Representation and Text Module C HSC English
Tegan explains about Representation and Text Module C HSC English
What is Representation and Text about?
The way in which a composer chooses to tell a story affects the story itself. A story told with shadow puppets can have a very childlike feel, or if the room is dark, it can have a very primitive and primal feel, even menacing like the one above. You can imagine that if this picture was not black and white and grainy, it would have a much more pleasant feel. When people make shadow puppets on walls, they almost always try to make animals – a bit like the cave paintings of prehistoric man. This shows that the medium of production not only affects the way the audience interprets the story, but also the way in which the composer tells it.
This idea is what the Representation and Text module is all about: the medium affects the message.
For example, consider how different the message of a text might be if you transplanted it into a different text-type: say, from a poem to a TV show.
It’s helpful to think of the composer as a master manipulator. They are trying to make you see, think, or believe certain things, and they have skills and techniques which they use to trick or convince you. For this module you have to be aware of these affects and how they make you respond to the text.
The Board of Studies Syllabus Rubric
Module C: Representation and text
This module requires students to explore various representations of events, personalities or situations. They evaluate how medium of production, textual form, perspective and choice of language influence meaning. The study develops students’ understanding of the relationships between representation and meaning.
Ideas in Representation and Text
Know the format of text-types.
While this is a thematic study, it also focuses on how the text-type is a vehicle for the message. So you must know the techniques that go with your text-type but also the cultural assumptions that go with your text-type. There is a usual or conventional format for every text type. Any deviations from the conventional text type are on purpose, and may be there to alter the way you perceive the text. You should do some research into your text-type conventions.
Consider the assumptions we make about texts.
Is the content of novels necessarily fake, and that of nonfiction objectively true? Are poems nonsensical emotional stuff, and news articles the authority you can trust? Think about the basic assumptions you make about text types and how the composer might take advantage of this.
Identify all the different perspectives in a text.
Perspective happens on a few levels in a text. The first one we discover is the point of view or voice of the text. First, figure out whether they are likeable and believable and what their message is. Then, decide whether the composer wants you to agree with this voice or disagree. It can help to do some biographical research so that you know the experience and politics of your composer.
When you are examining any point of view or character that appears in the text, examine them in the same way you would use to gauge if an acquaintance was lying to you. Are they a stable character? Do they have a history of morality? Do they present their ideas objectively, or do they play on your emotions? Would you trust the way they evaluated another character?
It can be hard to tell which character the composer wants you to side with, or even if you are expected to side with any. Some journalistic styles of text will give you both sides and let you draw your own conclusions, but even in this case, there will be minor biases in the text.
You may find yourself siding with characters who are not exactly objective or rational, especially if you are made to feel sorry for them, or if they seem like they get picked on by life. Objective and rational doesn’t mean “right” one hundred percent of the time. Just keep on your toes and make sure that if you’re feeling sympathy, you know exactly how the composer made you feel it.
Keywords you should consider using in your Representation and Text essays.
Because the electives are quite full on it can be easy to forget the requirements of the module. Use phrases like: representation, choice of language, deliberate emphasis, influences meaning, objective and subjective language, bias, motives, intended and unintended messages, and construction of meaning as well as pointing out conventions and assumptions about the text-type to make sure you are responding to the module.
Elective: People and Politics
Elective 1: Representing People and Politics
In this elective, students explore and evaluate various representations of people and politics in their prescribed text and other related texts of their own choosing. They consider the ways in which texts represent individual, shared or competing political perspectives, ideas, events or situations. Students analyse representations of people’s political motivations and actions, as well as the impact political acts may have on individual lives or society more broadly. In their responding and composing, students develop their understanding of how the relationship between various textual forms, media of production and language choices influences and shapes meaning.
Elective: Representing People and Landscapes
Elective 2: Representing People and Landscapes
In this elective, students explore and evaluate various representations of people and landscapes in their prescribed text and other related texts of their own choosing. They consider the ways in which texts represent the relationship between the lives of individuals or groups and real, remembered or imagined landscapes. Students analyse representations of people’s experience of particular landscapes and their significance for the individual or society more broadly. In their responding and composing, students develop their understanding of how the relationship between various textual forms, media of production and language choices influences and shapes meaning.