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Conflicting Perspectives Essay

“An important outcome of studying this elective is the realisation that all representations of perspectives are designed to provoke an intended response. ” To what extent does this statement relate to your study of at least one of Hughes’ poems and one related text of your own choosing? In some texts authors have the intention to evoke a personal understanding in the audience. However, the personal experience varies between each individual creating conflicting ways in response to a text. These responses to the messages from the authors are shaped through personal experience and values of the individual.

The notion of conflict within perspectives is evident in “Birthday Letters” by Ted Hughes especially in the poems “Fulbright Scholars” and “Sam” as well as in Michel Gondry’s film “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. ” The conflict within memory and connections leads to a representation of their conflict in perspectives. The nature and strength of memories is to some extent subjective in relation to events, situations and people.

Hughes proves this idea of selective memory through the use of rhetorical questions asked in his first poem Fulbright Scholars such as “where was it, in the Strand? ” and “was it when I bought a peach? These questions are evidence of his disordered memory. Hughes perspective of Plath is somewhat subjective as he remembers vague details of particular moments and her “Veronica Lake bangs. ” In his second poem “Sam” depicts the same events as Plath’s poem “Whiteness I remember” but showing his conflicting interpretation of Plath’s memory.

The two poems prove conflicting ideas through the tempo of the first paragraphs and Hughes ongoing use of caesura. Although Plath interprets the event to be a “great run” and “high as the roofs” conflicting this idea Hughes describes it as dangerous and Plath having “lost (her) stirrups. The text “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” proves memory to be a selective sense; the character Joel displays merely a memory of selective moments, objects and feelings of his past relationship with Clementine. The key motifs are birthday presents and certain outings. The fallibility of memory can lead the distortion of connections between memory and reality. The author intends to create a particular emotional response to the text that is represented through a connection between the audience and their perspective of the text.

The connection between the perspectives in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” show the author is being balanced and unbiased. The perspectives of both the character is shown equally to the audience, forcing and internal response in each individual. In “Fulbright Scholars” Hughes repetitively uses “you” to simultaneously speak to Plath as well as the audience, to create a more intimate connection with the text. This continues into his next poem “Sam” alongside alliteration and assonance in the line “horribly hard, swift river” increasing the intensity for the audience.

In the final stanza Hughes personifies Sam as himself, and positions the audience as Plath. In the line “you strangled me” he uses accusatory language to gain an emotional response and connection from his audience, which relates back to the publics perceptions of him during this time. It is clear that all authors create their texts to gain a reflection the audience towards the text. Each text is a representation of the author’s perspective response to their memory, creating an emotional connection to their audience, which provokes an internal response. The connections made are used to intensify a reaction within each individual.


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