Connections essay

In today’s society of colloquial speech and slang, we place little value on the power of language. We see it as a means to communicate our thoughts and feelings, unaware that the way we use certain words and inflections on our voice can manipulate the opinion of the person we are speaking to. The aspect of language that we sometimes fail to consider, is how powerfully restriction on speech can restrict the way we think. If you do no have the words with which to express your opinions, you never share them, and your personal view gets lost, never leaving your mind. In the texts ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ by George Orwell, ‘Minority Report’ directed by Steven Spielberg, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ written by Margaret Atwood and ______ , visual and written language are used by those in power to repress rebellion. EXPAND ON CONCLUSIONS.

In the novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ written by George Orwell,  their is evidence of the government using language to repress rebellion from the very beginning, with the immediate introduction of newspeak.  Newspeak; the official language of Oceania, created by the Party (INGSOC) to meet the ideological requirements of an English Socialist society.

In the novel ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ written by Margaret Atwood,  a slightly different method is use to control the lesser people in society, but it is still in the form of manipulation of language.


  • Establishes the overarching idea/aspect – neologisms
  • Identify the texts you will refer to
  • Expand on what conclusions this has lead you to


  • 1 sections on each text
  • introduce text you’ve chosen, do not summarise the plot
  • Name, author, connecting feature
  • Expand on how your ideas about the connecting feature were developed by the text
  • Give quoted examples to support what you’re saying
  • Make a link to the next section
  • All the way through – Identify dystopian genre

Minority Report

  • Escapist virtual reality
  • Lying to the population
  • Pre cogs as statues
  • world has been whitewashed, sanitized
  • Children in white being shown the pre cog statues. Lied to

The Handmaid’s Tale
– Certain roles are not restricted by speech e.g. Commanders, wives
– Freedom of speech give them power over
– Restricted speech for lesser people, agreed upon greeting, respectful language
– This encourages mass hysteria, fear of punishment means no individual thought is expressed.
– Theocratic dictatorship
– Removing small elements of language can make arguments difficult.

Power corrupts. When humans acquire power over one another, there is an inevitability about what happens next. The powerful use this to their own advantage. Any morals they may have held are abandoned in their corrupt pursuit of control.

A common element in many dystopia’s is the invasion of privacy. The state over steps the boundary and invades people’s private lives to the extent that in many cases the very thoughts of an individual fall under state control.

School education is a waste of the best years of our lives

‘High school is the best years of your life’

People often refer to a school education as the best years of our lives. The years where we are young, free and reckless. These are the years we should be living, thriving, taking every single opportunity that life presents to us. So why is it that while we are at the peak of physical health, it is mandatory for us to attend 6 hours worth of scheduled classes, five days a week? All adults who have been through school, have had to experience the better part of their lives stuck in a classroom, agree that there time could have been better spent elsewhere. Doing productive things with their day that don’t include spending 6 hours inside a classroom, mingling with acquaintances that they will never see after those 13 years are over, surrounded by insecurity and failure. Couldn’t children’s time be better spent playing outdoors, learning about real life? We waste so much of their time trying force core subjects and cram information into their brains that will immediately be forgotten once the exam or test is over, never truly pushing our students to the limits of our potential. For example, only 41% of American school day is spend 50% less time of their day studying the core subjects (Maths, Science, History, English) than French or Japanese students. Another study shows that the increased amount of time we are forcing children to spend in this type of learning environment, is likely to lower achievement. Students fall behind because they are bored of spending so much time indoors, learning unnecessary facts. Even if students were to pay attention during classes, how likely is it that they would actually be taught the skills they need to survive in the real world? The school curriculum is not comprised of any skills that will help kids be functioning adults. There is no importance placed on cooking, cleaning, paying bills or learning about taxes. The distribution of spending and how it will effect our adult lives. School days are just 6 hours of learning facts that will not come in handy, nine times out of ten.

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Creative Writing 3.4 Writing Portfolio

It was a lazy Friday afternoon in the downtown streets of New York City. The air hung heavy, clinging to the sweat soaked bodies of the less fortunate. Emory wandered aimlessly down the ravaged streets of her home, a slight breeze  washing over her. Her street was an abandoned mess of shattered pavement and plant life filling every crack and crevice. Faded, dusty light filtering in and out of the shadows. Discarded chunks of metal and plastic from now useless machines, scattered around the overgrown fields. She glanced around the hollow buildings, the terracotta pink of the walls wearing down to grey, assaulted by weather and time. She could hear the sweet sound of her mother’s voice, softly singing her way through the day’s chores.

Emory jolted back into consciousness. In the back of her mind, she could hear the steady sound of water leaking into her cell, coupled with the feel of her tears, warm against her cheeks. Each droplet felt like the earth moving beneath her body, oversensitive nerves alert to every movement in the dark, dank unit. Despite the damp concrete scraping her already scarred bare skin, and the eerie silence interrupted with the dry retching and heaving of her companions, this cell was the only place she felt a sense of safety anymore. Finally alone, after hours of vigorous tests and looks of disapproval, she was able to escape.

Emory was lucky, she got a cell with a window. Grasping the rusted bars of her cell, she dragged herself off the floor, ignoring the familiar sensation of blood trickling from the scraps on her knees. She clambered slowly onto her feet, stomach heaving with the effort to hold herself upright. Gasping at the intense pain that she had come to associate with standing, the feeling of her protruding ribs digging sharply into her side. Starved and dehydrated, just like the rest of the poor souls she saw leave the testing rooms each day, she craved the pain caused by gripping the jagged metal bars of her cell just a little too tightly, hard enough to draw blood, her only connection left to the life she had once lived. A lifeline to the world, a reminder of the cruelty that was swallowing all of them whole. She knew what happened to them in there, it was the same thing that happened to them all. Cold, mechanical doctors dressed in white, using there power to tighten the noose around the necks of people’s freedom. The pain reminded her of her reality, gave her a brief release from the numbness she was drowning in. Aside from the sting of betrayal she felt every time she saw the emotionless faces of the people she had once known, some she had even loved, gazing out of the well lit square embedded in the concrete wall of her cell was all that was left to provide her with comfort. The gap between the end of her bars and the wall was the most difficult part of her journey, her only compensation being the purpose that small carved space gave her. A reason to wake up in the morning, a way to surface from the injustice that was eating her alive. This particular morning, the window gave way to a chilling scene of ice and mist. Cloud hung close to the ground, lingering between the trunks of the trees, planted to thinly veil the tall, barbed fence that seemed to close closer in on all of their throats with every passing day. Emory let her mind drift and flow from one detached thought to another. It was easier for her to focus on the picture in front of her, the subtle changes in the landscape, rather than focus on the happiness she had left behind, forsaken the day she had taken the test.

“Today’s the day,” Emory forced herself to roll over, blinking at the glaring morning light her mother had left into her dark room, “We don’t have much time, Em. Get up.”
The aptitude test. A compulsory analysis of the inner works of every young adult on their eighteenth birthday. She groaned, burying her body further into the warm, soft comfort of her bed. Her mother huffed, gripping the blanket around her and stripping it from her body, “If you don’t get up soon, they’ll accuse you of treason.” The ultimate punishment for refusing to attend you aptitude test; arrested for treason and sentenced to death. “Okay, okay. I’m getting up,” Her mother cast one more disapproving look before softly closing the door. Twisting herself from the sheets, Emory noticed a large yellow poster, tapped to the wall across from her window, flapping slowly in the wind. The words were bold, shouting from the paper “Get Your Aptitude Tested Today.” Beneath a picture. A mother, smiling as her children look up at her. The very depiction of the happiness the government run testing can provide. Knowing your place in the world, knowing where you belong. Emory swallowed, nerves boiling in her lower stomach. The posters never show the truth. They never reveal what happens when the test doesn’t work, when your mind refuses to conform. Emory shuddered, casting her eyes over the empty copper frame in the corner of her bedroom, that had once held the smiling face her older brother. Now it sat in the center, noticeably blank, surrounded by the photos of family and friends. A tribute to him, erased from her life without warning, on the day her turned eighteen. “Emory! We’re going to be late.” 

It still baffled her, these people and their ability to forsake all empathy, have so little compassion for those who were different. They filled cell block after cell block with pathetic pawns of the government, those who were different to what society wanted, by no fault of their own. People whose minds were alive, able to freely move and think, to accomplish more than one thing in a lifetime. As a child she had believed in the system, believed it was fair that the test was used to delegate jobs, so people go to do a job they had a natural talent for. Now, sitting in her damp cell, lonely but never truly alone anymore, she understood the true purpose of the test; to induce fear over the population, to identify those who threaten to overthrow the system. Emory had been so lost in thought, taking in the subtle changes in the outside world, that she had failed to noticed the sound of heavy, leather boots thudding against the concrete of the hallway. She was wrenched from her reminiscence by a guard in uniform. A tight black suit, strapped with weaponry, a government soldier ready to do their duty and nothing more. In the beginning, Emory would have kicked and screamed, held onto the bars of the window and refused to move. That was before the life had drained out to her, the fight dragged from her body with every invasion of her consciousness. Now, all she could do was take the support he offered, letting the numbness settle back over her, like a wave washing away her awareness.

Emory shuffled, unused to the comfortable feeling of the smooth seat beneath her. The room was different from what she remembered. The usually plain white wall seemed longer, mounted with metal equipment. Using her last ounce of energy, she shifted to glance around the unfamiliar room. The wall moved in front of her, the sterile white surface giving way to fathomless black. She snapped her neck back to the ceiling. It was better when she didn’t see the emotionless faces of the people who had been compromised. Their pale complexions and cautious movements stung in the back of her throat, pity pulling her back under water. Emory tensed, the familiar scent of sunshine setting her nerve endings alight. A sense of comfort swallowing her before she knew what was happening. Her body reacted, to fast for her mind to comprehend, she sat upright, all exhaustion forgotten. Mind racing, she willed her eyes to focus on the figure in front of her. Her mind reeled, brain barely processing flashes of different memories she associated with that smell. Late nights huddled in front a roaring fire, watching sparks light the night sky. The smell of the weeks rations being changed, manipulated into something edible. The warmth of sunlight streaming in through towering windows, illuminating the faces of her family, for once absent of desperation and despair. Family. She swallowed gulps of filtered oxygen, blinking to clear her mind, focusing on the eyes of the person in front of her. A vibrant blue, fused with forest green. Emory had the sensation of falling, like she was being torn away from what she’d come to know as her reality. She remembered the day they came for her, brutal guards destroying her family home. The sound of her family shouting after her, the thud of them hitting the ground echoing in her mind. She clung to the life line in front of her. Those luminous eyes, like a thread dragging her back to her past. Lungs burning, Emory felt the dry unused skin of her face crack and strain. Expending every last drop of hope, she let out a breathless “Mom?”
The withered, kind face of the women in front of her sparked some kind of fight in the depths of her body. Her mother. Still alive. She scrambled forward, limbs all of a sudden mobile. Clasping her mother’s weak hands in her own, watching as they crumbled before her eyes. Skin, bone, the foundation of her mother decaying to ash from where she had touched, “Mom? Mom!”
Her screams echoed through the empty room, her mother fading into a pile of dust at at the foot of her seat. Tears streaming down her face, Emory starred as a man in a long white coat stepped from behind where her mother had just stood. He quirked an eyebrow, glancing quickly from her to the floor, “And to think you were doing such a good job of playing dumb, they were two seconds away from writing you off as brain dead.”

This is your online portfolio

Hello and welcome to your personal online journal.

This platform has been created to enhance and enrich your learning at Mount Aspiring College. 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 Department of English 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.



Chris Waugh