manners, shown at the start when telling of her qualities as a carer she’s “not trying to boast”. It’s as if she is afraid of speaking out, or of saying something unfair which could potentially embarass people.

able to recollect her memories to others she is still as, or even more so, isolated than she was at the beginning of her time at Hailsham, where her story begins. The people in her life who she has loved the most have left her, specifically Tommy and Ruth, and it is the fault of the state itself in which she witnesses those around her depleting to the point in the end of the novel where she is completely alone. It is this isolation and segregation from mainstream society which leads Kathy and the other clones to chase up the theory of possibles. Kathy describes how “one big idea behind finding your model was that when you did, you’d glimpse your future” so as a result will portray a different route of existence to what they have. It is clear that the theory is a symbol of the clones’ yearning for different, better lives in the face of a society where their fates are designed around the lives of others.

Another symbol used by Ishiguro is the title itself, with “Never Let Me Go” being in reference to Kathy’s favorite song, which is a part of the Judy Bridgewater cassette tape which Kathy found in the auctions. The fictional constructs are linked to one of the defining moments of Kathy’s time at Hailsham, this being the singing of the song whilst she was “holding an imaginary baby” to her “breast”. Both song and artist are fictional and are ultimately symbols of Kathy’s aspirations which can never become reality. All clones are infertile and the obligations of being a carer would rule out any other forms of parenthood for Kathy so the scene Madame sees in front of her can never become a reality. This moment is defining as again it is symbolic of her lack or normality in purpose through the presence of a crying Madame watching her. The protagonist recounts how “she just went on standing out there, sobbing”, clearly upset when faced with a scene that would not seem as unusual to a non-clone. This passage in the novel further highlights her alienation as she can never live the fulfilling life society obligates, this being to reproduce. Babies are representations of reproduction and Kathy and her friends have never had the possibility of being able to produce future generations, thus highlighting their lack of normality. This lack of normality is put across through the title, making it a symbol for their predestined futures, futures they ultimately fail to escape from

Kathy recounts how “the woman was too close, much closer than we’d ever really wanted” and this input from the narrator shows how herself and the other clones weren’t ready to follow up on their theory. They weren’t ready to believe that their rebellious dreams and aspirations could actually become a reality and in effect defeat the oppression which sentences them to confinement.

Ishiguro crushes each insurgency without allowing the reader to become attached to a new possible storyline and this what makes his novel so devastating as there is no change from the beginning to the end of the novel. Within the dystopia he creates, there are no heroes or villains, just an oppressive hegemony in which there is unwavering conformity, from clones and humans alike. The art gallery has brought a harsh reality to the potential dream futures of the clones and this is ironically done in a space full of creativity, something almost completely stifled once the clones reach the cottages.

Apr 8, 2015 - Communication    1 Comment

How do Kesey and Orwell use symbolism to show oppression and the effects of confinement?

Within the novels of “1984” and “One flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” both George Orwell and Ken Kesey use symbolism to explore a number of different themes and messages, however oppression and the effects of confinement are two which dominate both texts. Each story expands on the messages its author expresses on the impacts of confinement upon the system alongside the oppression which maintains it and this forces the characters within them to rebel. As a result, each novel investigates the impact of the individual and mass rebellion in the face of an all dominating oligarchy. The analysis of the dictator in whom this oppression stems is also evident within both novels, with two similar yet contrasting leaderships in Nurse Ratched and Big Brother highlighting the different perceptions of control and the way they break down the human nature of their characters.

Both authors focus on the effects of an all controlling system by displaying how it ignites the spark of rebellion in the individual. Orwell was a supporter of democratic socialism and completely against the idea of a totalitarian regime. Within 1984, the writer creates a dystopian society which highlights the horrors of an extreme socialist system similar to a Stalinist model. Winston Smith was symbolic of Orwell himself; a writer in a highly political environment working within the uncertainty of war. What Winston is also symbolic of is the everyday man, with the name “Smith” being one of the most common and traditional names in the English language during the time Orwell wrote the novel itself. The ordinary nature of the protagonist is created by the author so as to enable the reader to feel more empathy towards him; his normality makes his oppression seem all the more worse to the reader as he is relatable. This empathy towards Winston is likely to be more profound for a reader of the novel in today’s society through the advances of technology, compared to the 1940’s where the computer had only just been invented. This was ultimately Orwell’s main warning; that a totalitarian society was very much a real possibility in the future, hence making “1984” the title of his novel, even though it was published in 1949. Having been witness to the lengths totalitarian nations such as Russia and Spain would go to in order to preserve their power, “1984” was a message to western governments on the dangers of the rise in Communism. Orwell also portrays the message that a single individual is simply not enough to defend human nature against an all-powerful autocratic regime, as shown by the failure of his protagonist within the novel.

Orwell’s story is told in third person, but is completely focused upon Winston, with the use of free indirect discourse allowing us to see Winston’s innermost thoughts about the party. What makes the book so disturbing is that, despite his best efforts, the protagonist has no control over his own consciousness. He is attacked not only externally through regulation and propaganda but internally also through nightmares and memories. Through this indirect discourse we see his fatalistic perception of his rebellious actions.                                                                                      The first act of rebellion which we see from the character is the writing of “DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER” in his diary. The simplicity of the entry, along with the use of capital letters highlights the immense tension felt by the character and in turn this shows the reader how big a step this actually is, and also the intense paranoia Winston faces. This creates a comical effect as this increased tension is caused by a simple diary entry, an act of “thoughtcrime”, which is punishable by death, something which would seem ridiculous to the reader. As soon as this entry is made Winston believes that his eventual capture and death is inevitable and that as a result this then justifies further rebellion. His meeting and eventual love for Julia, the meeting with Goldstein and the renting of the room above Mr. Charrington’s shop are all examples of Winston taking risks that he “had always known” would lead to his capture, and it is this belief in being caught which leads him to rebel further. It is this justification which encourages him into reaching out to O’Brian in the hope of the existence of the “Brotherhood”.
The name “Brotherhood” itself is also a symbol used to highlight the effects of confinement and oppression as it is placed in the novel by Orwell to show the lengths the establishment will go to in order to hold on to its control. The fact that the primary source of rebellion against the tyranny of society has its name stemmed from the tyrant itself, “Big Brother”, displays the hopelessness of the society Winston lives in. During Winston’s interrogation O’Brien explains to him how “we control life… at all its levels” so it’s not absurd to assume that the Party would control its own rebellion, even bombing its own people in order to create hatred of the enemy. It is this control of all aspects of Winston’s life which makes him feel like he has no choice but to rise against the system, so as a result not only is Winston a symbol of the effects of oppression and confinement, his actions are also.

This message is also put across in Ken Kesey’s One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest, although within this novel the presence of the individual is emphasised to a greater extent. Kesey was an advocate of the common man and the indelible marks he can make upon society and no greater example of this is his creation of the character Randle McMurphy. This advocation is similar to that of Orwell but Kesey’s support of individual expression was aimed at it being an enemy to the threat of fascism rather than communism, saying in a radio broadcast that the real weapon against its threat was “individualism and… communities”. These weapons are shown to be left destroyed at the beginning of the novel through the lack of individual thought and togetherness amongst the men under the rule of Nurse Ratched, her being the symbol of a fascist ruler.
Kesey cleverly structures his novel around the narrative of the schizophrenic Clumbian-Indian so as to provide clear observations of the ward itself. His pretence of being deaf-mute means people talk freely around him, allowing him to gain a unique perspective of the ward. Bromden describes how “They don’t bother not talking out loud about their hate secrets when I’m nearby because they think I’m deaf and dumb” and it is this tone of secrecy which outlines to the reader the power the narrator actually possesses. The use of “hate” also highlights the clear gap between those oppressed, the men on the ward, and the dictator who causes the oppression through showing the reader the intense loathing and resentment felt by the hegemony towards those under their rule. Bromdens narration expresses why it was necessary for the men to revolt against the oligarchy, because we are told the story from both sides and this shows the true effects of oppression and confinement within the story.
This revolt is achieved through the impact of McMurphy, a character who bromden describes as “a giant come out of the sky” to save the men on the ward. The use of the noun “giant” helps register to the reader the colossal impact the protagonist has, although this metaphor is only attributed to McMurphy simply because he reclaims the human nature that had been stolen by Ratched. Kesey creates a character in Randle McMurphy who, although strong and charismatic is simply “a man and no more”, as Nurse Ratched describes, meaning he is still equal to his fellow men around him. He isn’t extraordinary” but what is significant about the character, as Chief Bromden describes, is that “He’s the sort of guy that gets a laugh out of people”. This is significant in a setting where comedy is completely unnatural and, as Bromden describes, McMurphy knew that “You can’t really be strong until you can see a funny side to things”. Laughter can be seen as a symbol for strength so in this sense the protagonist’s impact is made all the more notable.

In each novel there is a defining leader and cause to the oppression and confinement of the protagonists and the other characters, with each of these leaders being symbols of totalitarianism at its most tyrannical. Nurse Ratched is primarily a symbol of institutional and state dictatorship as in a system which is intended to be caring and therapeutic she is a self-serving tyrant who is only interested in the increase of her own power and in turn personifies the ward in her image. After the suicide of Billy Bibbit she strides across to McMurphy and states “I hope you’re finally satisfied”, thus shocking the reader with her coldness. The hypocrisy in the question of satisfaction in the manipulation of human life in the face of her own tyranny highlights her almost robot-like personality. It also shows her need for control as she attempts to strip away the sadness of the men and create a new anger within them towards their ally. In her dictatorship she strives to regulate the emotions of the men and deaden their sensitivity. In her character the reader can see the influence Orwell would have had on Kesey as she echoes the influence of a Big Brother style figure; a leader intent on controlling every aspect of the lives of those under her rule.
However, as a representation of oppression and confinement she is also a sign that it can be broken. McMurphy’s attack upon the antagonist reveals her breasts to the men on the ward, highlighting her femininity in a system set in the 1960s, an era where women were characterised as the weaker sex. The protagonist has “ripped her uniform”, the symbol of her authority so as a result her power is lost. Bromden describes how she walked past McMurphy “ignoring him just like she chose to ignore the way nature tagged her with those outsized badges of femininity, just like she was above him, and sex and everything else that’s weak and of the flesh”. The idea that her humanity is the source of her “weakness” is significant as again we see the influence Orwell had on Kesey as it is clear that indeed “ignorance is strength”.

Big Brother is different as Orwell has created a faceless and most importantly ageless dictator which epitomises the strength of the oppression itself and also the compulsive need for rebellion because otherwise no change will present itself. The power of Big Brother is represented through the character of O’Brien; a man who is a symbol of the unquestionable patriot within a fascist system. He describes to Winston how a picture of the future is “a boot stamping on a human face – for ever” and this is said with the “air of a schoolmaster questioning a promising pupil”. The use of a school hierarchy to establish O’Brien’s status over Winston is effective as it highlights his overwhelming power. He is a character far more powerful than a reader would ever come across, however, not only because of the physical pain he can inflict, but because he is able to look into Winston’s mind and respond to his very thoughts. In this character Orwell has created a symbol of an unbeatable and unconquerable oppressor and this is indeed shown at the end of the novel through the conformity of the protagonist. The opening three words of the final chapter “The Chestnut Tree” tell the reader immediately of Winston’s brainwashing and his installation in the cafe’, where traitors await there execution. The fact that he is in his “usual” corner indicates that he has been a regular visitor for some time and that his death can’t be far off.

The café is a simple for a state of purgatory in which Winston has now been condemned and what makes this image so profound is how his only sin was to simply reclaim his humanity. This is the ultimate effect of oppression and confinement as even before execution his human nature has already been disintegrated to the point where he is unrecognisable from the man presented to us at the beginning of the novel and this is shown through the narration. While remaining focused on the main character its tone and content are ironic as although the narrator and reader share his thoughts, we do not share his beliefs or opinions. The tracing of “2+2=5” on the table displays how he has lost touch with the reality he once defended.

In conclusion, oppression and the effects of confinement are symbolised in a number of ways in the novels of 1984 and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and these each surround the characters within the novel and the institutions in which they prevail or suffer in. Winston is a symbol of the common man and his sense of justice in the face of a system which discards his humanity, while McMurphy is a symbol of the requirement of an insurgent to inspire the rebellion against the oligarchy which castrates normality. This oligarchy and its potential is presented through the antagonist nurse Ratched and the system she creates, as is that of Big Brother. Each author uses these symbols to ultimately display their own messages and warnings to the reader and to that of western society itself that the threat of totalitarianism was a very real future. However, ultimately both books are examples of power and control being taken to its furthest logical point and thus highlight and isolate the truths behind human nature.

Mar 24, 2015 - Communication    1 Comment

How are symbols used to unlock meaning in Never Let Me Go?

Like many of Ishiguro’s novels, Never Let Me Go focuses on one individual lost and adrift in their own existence. His characters navigate a world in which they are immensely familiar but in which they are so diligently oppressed they can hardly begin to understand what has happened to them. The unwavering conformity of the clones towards the hegemony that persecutes them and their hopelessness in changing their fates is shown through a number of representations created by Ishiguro. The book as a whole asks to what extent can an individual be asked to sacrifice their own lives towards a cause and the narration itself symbolises this. Kathy. H as a narrator highlights the humanity of the clones but also their passivity to the binds placed upon them by the oligarchy at hand. The narrative highlights the aspirations of the clones to lead separate lives whilst also supporting this through exposing other symbols such as the theories of possibles and referrals. Ishiguro leads the reader into believing that there is the possibility of another fate for his characters but then proves this hope to be pointless through other symbols placed in the story such as the art galleries.

The first chapter begins with the protagonist stating how she “knows carers” and that “If you’re one of them, I can understand how you might get resentful”. The use of the pronouns “you’re” and “you” suggest that the protagonist is recounting her memories to another person, or even a group of people. The focus of the pronoun in reference to being a carer also suggests that Kathy is talking to other clones.  Ishiguro prevents Kathy using literary language, with her apparent unawareness of her use of cliche’s such as “I know for a fact” and the idiomatic “a complete waste of space”, creating a familiar narrative voice through its lack of formality. Sentences begin with “anyway” and “actually” and this provides a spontaneity to Kathy’s story but also a sense of restriction as it is almost as if she doesn’t know which aspects of her story take priority. She says very little in such a repressed way, any revelations that emerge take on a vital impact so as a result her fears and insecurities are explored more effectively than if she simply revealed them all freely. The prose style of the narrator is also clipped with impeccable manners, as shown at the start when she is describing her qualities as a carer but she’s “not trying to boast”. It’s as if she is afraid of speaking out, or of saying something unfair which could potentially embarrass others. It’s this clipped formal voice which is the cause of the reader only finding out that Kathy is a clone in chapter 7, when Miss Lucy scolds the dreaming of her students and reminds them of their purpose. Kathy is told “before you’re even middle-aged, you’ll start to donate your vital organs”. The use of “middle-aged” in Miss Lucy’s explanation is very much significant as we are made aware of the distinct lack of time that the clones actually have. The donation system is a symbol used by Ishiguro to represent the mortality of Kathy and the other characters like her. This symbol contributes to the wider exploration of the novel, this being how people deal with impermanence when facing a death which is before they expected.

Ishiguro creates characters who are frustratingly passive to the injustice they face and are reluctant to question the system which they serve, even when it oppresses them in so many different ways. “What I’m not sure about, is if our lives have been so different from the lives of the people we save”. This quote from Kathy displays her awareness of her alienation as she is aware of the system itself and questions why she, and others like her, have been predestined to suffer. Through the theory of possibles, she has hope that there is a way of escaping this alienation. She describes how “one big idea behind finding your model was that when you did, you’d glimpse your future”. The use of “future” in this way outlines the hope that Kathy once had, although through the narration this hope is presented to the reader in small parts. What is clear however is that the theory is a symbol of the clones’ yearning for a different, better existence in the face of a society where their fates are designed around the lives of others. This in turn brings about another symbolic role of the possibles, this being the questioning of the society and system in which the clones live. The programme of organ donation runs without trouble as a result of a lack of rebellion on behalf of the clones and ultimately their conformity to the hegemony. The questioning of the system through hope of finding truth in the theory itself represents the beginning of a rebellion however this is then dashed by another meta symbol prevalent within the novel, this being the art galleries.

There are two art galleries within the novel of Never Let Me Go, both being a symbol of failed rebellion against the system. “The Portway Studios” in Norfolk is the first example of this, where the characters realise that Ruth’s potential model cannot be her clone. Kathy describes how “the more we heard her and looked at her, the less she seemed like Ruth” and in this description we are very aware of Ishiguro’s use of time. The use of “more” suggests that, as time has gone on, the truth has been made more clear and this is a message which is prevalent throughout the novel. In an interview with a leading book publisher, the author explained how he wished to explore the “natural life span of human beings” and he does this through creating characters who’s lives are significantly shortened. He makes them go through all the major crises’ and questions one would face in a normal life, all compacted in the space of thirty or so years. Although, throughout all of this, psychologically they are still youthful and this is outlined through Ishiguro’s use of narrative. We see the major events which take place within the lives of the clones ,and the persecution they receive, being embraced with an almost childlike acceptance. The significance of the lesson told in Miss Lucy’s classroom becomes more evident to the narrator as she gets older. 
During their time at Hailsham creativity was encouraged, with the students creating pieces with the hope of them being put in Madame’s gallery. To find that it no longer exists crushes the hopes of Tommy and Kathy of having a deferral to them becoming donors, a theory which would allow them to escape the system for a limited time period and allow them to be together. Tommy explains how art produced by students could help Madame to “decide for herself what’s a good match and what’s a stupid crush” although his proves to be unfounded as yet again, we see an art gallery destroying the aspirations of the clones. Tommy talks here in a type of worship towards Madame in the sense that he truly believes that her word is law, as it is she who ultimately needs to “decide” upon the legitimacy of their love. It doesn’t matter whether or not he and Kathy believe in their love as it all comes down to Madame, someone presented as an all-knowing figure. This evokes sadness for the character as even in something as human as a relationship, his low rank in society requires him to gain validation for it. In this way Madame and Miss Emily represent a type of parent to the clones, symbolising the comforting lies about the true nature of the world that parents tell their children. Ishiguro described in an interview with the Guardian that “To some extent at least you have to shield children from what you know and drip-feed information to them”

Theories of deferring and possibles are possibilities of different lives, a source of hope in the face of a tyrannical leadership, and Ishiguro lures the reader into having hope for a way out for his characters but then crushes this completely. We in turn feel immense pity for Kathy as piece by piece the world as she knows it is crumbling around her, leading to the questioning of her own existence. Hailsham represents innocence and most importantly an unquestioned Godlike wisdom, a wisdom which is proved to be flawed. To Ishiguro it also symbolises the need of mankind to trust in something and the fear that the thing he places most trust in will turn out to have been lying all along. His message is more contextual in the sense that he makes us, the reader, examine and analyse the complacency which is evident in our own lives by providing an example of complete unwavering conformity. The use of an unreliable narrator in Kathy. H contributes to this also by allowing the reader to gain access to the mind of a character who is completely submissive to her injustice. This submissiveness, not only of Kathy H. but also by the other clones is highlighted by the art galleries, as they bring an end to any further dissent.

In conclusion, there are a wide array of symbols within Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel “Never Let Me Go” which unlock a number of meanings. Ultimately, these meanings revolve around the clones alienation and their failure in escaping this alienation and building new lives outside the society they live in and the oppressive hegemony which governs it. The theory of possibles brings about a low level of rebellion within the clones, although this proves to be too low, showing their complacency to their oppression. The art galleries crush any form of uprising from their predestined positions within society by making them come face to face with reality and thus become symbolic of their hopelessness in escaping their fates. They can’t escape their fates because society makes it inevitably so through their lack of normality in purpose, as highlighted through the title itself.

Source used : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SmuYqKeTTs (11 April 2008)

Feb 11, 2015 - Communication    No Comments

In what ways does the capitalist hegemony determine Kathy. H’s alienation and status in Never Let Me Go?

In Marxist ideology a Capitalist hegemony describes the domination of a culturally diverse society dominated by the ruling class, who manipulate the culture of that society so that their world view is accepted and imposed as the cultural norm. This is the case in Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go where a system of exploitation exists in a world where clones are raised for the sole value of their harvestable organs. This hegemony contributes in a number of ways to the alienation and status of the protagonist Kathy. H as we see two separate societies co-existing. Ironically, it is the environment created to merge these societies together which furthers Kathy’s alienation, this being Hailsham itself, however the character herself contributes also as well as her fellow students due to their unwavering conformity to the system.

“What I’m not sure about, is if our lives have been so different from the lives of the people we save”.

This quote from Kathy highlights her awareness of her separation from mainstream society and slight rebellion in the sense that she is questioning if there was any true reason for her alienation. The organ donation program was created with the premise that the clones owe their lives to society, and that they should be willing to sacrifice them so it is clear the protagonist and the other clones are living their lives for someone else. This immediately places them at the lowest status within society through the lack of control over their own lives and this is most highlighted to the reader through the character of Miss Lucy.

“You’re not like the actors you watch on your videos, you’re not even like me. You were brought into this world for a purpose, and your futures, all of them, have been decided.”

The clones are unable to change their fate, however this does not prevent them from having their own dreams and goals, for example, Ruth’s aspiration to work within an office and, later in the novel, Kathy and Tommy’s wish to postpone the donor process in order to have more time together. These dreams and goals are symbols of their willful ignorance to the system and in turn this contributes to the overall theme of conformity within Ishiguro’s novel. Miss Lucy describes how the clones have been “told and not told” about their fates, indeed, the characters within Never Let Me Go never truly understand the full consequences of the system they live in but they abide by it nevertheless. The organ donation system seems to run relatively smoothly because every clone is willing to accept their fate and purpose as donors and the novel is unusual in the sense because no other alternative to conformity is put across. Apart from Tommy’s brief breakdown in the field in the latter stages of the book there are no true acts of rebellion and disobedience towards the Capitalist hegemony within the novel and there is this sense that conformity is an inevitable aspect of the mindset of every character and this links to the theory of reification by Marxist philosopher Gyorgy Lukacs. In his book “Reification and the consciousness of the proletariat” Lukacs describes this specific form of alienation theough the distortion of the consciouness of the people within the system and this links directly to the novel through the way the clones normalise themselves as commodities. In the book, it is stated “This transformation of a human function into a commodity reveals in all its starkness the dehumanized and dehumanizing function of the commodity relation.”. The clones inability to comprehend the magnitude of their oppression within the system they live in shows the true extent of their reification. The capitalist hegemony ruling the society within Never Let Me Go has created this system of reification and it is this system which plays a key role in determining the alienation of Kathy. H and her status within society.

However, on the other hand the strength of the reification by the hegemony is undermined through the small fragments of resistance which occur, these being the hopes and dreams of the clones themselves. It is these goals which the clones aspire to achieve highlights a break in the normalisation of society and this links with the theory of Raymon Williams’ “structures of feeling”, made in his book “Marxism and Literature”. According to Williams the dominant system will always try to distort the reality in some way or other so to break through the system is “to understand, its own concrete underlying reality lies, methodologically and in principle, beyond its grasp.” This breaking through is done by the clones through there dreams of living different lives, as although they are aware of their fates as organ donors, yet they hold this knowledge in a very vague manner. It is this vagueness, the vagueness Miss Lucy addressed in the early stages of the novel, which allows them to break through the reification and aspire for another existence and one example of this is how the clones bring about the theory of “possibles”.

“One big idea behind finding your model was that when you did, you’d glimpse your future”

This explanation by Kathy is tinged with hope, the hope of living a different, better life. In the eyes of the hegemony this should not occur however the structure of feeling still prevails as the possible represent the lives they wish to lead, their dream futures. However, even in this case there is still an underlying layer of conformity, as shown through Kathyy’s analysis of the theory.

“we probably knew they couldn’t be serious, but then again, I’m sure we didn’t regard them as fantasy either.”

Nov 27, 2014 - Communication    1 Comment

Reading Update

I am currently on part 3 of Kazuo Ishiguro’s “Never Let Me GO” and I am no sure on my choice of Marxism as the theme my coursework will be based upon. I am particularly interested in the theory of how it is the way we are brought up and the surroundings and soicety we live in that shapes our views, opinions, actions and overall being as we get older. This is particularly specific within Ishiguro’s novel as it seems that the key decisions the protagonists make within the novel are based on how much they are told by their teachers with Hailsham and this is particularly established by the characters Madame and Miss Lucy. However, in this sense what is fascinating is that class is not a reliant aspect within the story as it is eliminated by Ishiguro by creating a type of unity as each student is a clone and all have the same purpose in life, these being there donations. Although, this unity is removed as the students move to the cottages and eventually when they become carers as instead of a class system Ishiguro has created a differentiated society through where they grew up and what care homes they went to.
This theme is also significant within George Orwell’s 1984 as ultimately it is Winston Smith’s vague memory of a past before the Party took over which inspires him into taking the actions he does within the nove. He knows of a past reality where things were better and this is effectively contrasted through the character of Julia. Winston is somewhat honourable in the sense that he is fighting against an oppressive force and would do so even with no support whereas Julia is somewhat selfish, interested in rebelling only for the pleasures to be gained.
It is these aspects I will want to explore in my upcoming coursework.

Oct 8, 2014 - Communication    No Comments

Class notes

Currently, I am in the last remaining pages of George Orwell’s 1984 and in all honesty at the beginning it was very much a struggle, specifically in terms of interest. However once Orwell has fully introduced his new world upon the reader it becomes more and more interesting. The themes of Marxism are clear, and feminism also to a certain extent so this is one of the books I plan to use in my upcoming coursework.
After finishing the novel I plan to read Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel Never Let Me Go and also John Steinbeck’s The Pearl.

Aug 31, 2014 - Communication    1 Comment

Reading journal

Currently, I am reading George R.R. Martin’s book “A Game of Thrones”, the first novel of the franchise which was used as the base of interpretation for the first season the hit HBO television franchise. On first glance a fantasy thriller which involves dragons and magic does not seem to even come close to coming under the views that will be studied in this coming year in class, however I disagree. Feminism is a highly debated topic which can reach in most echelons of society and it has become a topic of thought in many different environments and, as a result of our developments as a society, it is very much discussed in television.

I myself am a huge fan of the Game of Thrones franchise, finding it very much worthy of its awards and critical acclaim. I was so engrossed with the world created by the writers that by the time I finished watching the last of episode of season 4 I started reading the first book . So far I am very much enjoying the book and its small, yet significant difference in interpretations of its many characters as it provides depth that I otherwise would not have found by just watching the show on its own.

What I found very much intriguing was the positions of female characters within the novel. Leading characters such as Cersai Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen and Catelyn Stark provide very different representations of powerful women, all coming from different journeys but each suffering more pain and heartbreak than most characters in the novel and the fact that they all come from “noble birth” is highlighted both in the novel and the television show itself, female characters that lacked noble birth even more so.

This positioning as very much interested me and led to me thinking of other hit television programmes and novels and where their female characters are placed, for example, in “Breaking Bad”, characters such as Skyler and Marie who are often very powerful in terms of the storyline, are also portrayed as nuisances to the journey of the protagonist anti-hero Walter White. On the other hand, in “Suits” the women characters such as Rachel and Donna are very much powerful whatever their stature and are seen as a makeshift backbone for the two leading characters of Harvey Spectre and Mike Ross.

I very much plan to explore this further in the upcoming school year.

Sep 4, 2012 - Communication    No Comments

This is Your Online Domain

Flying Television

Hello and welcome to your personal online journal.

Edutronic has been created to enhance and enrich your learning at the London Nautical School. Its purpose is to provide you with an audience for your work (or work-in-progress) and you have the choice (by altering the ‘visibility’ of your posts) of whether your work on here is visible to the world, or only to your teacher.

Anything you post here in the public domain represents you and thus it’s important that you take care with that decision, but don’t be afraid to publish your work – as the feedback you may get from people at home, your peers and people from around the internet is only likely to enhance it.

Remember you can always access your class blog and all manner of resources through the Edutronic.net main website – and by all means check out the sites of your peers to see what they’re getting up to as well.

If you have any questions for me, an excellent way to get an answer is to create a new private post on this journal. I am notified of any new posts and will reply swiftly to any queries.

Make the most of, and enjoy this new freedom in your English learning.



Mr Waugh


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