The Castle Essay Sample

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The catholic social teachings, a collection of written documents that help shape our world into what it is today. These catholic social teachings are a part of history because they played a very important role in shaping our world to what it is today. These documents were written by popes and the church as a solution to maintain peace, order, and equality in our society. They were a call to action to have justice and equality in our society. Through these catholic social teachings, we humans solved many problems that were faced in our society, and even the world. The catholic social teachings have 10 principles. These principles are what the catholic social teachings Were made for, which is to unite us all as sons and daughters of God. Through these principles, the catholic social Teachings had solved many problems in our society. One example of these is Lack of respect For human life or human inequality. They were present problems during times when There is war or when people were being oppressed like when World War 2 ended and Some countries were still colonized. The church made documents to help solve these Problems so that human equality could be achieved like Mater et Magistra and Octogesima Adveniens.

Another example is the strive for peace and justice. They were also present problems that were solved by the catholic social teachings. There are many other problems and concerns that were solved by the catholic social teachings. It is through these teachings that we are called to unite as one and to solve a common problem. The catholic social teachings are not only for the problems of the past. They can also serve as symbols of peace and justice in our society today. This can be seen on the church’s teaching to us on how to love each other as brothers and sisters. An example of this is the help we give to the poor and needy.

These actions are part of the catholic social teaching. Another example is the human rights we have today and the many laws our country have to protect us all from injustice and to protect our environment that we may also be stewards of God’s creations. These laws help maintain equality for us all, that we may all be equal in the eyes of man, and in the eyes of God. Thus, the catholic social teachings play an important role in our world. They will be remembered even through time and will serve as reminders for actions that we humans have done in the past and to teach us and influence us to do good even in the present. These catholic social teachings, will always serve as a source of justice, peace, equality, and respect for human life. And as Christians, we are called to follow these catholic social teachings, and learn to apply them in our world, today.

The theoretical premise of globalisation is the erosion of traditional boundaries to form a global culture derived from the best elements of all societies. In practice, however, globalisation, driven by economic ideology devoid of morality and focused upon consumeristic endeavours, sees the domination of cultures by trans-national conglomerates and the might of America. Rather than cultures integrating, they are disintegrating beneath the cultural imperialism of Americanisation. As a major issue which inspires much debate and sees a clash of ideologies, the many ways of thinking about and approaching globalisation have moulded and shaped texts to reflect the paradigms and context of the composer. In particular, dissidents to the dominant ideology surrounding globalisation use literature and media to oppose and retreat from the concepts provided by the global; paradoxically taking advantage of and attacking the tools of globalisation. Two such texts are Rob Sitch’s “The Castle” and the poetry of Irishman Seamus Heaney.

Both texts are shaped by their ways of thinking concerning a retreat from the global. In some cases these overlap as with their belief in the impossibility of completely retreating from the global and the philosophical paradigm of the traditional significance of land and home. Yet they differ too, as a result of the different ways of thinking of the composers. Philosophically, they differ in their approach to the nature of tradition in the face of globalisation. Heaney is convinced of the natural resilience of tradition and, while disapproving, accepts that they will exist in a modified form. “The Castle” however, sees tradition as much more fragile and in danger of complete destruction; in the face of this they advocate more proactive measures to actually fight the global.

In approaching the concept of the retreating from the global, both texts acknowledge that a complete separation from the global is something of an impossibility. Ireland and Australia, the homelands of the texts, are both part of the Western world and as such feel the full force of the overflow of cultures, the push of technology and the rise of the multi-national. In such societies, globalisation is inevitable; inescapable; and this is reflected in both texts.

The Kerrigan’s, while having a strong base in tradition, obviously engage with elements of the global world. The family unit in “The Castle” is a traditional foundation upon which the family members base their lives. It is valued in the text as a place where “people love each other, care for each other. A place for the kids to turn to,” and its importance is demonstrated throughout the film. The mise-en-scene of the scene of Wayne in his cell, places the photo of the family in the centre of the shot to reflect its position in the lives of the characters. The scene is dark with the only light filtering onto the picture. Wayne is intent upon it, while melancholy music plays overhead. This calls the viewer to not only empathise with the character but also to value the importance of the family unit. In a blank, desolate, dark prison cell, the family remains a constant source of hope, security and strength. It is so intrinsic that not even isolation and loneliness can remove it.

This deep-rooted traditional institution is infiltrated however, by elements of the global. The daughter, Tracy, marries the son of Greek migrants, Con. This multi-cultural union is symptomatic of the melding and globalising of cultures, which sees the break down of traditional cultural and ethnic prejudices. This is directly presented in Darryl’s dialogue in his wedding speech. “I guess you want your daughter to marry one of your own……but he’s a great bloke. We love ya’ Con. Calus sperous. That’s good evening.” In this sense it is shown that a complete retreat from the global is impossible and that certain elements should be embraced and incorporated into every day life.

The film does, however, question and challenge elements of the global while still demonstrating the inevitable of aspects of the global. Big Business in the form of the “Barlow Group” besieges the Kerrigans, “acquiring [their house] compulsorily”, leaving them unsure, reflecting this with the long shots of Darryl walking slowly down a crowded street; he is overwhelmed by the global momentarily, unsure of his next course of action.

Darryl and the Kerrigans decide to fight the global but are unable to do so effectively until Lorry offers his services. Lorry is undoubtedly a part of the globalised world despite his basis in tradition; his sharp dress, cultured voice and distinguished introduction as “Lawrence” enhancing this perspective. Sal sums him up: “the lawyer rich people use”.

Lorry, however, is not demonised as with the other representatives of the global in the film, such as the opposing QC who is remote. In fact, Lorry is likable, first introduced in a straight shot with Darryl, presenting them as equals, two involved fathers, which endears him to the viewer. It is only through this link to the global that Darryl is able to succeed. In an interesting paradox it is only through the global that the Kerrigans are able to retreat from it. This very effectively presents Sitch’s way of thinking about the inescapability of the global, even when retreating from it.

The same motif translates to Heaney’s poetry. Heaney to an extent can be viewed as a Lorry-like character. Heaney too, is a member of the global world, published internationally, globally educated and residing in many different countries in his life. As this character, he believes globalisation is inescapable and this way of thinking shapes his texts.

Like Lorry, Heaney helps the process of retreat. He does this by trying to deliver to a wide ranging audience, the essence of the Irish culture, using his position as the global link to his advantage. He feels an acknowledgment of all facets of Irish heritage, good and bad, will stop a quiet genocide of tradition.

In “Digging”, he explores the history of agriculture, the love and unity with nature and an appreciation for hard work, seeing these as important to the character of Ireland. Respect and reverence for his father and his grandfather, symbolic of the past, and the manual labour they engage in, is partnered with nostalgia. “By God, the old man could handle a spade/ just like his old man”. The exclamation of “By God” and the particular use of the word “handle” convey the awe and admiration Heaney holds for the skill of working the land. Through his poetry, Heaney is able to demonstrate to the world the beauty of Irish history.

At the same time, however, his context forces him to address the way not even this tradition remains untouched by the global. The global has, as Heaney so eloquently puts it, removed his spade “to follow men like them.” The global has inevitably removed the ability of the Irish to live out the art to which they belong. Just as a well worn “boot nestle[s] on the lug”, so too, do the Irish people fit comfortably to the role of tending the land and the “cool hardness” and stability it provides. This tradition lives on in the minds of the Irish forming “living roots”. Their destruction by the global however, is as abrupt and brutal as Heaney’s words to describe it, “Curt cuts”.

The only consolidation is that the essence of this tradition may live on in a modified form although the simplicity with which Heaney offers this in comparison with the abundance of language used to describe the past leaves the viewer to consider this option to be second rate “The squat pen rests. I’ll dig with it.” Heaney dislikes elements of the global, but is aware it is inevitable and inescapable, employing it himself for his own devices. He, like “The Castle”, accepts that globalisation is here and both try to retreat and oppose the negative elements it brings such as cultural imperialism. This way of thinking is evidenced in both texts.

Another aspect in which the two texts mirror each other in particular ways of thinking, are in their approach to the significance of land to tradition and culture and the negative impact the global world has on these.

In the poetry of Heaney, the land and its significance to the Irish is a reoccurring theme. In “Requiem for the Croppies”, Heaney graphically demonstrates the extent to which the homeland of the Irish was defended against colonisation, the pre-cursor to globalisation.

Heaney begins the poem with a bleak assessment of the Irish army. It is bitterly cold requiring even a travelling, poor army to wear “great coats”. By mentioning “Barley”, with its poor connotations, Heaney alludes to the financial situation of the army. This lack of necessities is reinforced by the repetition of the word “no”. The army is on the move, “quick and sudden”; Heaney’s abbreviated words matching the pace of the army’s advances.

Despite this we, as readers, empathise with them due to the use of inclusive “we’s”, “our’s” and “A people”. The image of the priest lying side by side with a tramp not only represents the desperation of the army but also endears us to the cause because their defence and love of their land transcends class and religious barriers.

This connection made with the reader, forces them to understand how important land is. This becomes graphically clear in the following stanzas as Heaney illustrates the lengths gone to to defend this intrinsic part of tradition. He matter-of-factly describes the tactics employed to kill the English soldiers. “We’d cut through reins and rider with the pike/ And stampede cattle into infantry.”

In the third stanza, he glorifies the stand of the poor Irish against the colonial might of England, juxtaposing their weapons. “Thousands died, shaking scythes at cannon.” In a modern day context a viewer is able to relate its concepts to today. It is clear that the homeland of Ireland, which was defended to such lengths, is a strong, necessary part of the Irish culture. To erode this and its importance, as globalisation seeks to do, is seen as a distinctly negative thing to do, akin to the slaughter by colonialism on Vinegar Hill. In this sense Heaney retreats from the ideology of the global, presenting his views on the importance of land.

This idea is also embedded in “The Castle.” The film is centred around the family’s fight for their home. They impress the personal nature of the land and home with repeated proverbs which have become part of the Australian language “It is not a house it’s a home and a man’s home is his castle.” This is intended to convey the personal connection people feel with the land that they identify as home, whether it be a house under powerlines, or a country as a whole.

Sitch draws the comparison of the Kerrigans and the indigenous people of Australia, who, like the Irish lost their land to colonisation. Darryl says “I’m really beginning to understand how the Aborigines feel” and humour is used to show how unusual this revelation is with Sal replying “you been drinkin’?”. Darryl’s ability, however, to suddenly identify with the Aboriginal people demonstrates that the traditional importance, or “vibe”, of a homeland transcends all boundaries.

As the global, in the form of Airlink, attempts to rob the Kerrigans of their home, Lorry passionately and eloquently sums up the importance of land to tradition and the film’s attitude to the aspects of the global which seek to erode this. “You can’t pay for it, and you’re just short changing people if you try.” This way of thinking is strong in both texts and advocates a retreat from the global where land is concerned.

The texts differ with the philosophical paradigms they present in respect to the nature of tradition. Heaney disapproves of some of the changes in tradition in Ireland but believes they run deep and will continue to exist in some form. He advocates a passive resistance to the global by ensuring people are aware of the culture, both good and bad, so it will live on, but he also retreats from the global with his way of thinking that tradition will survive.

In “Punishment” he explores the revenge which exists, imbedded in the Irish psyche. Heaney begins by describing a girl who was hanged long ago in Ireland. “I can feel/ the tug of the halter at the nape/ of her neck, the wind/ on her naked front.” The conative “naked front” presents the girl as vulnerable and helpless. This is then juxtaposed with the brutal image of a noose around “her neck” which, combined with the first person, forces the reader to empathise with the girl and reflect on the violent parts of tradition.

He then contrasts this need for a “scapegoat” with modern-day Ireland. He alludes to the Catholic girls, or “betraying sisters”, punished for involvement with English soldiers. He draws a comparison between the two, demonstrating how this tradition lives on. Heaney doesn’t approve of it, empathising with the girl to the point of almost “lov[ing] her, but he “understand[s]” the need for it, recognising its roots in tradition. He himself, as part of the global world isn’t able to overcome this inbuilt ancestral practice and must stand “dumb” and “cast the stones of silence”, unable to break the cycle.

The tradition of revenge has changed and modified through the influence of the global. It has supposedly become more “civilised”, but the sophistication of this ritual cannot mask the “tribal, intimate revenge” which bubbles just below the surface. By presenting the institutions of culture as inerasable, Heaney retreats from the ideology of the global.

In contrast to this “The Castle” believes tradition is in very real danger of being destroyed by parts of the global. The Kerrigans seem overwhelmed by globalisation. They live next to an airport and under powerlines, they pursue material goods through the trading post and yet they still manage to retain parts of tradition.

They look after and value each other and the people of the community. This is very clear when Darryl’s first reaction to bad news is to spring to the aid of Jack, his elderly neighbour. They have ingenuity, turning a cubby house into a kennel, and a good work ethic, with Darryl and the boys always fixing things about the house, “like the time “Dale” dug a hole.” Yet the community and family which maintain these good qualities is threatened to be uprooted and dispersed and all in a very casual way. All the global has to do to wreak such havoc is to “knock at the door”.

Sitch disapproves of what he perceives as the ease the global has in destroying tradition. To combat this, to retreat from it, he calls for people to fight for their traditions, employing the stereotype of the underdog, to appeal to his target audience of Australians to the extent where Darryl is alluded to as David from the biblical tale of David and Goliath. People are meant to identify, or at least empathise, with Darryl and support him in his fight. Sitch includes this in the hope of inspiring others to similar action. This call to fight for dying tradition is a very different way of thinking to Heaney’s claim that tradition cannot be eroded completely because it is deeply rooted but both are retreats from the world of the global.

The texts differ in their view of tradition in the face of globalisation but find common ground when addressing the inevitability of some forms of globalisation and the traditional importance of land and home. They both retreat from the global when it is perceived as a dominating force rather than a homogenising process opting for the sometimes cringe-worth elements of their own cultures rather than cringe-worth elements of someone elses.

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