Within tribalism there are many groups which represent the positive and negative aspects that exist in all cultures, places and groups which define the unifying and the destructive force which has been presented in many ways throughout the movie ‘Romeo & Juliet’ directed by Baz Luhrmann, picture book ‘The Rabbits’ written by John Marsden & Shaun tan, as well as the song ‘Run to the Hills’ by Iron Maiden. ‘Romeo & Juliet’ fits perfectly when introducing the unifying and destructive force of tribalism. In the beginning of the film it displays the Montague’s driving, they are wearing colourful Hawaiian t-shirts, at this point Sampson says ‘A dog of the house of Capulet moves me’ this demonstrates the “ancient grudge” of the two families, the Montague’s and Capulet’s. The pair of ‘star-crossed lovers’ Romeo and Juliet getting married represent the unifying force of tribalism within the two families. Before they get married Juliet speaks to herself saying ‘What’s Montague?
It is nor hand, nor foot, nor any other part belonging to a man. What’s in a name? If we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet’ this represents that the two families do not want to fight and are forced to hate each other. The death of the innocent is signified through the death of Mercutio. Mercutio was wearing white, this presents that he is an outsider and not on either side. Tybalt set out to fight Romeo and ended up killing Mercutio, this is the ‘innocent blood spilt’. When he was stabbed he yelled ‘A plague o’ both your houses!’ this is a curse put on both families for the destruction the feuds have caused. ‘The Rabbits’ symbolises the invasion of the Aboriginal land by the British; it demonstrates how the rabbits (the British) united into extensive groups to wipe-out the numbats (the aboriginals).
Throughout the book the illustrations have a big impact on your emotions and the way you understand the story. The colours of the pictures change as you get deeper into the book displaying the change and the take-over of the numbats. At the beginning of this story all the colours are bright. On the first page you can see the big blue sky with the birds all around flying freely before the rabbits came. This shows the unity of the land and the numbats. The images demonstrate how the rabbits all have upmarket technology such as compasses and guns, while the numbats live off the land with spears and sticks this recognizes each tribe the rabbits and numbats to be united within themselves, as well as the rabbits being in uniforms. The pages get darker as more rabbits come, and they begin to take over. As you get further into the book you can notice how the natural animals such as birds start to disappear slowly and in some pages you can see them flying away.
‘They ate our grass. They chopped down our trees and scared away our friends…’ this represents the connection the numbats had with the land as their friends being the other animals As you get to the end of the book the colours are very dull, the colours brown, grey and black are used a lot which symbolises the destruction of the land and the animals as the rabbits kill and destroy the numbats land. ‘The Rabbits’ and ‘Romeo & Juliet’ can be related to each other by the destruction being represented with killing. The killing of the land and the death of Mercutio. The idea that the rabbits have destroyed the land and killed/ scared the other animal’s away (destruction) the impact tribes have on the environment The song ‘Run to the Hills’ is telling the story of the European settlers and the American Indian tribes.
This song is closely related to ‘the rabbits’ and ‘Romeo & Juliet’ as it says ‘He killed our tribes; he killed our creed’ this is defying the destruction, ‘Women and children and cowards attack’ describes how the whole community united together to fight the ‘white man’ away ‘Enslaving the young and destroying the old’ this quote from the can be related to ‘The Rabbits’ when the rabbits took the numbats children away. In conclusion all tribes are different yet still can be connected in some way through the unifying or destructive. These tribes are united within themselves connected like a family, fighting each other for either power, land or both. The end!
Courtney from Study Moose
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