Wuthering Heights v Strictly Ballroom Comparative Sample Answer

Leaving Cert English

A Grade – Comparative Wuthering Heights / Strictly Ballroom / Playboy of Western World – General vision and Viewpoint

Section 1-Comparative 70 Marks

(All of the candidates’ own spelling, punctuation etc. have been retained.)

A. The General Vision and Viewpoint

‘Each text we read presents us with an outlook on life that may be bright or dark, or a combination of brightness and darkness.’ In the light of the above statement, compare the general vision and viewpoint in at least two texts you have studied in your comparative course. (70)

For the purpose of this essay I will be comparing The Playboy of the Western World by JM Synge (PB), Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (WH) and Strictly Ballroom directed by Baz Luhrmann (SB). In each of the three texts the characters are faced by trials and tribulation of life. It is through their dealing with them that we are presented with a dark or bright outlook on life.

In (PB) the overall outlook on life is dark. The characters are unkind, uncaring and selfish. Although there is a bright patch in the love affair of Pegeen Mike and Christy Mahon and also many humourous moments we can’t escape from noticing the underlying dark harsh world, which remains unchanged by the events of the play. In complete contrast we have (SB). This is most definitely a film with sunshine bright angle on life. Although darkness does exist in the film, in the form of the corrupt president Barry Fife good wins out in the end. The opposite is the case with (WH) which is most definitely a dark novel yet again containing moments of happiness. Like when Mr Earnshaw dies Nelly overhears Catherine and Heathcliff consoling each other, ‘the little souls consoling each other with better thoughts than I could have hit on.’

From the beginning of (PB) [we] get a very dark, pessimistic view of life. We meet Pegeen who is preparing for her wedding. We rapidly realise that Pegeen does not love her fiancé Shawn Keogh nor even like him. She is only mar...

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