Creative Writing- Now and Then

Now and Then

My eyes’ glance catches on the glistening drops of water in the moonlight, elegantly perched on the tip of the grass stems. Grass envelopes the ground like a green blanket, covering all else in the vivid vastness of lush life. It was as if the grass sucked all colour from the surrounding leaving all else depleted. Perched behind the rolling hills of grass sitting poised is a house aged by years and years of weathering.  Sitting, waiting for a visitor to enter. Beckoning for me to draw nearer with an unspoken feeling. In the distance the silhouette of the house becomes more and more vivid, as I start without reason marching towards her. With each step nearer the screeches of bird calls stab into my ears filling me with feelings of dread. With each step my pulse amplifies pulsing through every inch of body. Thumping in time with my shallow breath like a metronome. With each step I swivel my head searching for the foreign sound, but only find a rich, sharp scent invade my nose. With each step water infests in between the cracks of my bare feet. My feet slapping the moist grass with a thud, echoing out. Getting caught like a net in her never ending vast front porch. My gait’s echo stuck on repeat overlapping with the last constructing the illusion that it may not be just me and her in this barren land.

A rusty red and yellow hue sheath the expanse of the undulating area of grass staring back at me as I scan the surrounding. I spy glimpses of golden light reflecting off the house illuminated in gold flakes, catching in her creases of the windows and doors. The light was endless rolling and dancing over the top of her tattered panels and empty windows. The house, still standing strong but in this morning I glance towards her with my mouth agape. The image of her is distorted, different from the night. With her silhouette instead sharp in this light, glossing the outline of her with a golden hue radiating out. Casting a glow of a golden light onto her surroundings. I can feel this lustrous luminous light embrace my skin with warmth. Pattering against my skin golden blossoms skim past my ankles in the warm breeze. Flooding with them the pungent sweet smell of the blooming flowers in the flowing air. The smell rushes like water through my body calming me. The beating of my heart is now even, calm. But really what was not calm here? Nothing. With the endless sun dried grass, animals rustling in the trees, the smells in the breeze–serene. Rising like the sun the number of morning songs of birds waking arises. More twirling in my ears as the minutes move on. Footsteps echo out around me, but not in the way that is eerie but in the sense of invitation of enjoyment. Her and I are not so different I finally grasp with all parts of my mind switched on. Our emotions changing like the weather, from grim and dull to full of life and wonder in a heartbeat.



1.8 Significant Connections

“Maybe if you had been different, you would have been what they wanted. But if you had been what they wanted, you would be different than who you were supposed to be.” -Morgan Harper Nichols

Throughout  all of these texts the authors are trying to get us to see and learn that we need to accept who we are and not be a sheep and follow the herd but yet be a shepherd like Tris, Katniss, Jonas and Cassia did within their own societies.Let me ask you to just try to imagine a new color. As much as you can try, it won’t work. you literally can’t, physically. Now try to picture a life only seen in black and white. But soon after you see color, it would be as indescribable to the people who have never seen color before as it would be to us seeing a new colour. That’s what Jonas from “The Giver” had, he lived through much of his life in black and white. His society told him that sameness was the way and color created diversity which led to envy and anger. But did it really? The elders set rules for them, through the use of propaganda they learned of all the things that were according to them ‘horrible for you’. I have chosen to explore the connection of “the use of propaganda thought the text to control the characters and citizens within the text” . This connection is very apparent in the texts “Divergent” by Veronica Roth, “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, “Matched’ by Allie Condie and the film “The Giver” based on the book by Lois Lowry. The characters and citizens within each of these texts have been easily manipulated to the oppressive societies wishes in each of these texts desires through aspects like how independent thoughts and freedom are banished, the concept of figureheads and ideas are worshipped, how the characters mistrust and destroyed the natural world or the use of serums and drugs to control the citizens consciousness, desicion making skills and awareness. Through these smaller aspects within the societies it makes it very apparent of the use of propaganda and we can therefore notice the wider effect of the propaganda clearer on the characters lives and then apply the characters experiences to our own and learn valuable life lessons through the insightful plot line to how we should look about life and treating others around us in our life overall teachings us to be a better person along the way of reading the texts.

In the novel “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, the reader gets presented the idea of how stripped of independent thoughts and freedom Katniss and the other citizens in the novel are through the use of propaganda. The viewer and reader learns that independent thoughts and your freedom of choice is what makes you who you are and that you should not let someone sway your morals and decisions  as a person.  Every year a story is told before each reaping ceremony at which they pick a boy and a girl from each district (12 districts) to enter in the hunger games where the contenders that were selected fight to the death, until one man is left; the lone victor. All the while the Capital and the residents of the Capital watch in amusement and citizens of the district fret for their friends but are full of gratitude that they aren’t in the arena(where they fight). The story they tell is clear “He tells the history of Penam, the country that rose up out of the ashes of a place that was once called North America. He list the disasters, the droughts, the storms, the fires, the encroaching sees that swelled up so much of the land, the brutal war for what little substance remained. The result was Panam, shining capital ring by 13 districts, which brought peace and prosperity to its citizens. Then came the dark days the uprising of the districts against the capital 12 defeated the 13th obliterated. The treaty of treason gave us the new laws to guarantee peace and, as our yearly reminder the dark days must never be repeated, it gave us the hunger games”. This gives us the idea of how easily the capital can do anything they want and overrule everything you do. The Capital of Panem feeds the residents of the Capital and the citizens the idea that the Hunger Games is beneficial to keeping peace of the districts, but in reality innocently murders the citizens of the districts: “whatever words they use, the real message is clear “look how we take your children and sacrifice them and there’s nothing you can do. If you lift a finger we will destroy every last one of you. Just as we did in district 13″”.  They have no freedom whatsoever on whether or not they will be drawn in the reaping for being a contender in the Hunger Games. At the age of 12 your name gets entered in the drawing. If you are needing extra food you can add your name in again in exchange for more food. District 12(where Katniss lives) is the least wealthy of the 12 districts and are just scraping by often trading in their name for more food, they are run down and tired. Because of their unsanitary living conditions and their dehumanized living the Capital finds is even easier to wrap their puppet strings around them and pull them every which way they please because they are forced to enter their names so they do starve to death.

This idea of being manipulated is highlighted strongly again by the feelings of the characters being portrayed not just through facial expressions. In the reaping section of the film the color was drained from the faces of the characters and their surroundings with a grey tint of the shots.Where in contrast to when the capital was first introduced the couples were bright with the saturation increased. The saturation was exaggerated to help exaggerate to the viewer how much the capital has an advantage over the the districts. The grey filter over the shot was to emphasize Katniss’s feelings of coldness, sadness and her feelings of being alone on the inside. This grey filter over the shot was again shown in the opening on the arena. This is to signify to the view to emphasize Katniss’s feeling of cold sad and alone on the inside. . This shot relates to all of the other shots in the film including the grey helping the viewer to recognize when she is again feeling alone, empty of choice and upset and symbolizes her constraint. This effect of the grey filter is also to display the effect of the capitals control on Katniss’s emotions throughout the text, of feeling trapped and manipulated.

At first her character didn’t understand how her freedom of thoughts and actions were restricted as much as Peeta did shown in their conversation “ ‘my best hope is not to disgrace myself and…. Only, I want to die as myself does that make any sense‘ he asks (peta) he continues ‘I don’t want them to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that I’m not’ … ‘do you mean you won’t kill anyone’ Katniss asks ‘ no when the time comes… only I keep wishing I could think of a way to.. to show the capital that they don’t own me that I’m more than just a piece in there games she answers with ‘ but you’re not, none of us are that’s how the games work’ This teaches us how the use of propaganda can affect their life designs and morals sos easily because Peeta has noticed that the games often change the people into they aren’t and manipulate them but Peeta doesn’t want this. His reaction to being forced into the games taught us that we as people can’t change like Peeta doesn’t want either. At first Katniss didn’t fully understand Peeta’s distress on the roof before the games began  about being changed into something you are not. But later in the text Katniss’s thoughts first were directed and ignited from Rue’s death towards the boy from district one who killed Rue but then she realizes it is because of the capital they endure this loss and hardship. This death of of Rue sparked something in Katniss shown in the how she described that now all of the stories, of how the capital is wrong all become clear from both Peeta and Gale when she says ““his raving against the capital no longer pointless, no longer to be ignored” and “Rue’s death has forced me to confront my own fury against the cruelty, the injustice they inflict upon us. But here even more strongly than at home…” the words she exclaims that she understands for the first time from Peeta that he said on the roof before “only I keep wishing I could think of a way to show the capital they don’t own me. That I’m more than just a piece in their games” This anger and emotion Katniss feels towards the capitals propaganda is unleashed when she buried Rue in the flowers and sings to her for her last minutes.

This teaches us as the reader and viewer just because the government is seeking control of everything and everyone, Peeta and Katniss have learnt to not stand for it. Despite them being forced into the arena, they want to keep their character and morals intact. We can see this by their defiant behavior and thoughts thwarts the controlling nature of the the capital. Peeta and Katniss’s are full of fearlessness of not agreeing with the capitals desires and rules have taught us and was a role model for the many teens that have engaged in or read the text it taught us to stay true to who you are and your beliefs and not to conform because you are told to. As a lot of us are forced as teenagers to ‘fit in” and in order to do this you are told to change things about yourself because we ‘aren’t acceptable’. If you sacrifice your individuality, you will risk losing your identity of who you are. And most importantly at the end of the day, isn’t is most important to stay true to your own values and beliefs as a person? Don’t conform to someone else’s ideas if it is not something you believe in like Peeta and Katniss did.

In the text “matched” by Allie Condie, the use of propaganda is very evident through the perspective of the characters changing and developing towards the concept of worshipping the figurehead of the matching system and the government who is the backbone of the matchings system because of the lies deliberately spread of how great the Matching system is. The effect of the propaganda is easily associated and deciphered with how the main character changes to view the matching system. This ideA teaches us about how Cassia at first strongly believes in what she was told, but eventually outgrow that and learned like we did that what you are told from other people isn’t always true. The matching system is exactly what is sounds like. The government has decided through the matching system who you are going spend the rest of your life with due to the statical analysis the government runs of who you will be most statistically compatible with. Some readers at first, like I did would think that it would be great if our lives were like this it would end the endless heart breaks and destined to fail relationships. That’s what Cassia at first believed in so strongly, the figurehead and concept of the Matching system. On the evening of her 17th birthday at the Matching Banquet, Cassia will learn her first match is. Cassia doesn’t mind at first that the  society choose her match for her. After all she thinks that the society only has her interests at heart.Most of the citizens at this point were also very strongly behind the government.“Province of the society, (a movie showing in the book) people are likely cheering as they see their city” This is showing us how that the citizens of the society are under a spell that they are even cheering when seeing their thriving society on film. This teaches us through the citizens reaction to seeing the great capital about how their perception of how great the government is that they are so fond of their rulers but even though we as the reader know otherwise about the government’s actions. This teaches us that what we are told may not always be true in life even if seems great like the government is to the citizens. They are so strongly believing in the propaganda that is being told to them that they are under the illusion they live in a perfect society, though the plain ignorance of the truth. When Cassia first learns her match is Xander her best friend. She gets excited. She starts easily picturing the perfect long and happy life she dreamed of, with Xander. But when Cassia plugs in her micro card which should give her more insight about her match, Xander. When another face appears on the screen, It was Ky. Soon after the government tells her that she is forbidden to be with Ky as he is a lower class aberration.

But slowly despite the warnings Cassia falls for Ky and can’t help her heart. As her feeling for Ky grow she places her self in a love triangle with Xander and Ky. We learned from her love triangle as since we as the reader can easily relate to Cassia situation and other main characters. Because female and male readers have love triangles all the time, and through this can place ourselves in Ky, Xander or Cassia position and relate to that character and learn from them. By relating to each different character depending on you situation at home and what you have experienced you learn different things. Through Cassia perspective because part of her loves both Xander and Ky she has through the book learned to make decisions for herself. We learned from Cassia’s experience the same life lesson she did because we can use her as a role model with making decisions for ourselves in our own lives. Or through Xander  we learned of the importance of compassion, strength and kindness when he decided at the end of the book when Cassia makes her decision to run away to find Ky Xander supplied with her tablets that will keep her strong and healthy through her journey instead of falling towards anger that he was not the one who was chosen which would’ve led to him losing someone he cares about; Cassia. Xander showed us this through his use of kindness that you need in life you need to overlook that who you love thought that you weren’t ‘the one’ and that in order to move on you need strength and respect for them so you don’t ultimately get a worse outcome then not being with them on a relationship level but don’t lose them all together:

“I’m falling in love. I am in love. And it’s not with Xander, although I do love him. I’m sure of that, as sure as I am of the fact that what I feel for Ky is something different. as I tie another red flag on the trees and wish for the fall of our Society and its system, including the matching System, so that I can be with Ky.” The more time she spends with Ky the more of his adventurous stayed Cassia is affected by and that is what sparks her interest towards forbidden things like writing, that Ky teaches her to do, as shown makes her lose he trust in the government.

“Every minute you spend with someone gives them a part of your life and takes part of theirs.”

This quote shows us how much Cassia is affected by others . People can learn from this quote because it makes them think about how important spending time with others who have your best interests at heart is important and how to appreciate their time. This also teaches us to be more aware of how the people around us are affecting us like for example through reading this book it opened my mind up to how you while hanging out with your friends slowly start to begin to pick up on their behaviors and attitude towards things. Which teaches us to really think about  choosing to spend time with nice people so you are one too. we learned this through Cassia mistake of being influenced by a bad role model at first of the government but slowly after hanging around Ky more she became more like him and started to resist the government wishes. Like a seed Cassia’s detest grows and flourishes into a strong feeling against how the capital controls the citizens through propaganda. Cassia feeling are then engrained even more when she is visiting the nutritional disposal centre and she learns of how her society in order according to them maximize the quality of life they poison their citizens at the age of 8o on their birthday. Allie condie the author carefully incorporates and highlights to the reader easily of how Cassia’s growth and developments against the government rules through the use of green. The green signifies her growth over the worshipping of the concept of the matching system. Green is a recurring and significant color thought the book. It’s found in Cassia’s dress when we first meet her, the clothes that her grandfather wears when he dies (killed by poison on 80th), the pill that the citizens take to keep calm and the green spaces in cassias society. on one of the interviews of the author she said,

“I… liked the literal connection to her inner self (her green eyes)  and to the world around her (like the green spaces)… It’s those things—growing, connecting, believing in herself—that give her the strength to resist taking the green tablet.”

In another interview she said that the green in the book represents growth and renewal for cassia, this way we can throughout the book easily pick up on cassia growing and developing her feeling about the government’s lies as well as her real place in society, the growth that furthers her desire to fight back against the government. green very much so represent s liberation and growth for cassia in matched.  This aspect of the text of cassia out growing her belief in the rules of her matching system and the government which can easily be highlighted for example through the use of the green theme can be compared to Katniss from the hunger games also growing to develop her disgrace with society’s use of propaganda and rules. This is shown when she starts to understand Peeta’s and Gales words for the first time of the capital morphing them into something they are not, because both characters develop throughout the text to disagree with their society use of propaganda. How ever, how the characters developments occurs to disobey is not completely the same. It is different through how cassia in the beginning of the text fully thought the way her society went about running the citizens was perfect and was excited for her future. cassia’s disobedience and fury against the government that she learned and developed started with the desire of forbidden love that developed into a further understanding of why the government was so wrong was highly influenced by the people around her. For Katniss it was first recognized and started to the reader and viewer through a traumatizing experience instead that was morally wrong; of rue being murdered. Katniss’s disobedience was ignited from enduring the hunger games and watching the effects of the propaganda first hand; the murder. this sparked so many emotions of sadness, loss and anger that were directed and developed into fury against the capitals wishes of holding the hunger games which is different to how Cassia developed her disobey with her society. Need something more.

In “the Giver” the citizens of Jonas’s society were told past the edge there is nothing, but there wasn’t. “They always said elsewhere was so far away but it wasn’t he says as he looks at a green tree I was right there close enough to touch”. They were told the world past the edge was destroyed. This idea of the natural world beings banished and distrusted presented strongly the use of propaganda in the text “the Giver”. many aspects of our normal lives in Jonas’s world were banished and they had to abide by a list of rules, like for example songs,color, dance and diversity were all banished and destroyed to create sameness. From this we learned about how through jonas releasing all the memories of good and bad that we in our lives must do the same and in order to get great things out of life we need to accept the bad as well, and that ultimately life is a pile of good and bad things and how we can’t be like the jonas’s society and how the price they paid of ridding their lives of bad came with the horrible consequence of getting rid of all good things too which we learned was not worth it. In the giver Jonas lived in a very structured and basic community and that in which was fully controlled by the leaders. There was no choice in everyone’s lives. At the age of 9 they held a ceremony to receive their first bike, at the age of 17 there was another choosing ceremony held which was where the elders (rulers of Jonas’s society) announced the jobs of the citizens that they chose for them, they were then assigned to their partner later, and the couple would then have to apply for a new child (baby) because they were not permitted to have children through normal human relations we have. In their society there was no physical or emotional pain. The people in their society did not have any memories. well technically that’s not entirely true, they had memories but they were filtered and constrained through the lens of their protected and secured lives. Only one person; the receiver of memory held all the true memories of the past. this role was assigned to Jonas from the elders. All the other normal citizens had no recollection whatsoever of feelings, of true pain, starvation, loneliness , suffering, injustice, of war,neglect or really any feeling at all.  This may sound great but no feelings at all meant, all of the citizens had no recollection of love. “We don’t have that anymore I’m talking about what you feel for someone else it’s in the wind you can’t explain it and you can’t make it go away; love”. This horrible characteristic of the plot really jumped out to me when jonas the receiver of memory received his first memory from the giver. he was left with a feeling that he couldn’t properly articulate. Jonas had felt love for the very first time in his life. when he came home that day jonas asked his parents “if they love him?”. They were taken aback by his choice of words and answered it to the best of ability they have with their emotionless comprehension of the word love and respond uniformly and chastise him at first saying “Jonas Precision of language” and then “That they value his presence”. But really Jonas could not be more precise. This shows us how much the elders distrust the natural world that they have even abolished love something so great in all our lives. they believed strongly in that no pain and hardship was worth the lack of great things like love, but throughout the text the characters realized once they had felt love like Fiona did could not live on without it because all this time they were told that love and feeling were bad and believed solely in what they were told was true until she truly felt love, because what we are told is not always true as Fiona learned.  just after Fiona stopped talking the injection and helped Jonas escape she was punished by getting released “I have felt things I know that there something more something missing from our lives no not missing something that has been stolen from me and from you I don’t know what it is exactly but Jonas does I have felt things and they were warm and they were nice and they were beautiful I have felt, I have felt things, I have felt things”

every day the citizens have to take an injection to hinder and control their feelings of anything at all as well as color. Another example of how mistrusted and destroyed the real world was shown when jonas received another memory from the giver of sunshine. At first Jonas was so excited he had never experienced warmth and sun before. Afterwards Jonas was confused because he liked the sunshine and asked why there wasn’t any in their society. The giver then tells him that weather does not exist in the community any more because the leaders decided a long time ago that the seasons where not reliable to grow food. The lack of seasons and weather in their society was the author really coming across to tell us a bigger idea then that, life is made up of seasons. There are dry seasons where money, resources, friends and comfort is not abundant at all. There are seasons where joy love and hope are everywhere to be seen. There are some seasons of suffering where pain is valued in order to learn life lessons and learn from your mistakes, and patience is learned from this. There are even seasons where solitude and loneliness is necessary to find out who you are. But metaphorical seasons at harvest is oh so satisfying at the end even if how you got to the harvest was a long and hard winter. All of this is missing from Jonas’s society because propaganda stripped the citizens of the natural world. The society is filled with sameness and literally no color. “Music joy pain raw and possible beautiful feeling of love your son has felt that girl had felt it we are living a life of shadows, of echoes of faint distant whispers of what once was real” The author includes the sameness and colour to highlight and represent these ideas as a metaphor for the lack of truth and diversity in the giver due to propaganda. This idea i believe was included because it intended to teach us about our own lives about how sometimes we are like the giver’s society and don’t have diversity as we try to fit into society’s expectations of what is good but we need to expand ourselves and relish all life has to offer because fitting in isn’t good as we learned from the giver they were ignorant to what was really out there .Towards the end of the book the idea of that we as humans have to take the good with the bad is highlighted very strongly. Jonas’s journey through experiencing more and more memories highlight this even more strongly at first love and sunshine etc. through Jonas returning the truthful memories of the past Jonas taught us through his strength to return the suffering and pain along with the joy that, it is inevitable that we will that we will experience pain and suffering in our lives at some point in time. But even so, however, in the moments we have the biggest tragedy and losses are the moments that we really truly notice, experience and acknowledge the true power love possesses in our lives. Memories are what makes us human after all, they let us really learn and grow from our mistakes and flourish into a better person. Through jonas releasing the memories we learn that it is fully necessary  for us to suffer in order to mature as a person and appreciate more of the simple moments of life that usually pass us by which are full of joy, happiness and love. In the end that is all what life is really about. Life is as we learn a great big pile of good things and bad things and we need to accept them all. Where conformity and sameness are clear in the giver creativity and diversity are never present. Jonas’s development of his character, thoughts and feelings towards the elders was significantly comparable to that of Cassia’s for many reasons. Firstly at the beginning of the texts both characters had placed large amounts of faith into each of their systems and societies decisions they make about planning their life out but in the end had protested with all their hearts against the overruling propaganda. For example both characters societies have their partner selected and do not die naturally and of course through propaganda think that they are not dying let alone being murdered but in the giver is it called the releasing ceremony or on their 80th birthday in Matched they are poisoned. Jonas was at first an extremely polite, naive unknown child, protected and sheltered from the truth who then developed into someone who truly understood pain and consequences, the real cause of suffering, injustice and most importantly the necessity of choice in you life and the power of love. he became eventually no longer blinded by the false rules and facts, and perceptions the society taught them and was fueled by the motivation to change everything for the better. This aspect Jonas’s development was very crucially similar to Cassia from matched because like Jonas they both had placed so much belief in their society but as shown cassia grows to disagree with the governments wishes, and wants to like jonas does, the necessity of choice for your life:

“Now I want everything. More and more and more. I want to pick my work position. Marry who I choose. Eat a pie for breakfast and run down a real street instead of on a tracker. Go fast when I want and slow when I want. Decide which poems I want to read and what words I want to write. There is so much that I want. I feel it so much that I am water, a river, pooled in a shape of a girl named Cassia. Most of all I want Ky.”

This is showing us how she can’t obey the rules she has desires and needs for her own choices. She is filled heavy with independence and craves it. This can be related to and therefore learned through relation to a lot of teenagers wanting to make their own decisions of how they carry out their life  too but then a higher figure like parents in their case or society for cassia’s case, are going against your wishes. This teaches us that we do need to make our own choices like cassia does and Jonas because how their society is controlling them is ultimately so wrong and they have the rights to make their own decisions, but in our lives we can apply this and relate to it through our own experiences with being told what to do and accepting it but really we need to be like JOnas and Cassia and be who we truly want to be even if it goes against whoever and whatever is telling you not too. For example so many parents these days are pressuring their children into someone they don’t want to become in their future and need to stand up foR what they want to do like Cassia and JOnas did in their society.Another example:

“Why he didn’t want to have the sample stored;why he didn’t want a chance to live forever on someone’s else’s terms. ‘Because it’s about making our own choices’ i tell him ‘that’s the point isn’t it?”.

Cassia’s feeling of the need for her own choices is comparable to the giver because jonas also believed so strongly in having you down choices. HE knew and was driven by the need for everyone to have the truth through returning the memories. So that everyone can make their own choices with the right knowledge, and not just the propaganda clouding their judgement.

Just after he learned that Gabriel the baby his dad was looking after is getting released elsewhere he said “I wasn’t wrong this was wrong they hadn’t eliminated murder They brought it home they just called a different name. Father he didn’t know any better but I did”

His huge desire for freedom of choice as Cassia had also shown the desire for was presented to us when he used huge amounts of mental, emotional and physical strength to walk so far across to the boundary of memories to return all the memories to the citizens of his society. How ever jonas in the giver was tipped over the edge when he learned of a new child (baby) that he was fond of was sent in to be ‘released’

“When they decide to kill Gabe they decided I was ready”

which was similar to the text the hunger games because in both texts their hatred for the society controlling them was sparked and started from them killing some one, or almost killing someone who is very close to the main character of the text who was in Katniss’s case was Rue and Gabe for Jonas. This idea of society murdering someone the main character loves that then drives their fueling for defiance against the society’s rules clearly highlights again how strongly love is prominent in both the giver and the hunger games and how important it is within each of these texts.

In the text ‘Divergent’ the use of propaganda is evident through the government’s decision to control the citizens of Tris’ society’s minds and bodies with serums and drugs . We learned through the government’s use of controlling drugs and serums through the experiences tris had when she rebelled against them and we learned through how she reacted to her problems. She reacted with incredible strength and carried on, through this we learned of the importance of strength and bravery in our everyday lives and how strength and bravery are needed to keep fighting. We learned not just through tris but Al that the fastest way to lose in life is to give up and quit, we also learned that if you really want something you can never give up. In divergent tris prior lives in a world where her society is divided into five factions depending on your personality and character . As each person reaches adulthood a ceremony is held where you have to decide what faction you choose to be in for the rest of your life. If you fail the initiation towards the faction you chose you are factionless and must then fend for yourself and ultimately will probably die of starvation. The faction you choose is hinted towards you depending on how to react to a aptitude test (simulated events through drugs), as if you pick bread to feed the dog you are a nurturing person or if you choose the knife to face the dog you are brave and should go into dauntless. “Faction customs dictate even idle behaviour and supersede individual preference. I doubt al the erudite want to study all the time, or that every Candor enjoys a lively debate, but they can’t defy the norms of their faction any more than I can.” This outlines how factions dictate as it says how the people act and it tells us about how everyone can never defy them as that will result in becoming factionless. But tris in the aptitude test reacts to the dog differently to everyone else and doesn’t ‘fit in’ in to any faction perfectly. She is divergent and can never fit into just one faction. She is warned she must conceal her true identity and pick a faction and make herself fit in, and conceal her status as a divergent. In divergent  the choice of your faction you choose defines you more than anything else in their life does. Tris had two options for her to stay where she grew up Abnegation or to start freehand go to dauntless. Because of her aptitude test being inconclusive she couldn’t be matched to any . But even after she choose dauntless through the whole novel she is struggling to find her true self and identify.. She develops through the help of family friends to come to terms with her true identity like when Tris’ mom says” but our minds move in a dozen different directions. We can’t be confined to one way of thinking. And that terrifies our leaders. It means we can’t be controlled. And it means that no matter what they do, we will always cause trouble for them”. I feel like someone just breezed new air into my lungs. I am not up abnegation . I am not dauntless. I am divergent. And I can’t be controlled.” the fact of tris being divergent and the whole novel highlights to the reader of how important coming to you own terms with your identity to everyone in the world is huge, we learned this through Tris because Tris has to accept that she will never fit anywhere perfectly ; she has to form her own path through life from her own choices. Because of Tris being divergent she has to conceal this because otherwise if the government find out she is divergent and unable to be controlled will execute her because the government wants to control every member in their society trough serums and drugs but a perk of being divergent is you cannot be controlled by the serums they use you are aware that you are in a simulation and can then warp the simulation to your liking. Tris experienced this during her initiation into dauntless she says when describing the people around her: “Her eyes are open ,but blank, and her  facial muscles are slack. She moves without looking at what she’s doing, her mouth half-open, not awake but seeming awake. And everyone else looks just like her…. They are sleepwalkers” This teaches us how the government needed the dauntless to fight for them and in order to do this just injected them with drugs and serums to get complete control of their actions and movements, but the ‘brain dead’ soldiers as tris called them had no idea of what they were doing, “She didn’t have an army, so she found one in dauntless. She knew that she would need to control large groups of people in order to stay secure, so she developed a way to do it with serums and transmitters. Divergent is just another problem for her to solve, and that is what makes her so terrifying because she is smart enough to solve anything, even the problem of our existence “i can control what you see and hear” she says “so I created a serum that will adjust your surroundings to manipulate to my needs or wills those who refuse to accept our leadership must be closely monitored” monitored or robbed of free will. She has a gift of words“.

During tris’s initiation to dauntless she met new friends like Will, Al and Christina. Al (Tris’s friend in her dauntless training program) commits suicide by jumping into the chasm ( a fast moving river underneath and overhanging bridge) after attacking Tris with some other initiates and feeling sorry and ashamed of his decisions he made. He was very behind in the rankings and those who are ranked last get sent to become factionless. Instead of Al using the feedback  he received as fuel to get better and work harder, he gave in to his fears of becoming factionless and decided to quit. He failed at this not because he did;t have the potential to succeed, but because he was in the mindset of being unwilling to keep pushing when things got tough in life. We learned from Al’s decision to give up that the fastest way to lose in life is to simply give up and quit. But instead when we feel like giving up because of the situation we are in and when life knocks you down so far you can;t see the end of the pain, when you’re battered and bruised from things in life and are feeling so weak, we learned that we need to make a commitment to keep going until you succeed because the decision  to quit will end up worse off then whatever you are in. The only way that you can indefinitely fail in life is to give up. We learned from comparing Al’s reaction to when things get tough to Tris’s reaction, the importance of to keep pushing when she was faced with an equally as bad situation as Al was but did not take the same path as Al; of giving in to the adversity he was facing. Because those who ultimately achieve success in life are the ones who give more when things get tough instead of giving up like Tris, when for e.g.  “Being stabbed by him. everything I am made of collapses, my entire world dismantled in the moment. The pavement scraped my knees. If I lie down now, this all can be done. Maybe Eric was right, and choosing death is like exploring an unknown, uncertain place.” This section of the text I think is one of the most hard moments for Tris in the book and I think it is this is the most relatable to the reader because it tells us that when she’s faced with adversity she is debating giving up like many of us have probably felt however it is unlikely that it is this extreme but it is still relatable for us as we have thought about giving up in our own personal experiences as well making us understand her experience even more than we already have.The same theme happened earlier with Al jumping off the edge but we learned from Tris not giving in to suicide and keep pushing, and through this we learned the importance of to keep pushing and keep fighting against you problems because like Tris her life got better in the end of the book like ours will in our futures too and we learned that in the end we will find the light like Tris did and she inspired me and the reader of the book and viewer of the movie to keep going.  Wherever you are right now may seem tough but it will get better if you keep going. Because she did find her brother and father again, but if she like Al gave in to death would’ve been worse off too.  

Like in the texts with Tris and Katniss, they both learned that there always is another choice and that the world isn’t black and white, you always can do something different. both characters where faced with what seemed like an ultimatum meaning either way you chose it may end badly, but through reading the texts I learned of through the characters experiences to step back and find another perspective and you’ll find a better way. Like the saying think twice. The moments I found most comparable for this aspect was when in the Hunger Games Katniss and Peeta where tricked through the games makers of the hunger games telling them that this year there could be not one lone victor but two as long as they are from he same district which Peeta and Katniss where. So they fought together to the end and where the only two left in the arena when another announcement came on saying that the previous rule had been was revoked and was only really set in place in the name of having a more entertaining game to watch with a  showdown of two star crossed lovers. Katniss was at first surprised but her feeling quickly developed into a feeling of how could I be so naive in believing in them yet again. Katniss was faced with two choices that either way ended horribly of giving in to death and letting Peeta win or turn her back on Peeta and kill hm and win but live on with guilt. But Katniss knew that she didn’t to obey and pick either option she thought it through and pulled out poisonous berries for both Peeta and Katniss that the game makers won’t let there be no victor. Katniss making her own choices and realizing that there are more options than that what you are shown with was very comparable to Tri’s experience with finding herself through the aptitude test. During the aptitude test, Tris was faced with the same problem as Katniss, it seemed like she only had two choices both of which could not be the right one and lead her to factionless: of staying in abnegation with her family, or choosing dauntless and starting fresh> But she made a different choice to everyone else and stepped back and finally came to her senses and embraced her true identity and made the choice in the end not to pick a faction and be divergent. through Katniss bringing the berries out and tris embracing her divergence and not picking which faction to fit in we as the reader learned that there is always another choice. If in fact you find yourself thinking you only have one or maybe two choices about what to do when you are in a tough situation this taught us to take a step back and like Katniss and Tris did and realize that there will always be a another way to get what you want and need without compromising your morals. If is not black and white, in fact there is a large grey area in-between. Sometimes to us the grey area can seem scary or unsafe but often that is were the best things in life happen. In divergent the almost everyone has in one section been programmed into the erudite soldiers to kill and destroy and lost all consciousness with no awareness. This may seem highly unlikely to happen to us in our everyday lives but the hard truth to hear is that honestly most of us do just follow our programming too.

“Go to school. Get a good job. Keep your head down. Don’t think too much. Work hard. Everything will turn out okay…”

This quote is showing us the kind of societal and cultural programming that we see everyday that keeps most people in unison, following the herd of society’s expectations. But if you want anything truly wonderful and exciting to happen in your life you need to be willing like Tris to say no to the programing we experience and find you down path in life. No single person is the same like snowflakes we are all unique. Not everyone can be truly happy but foreign themselves to fit into the box of societies expectations and doing what everyone else around you thinks is best. Take a step back look at you options your life choices are not black and white like we learned through Katniss and Tris and learn to venture into the grey area and make your own decisions for yourself. embrace those weird parts of yourself that really drake you self different because they are honestly the most intriguing. Our society doesn’t need more people trying to become like everyone else we need more people that are unique and different like you.

Through reading the texts I have and the other views and readers have learned that the propaganda in the texts isn’t very successful at all, and in summary that’s what all these authors are trying to argue and teach us that, despite the sizable use of propaganda in the dystopian genre. Indefinitely including the texts I explored of the relation of propaganda to the control of the citizens and characters in their society in each these texts societies, in the “Hunger Games” “Matched” “The Giver” and “Divergent”. The reader and viewer learned because all the texts showed that complete dominion over a society is impossible, which is showing us how the authors are trying to teach us about how, evidently we can’t conform to society’s expectations either, we must take the lesson from reading these texts and be like the characters within each of these texts and disobey and fight for our freedom against our society too.

 

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Chris Waugh