VCE Tip 4 – Whose reality prompt
August 18th, 2016 | Published in e-news, English teacher resource
‘Our subjectivity imprisons us in distorted, partial views of reality’.
Each of us suffers from the partiality of our own vision of the world. We understand and interpret our experiences in individual ways because each of us is a unique individual. Hence, the world can only be seen with compromised objectivity and clarity. One person’s interpretation of an event, another person, or even of themselves, will vary according to the different ways in which they frame experience. But not all partial views of reality are distorted. Some people are more able to develop sensitivity to the range of different views of reality and to appreciate the validity and worth of alternative perspectives. The capacity for empathy and openness to new ways of understanding the world is a characteristic of a person’s moral imagination. On the other hand, those who lack the capacity for empathy are more likely to be imprisoned by their subjective view of reality, at best, or may even be destroyed by it. We can never attain an objective perspective of ourselves and our world, as this suggests a capacity to lift ourselves above our world, adopting an eagle’s-eye view’ of society. However, we can adopt a thoughtful standpoint from which we can grapple with the complexities of our world.
Go on to think about how this idea relates to your chosen texts and the additional material that you will draw on for this essay.
For example: Do any characters from your texts demonstrate their ability to come to a fuller understanding or themselves in conjunction with the world they live in?
Conversely, in A Streetcar Named Desire Blanche constructs a fantasy world based on her memories of the past. This serves to protect her from the harsh realities of her changed circumstances, but this also ultimately destroys her in the same way that it destroys Willie from Death of a Salesman.
This introduction to the essay
Sets out the writer’s interpretation of the prompt and indicates those aspects of the prompt that the essay will explore. It is essential to show that you are not simply going to present lots of examples to support the prompt, but that you have thought about the context in enough depth to be able to establish your interpretation of the prompt and context. You should also explicitly link at least one of your own readings to the prompt, indicating how you will use the ideas in the text(s) to support your argument.