Telling Our Personal Stories Is Important English Essay

1006 words - 5 pages

“Telling our personal stories is important.”
Imagine, you are a young Indigenous Australian girl researching your heritage. You find many articles that explain statistics, or are even accounts of events, but you are unable to find any personal stories. This means that you do not truly understand the lives or perspectives belonging to your own ancestors. It is important to tell personal stories because they are able to reveal truths about history and give us a greater understanding of past events. They are able to show perspectives which are often not considered, giving a greater insight into the past and making it easier for people to understand important issues in the world today and throughout history.

Through the telling of personal stories, different perspectives are revealed which can uncover truths and give insight into the past. Who Do You Think You Are - Cathy Freeman (2008), is an example of a personal story that exposes information about the past in relation to the treatment of Indigenous Australians. Who Do You Think You Are uses eye-level shots whilst documenting the different perspectives on the events in Cathy Freeman's past. For example, there is a scene where Cathy's mother and herself are talking about her mother's history. In this scene, eye-level camera angles are used, which invites the audience into the conversation and to consider the different perspectives that are shown. During the scene, her mother produces a letter that was written to her from a government persona, which denied her leave to see her family. She is emotionally distressed and explains how saddened and restricted she felt, not even being able to see her own parents. This reveals the perspective of Cathy's mother, an Indigenous Australian woman. The treatment of this minority has not been widely discussed prior to today and this interview gives insight into the reality of the situation, using the perspective of Cathy’s mother. Hence, this is how Who Do You Think You Are uses a different perspective in a personal story. Another example of how personal stories show different perspectives on events is Box the Pony (1997). In this one-woman-show, Leah Purcell embodies many different characters to display the different thoughts and emotions on the same event. An example of this is when Leah is walking around Woollahra and she passes a “white woman” coming out of her gate. As the woman sees Leah she "clutches her handbag to her chest and [Leah] was going to hit her,” just because Leah is of Indigenous Australian heritage. Leah herself states that it is "like a bloody cartoon," revealing that it seems strange to her that she would respond so strongly and that her reaction was exaggerated, like in a cartoon. This example displays the realities of our world today because it shows two radically different perspectives towards racism in modern-day Sydney. It shows how different perspectives can easily change how someone perceives an event, and...

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