Through the study and analysis of various texts we can explore and understand a range of human behavioural patterns which occur throughout everyday life in general society. The ways in which humans perform and interact with their surroundings and immediate accompaniment can give an indication as to ones social status and general personality. Through the comparative study of the novel “Johnno” by David Malouf and the film “The Year My Voice Broke” by John Duigan we are presented with paralleled stories being told through the eyes of a young adolescent.
Johnno deals with the maturation and experiences of the protagonist Dante over a long period of time told as a first person semiautobiographical piece quite obviously reflecting a personal experience. Similarly, the film “The Year My Voice Broke” references the growing up and relationship status of the protagonist Danny through his eyes over a short period of time; more specifically, one year during the 1960’s. These texts reflect and explore different features of human behaviour that exist amongst today’s society.Order now
A prominent component of both texts is the outlaw or outsider status of the protagonist within their immediate society. Throughout the film “The Year My Voice Broke”, John Duigan establishes Danny as an outsider by presenting him in a particular eccentric manner separating him from the other characters in the film. This segregation outlines Danny’s unique thoughts and ideas which detach him from the main stream of adolescents featured in the film.
His salacious and abnormal attitude towards female relationships separates him from the typical adolescent culture and see’s him bullied and ridiculed by those that fit the teenage stereotype. The way in which Danny interacts with these other students at his school and attempts to meet the expectations of modern society expresses a behavioural trend that exists amongst the Australian society in which Danny is growing up in. This outsider status is also clearly exhibited in the novel “Johnno”.
David Malouf uses the protagonist as an observer to view and analyse the outsider character of Johnno through which important opinions and benchmarks in the story can be noted. Johnno is first perceived as an outcast or outsider due to the irregular remarks made by the protagonist. This observer device is useful in considering the human behaviour of others as well as conveying the opinions and thoughts of the protagonist themselves. To enhance this notion of outsider status amongst included characters, the settings of the particular texts is implemented to ffectively define the characters and further emphasise the appropriate situations. In the novel “Johnno”, David Malouf incorporates the setting throughout to clearly distinguish the outsider status of characters. This acts as an accompaniment and enhancing tool acting in accordance with the originally eminent outsider status. The particular locations and settings, in which the novels events occur, have a significant impact on the characters point of view and interpretation of specific situations; this helps to stimulate the mind of the protagonist and express their unique mindset.
This technique is also utilised in the film “The Year My Voice Broke” through the main setting of a large country town in the southern tablelands in rural NSW. The incorporation of a remote country town helps to establish an initial outlaw or segregated status which is cleverly reflected within the protagonist. This initial mindset is created within the first few minutes of the film with a long panning shot of the landscape and the lonely, segregated town at the bottom of the valley. This landscape prominence also reflects on the personality and culture of the town, which is very landscape orientated and definitive.
Through the analysis and exploration of various texts, it is clear that the observations and insights into human behaviour are possible through texts. “Johnno” and “The Year My Voice Broke” both prove as ideal examples of this by representing and fulfilling the criteria of an outsider and the observation of such a character. This has been utilised to full effect and allows for the opinions of individuals to be conveyed and considered into the circumstances and situations of certain outsider individuals.