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“Raw” by Scott Monk and “Hero of War” by Rise Against Extended response Essay

‘Institutions can change one for better or worse’ this quote is proven in the novel ‘raw’ by Scott Monk and ‘Hero of War’ by Rise Against. Through the contrasting ideas of rebellion and conformity, the responders are able to see how institutions can manipulate one and have a negative or positive impact. In ‘Raw’ by Scott Monk, Brett uses rebellion to escape from his fears and then be liberated from it; he does this as he believes it is the only way to freedom. When Brett first gets to the farm he is given trust and responsibility straight away which he is not used to as he has never been automatically trusted before. Brett is unaware of how to react to this, as he has only ever experienced negative forms of authority beforehand. Brett believes that Sam is naïve and stupid for giving Brett and the other boys at the farm trust. Sam believes in giving everyone second chances and that if people want to change then it is up to them.

The institution can change one for better or worse but it’s up to the persona to allow the change, so if they refuse the tools the institution provides them with, then they will stay the same. The farm as an institution has a positive impact on Brett, because once he starts taking responsibility for his actions then he changes. “…He didn’t want to be here. It was a waste of time…” through the use of third person narration the responders are able to see that Brett’s attitude towards the institution as a whole is that, he believes that this institution is a waste of his time as he believes it isn’t going to help him. Later on in the novel Brett comes to realisation after Josh opens up to him, Brett realises that he shouldn’t blame his actions on everyone else, and that he should take responsibility and live up to the consequences. The responders are able to see how much Brett has changed in the end of the novel when Brett admits that it was his fault that they broke up. “…I’m the one to blame!…” The exclamation mark is used to emphasise that he is taking responsibility for his actions, and for once isn’t blaming it on her.

Because of the tools that Sam has given Brett he now knows that rebellion is not always the viable option. Thus the institution has changed Brett for the better, as he now he takes responsibility for his choices and doesn’t blame everyone else. In contrast, the persona in ‘Hero of War’ By Rise Against, changes for the worst as a result of this institution. Throughout the film clip it shows flash backs of what he was like before he had joined the army, which was happy and he had a good self-image. Then throughout the clip we are shown him being in a green room, where he is glowing and there is black surrounding him, as the responders we can see the emotional damage which the persona has been through. “…I told them to stop/But then I joined in…” This complete juxtaposition shows the audience how he is forced to conform and adhere to the institution. The effect of this is that the responders can see that even though the persona knows what he is doing is wrong, he is forced to conform to the army. In the end of the video we are shown the persona walking the streets of America, painted in white with red glowing hands. This symbolises the guilt which he feels for conforming and taking the innocent lives.

The persona no longer fits in to society’s mould. This is ironic as there is still a high camera angle on him showing that he has power, even though he doesn’t fit in. Thus this institution has changed the persona for the worst as he now has a sense of guilt within himself and doesn’t fit in to his home country which is America ‘the only flag I trust’ Ultimately through the study of Raw by Scott Monk and Hero of War by Rise Against, it is shown that institutions can have either a detrimental or beneficial impact on products of an institution. This is shown through the contrasting ideas of Rebellion and Conformity.


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