Research articles, e.g. a paper presenting research findings and published in a journal
Personal letters, e.g. to family or friends describing travels or explaining new circumstances
Presenting a viewpoint:
*If you are given a prompt, your main contention is your response to it.
Expository writing puts a point of view without pressuring the reader to agree, but rather to consider.
Biographies and autobiographies
Incorporating ideas from a set text
Compare and contrast ideas: if a text’s point of view is the same as (or different) from that of the prompt, explore similarities and/or differences in the body paragraphs of an essay. –You can choose to compare/contrast two different texts, historical events, characters etc.
Focus on one key idea relevant to the prompt: show in two or more paragraphs how that idea is explored in the text as a whole. Explain how the text treats the idea to support your discussion of the prompt.
Examine a key scene and/or characters: to show close knowledge of the text. Write one or two paragraphs explaining how an idea from the context is presented in this scene or by the characters.
Expository writing in imaginative responses:
A news report written from a location in the text
A personal letter written by one character to another
An editorial referring to circumstances in the text and commenting on a central idea.
Let’s test drive this...
Prompt: The future is one where people are denied full humanity by the restrictions imposed on their life.
You have several options in approaching this task. Remember that you are not restricted to drawing on ideas solely from Gattaca. You may refer to other texts, history, facts etc to discuss your point. The idea is that you refer to each text/historical reference in its own paragraph. A kind of mix-and-match ordeal;
Comparing the ‘future worlds’ presented in 3 different texts to support your contention.
e.g. Paragraph 1: Gattaca
Paragraph 2: The Book Thief
Paragraph 3: To Kill a Mockingbird.
Comparing three characters (all 3 from Gattaca, one from Gattaca/history/another text etc)
Comparing 3 different historical examples.
e.g. P1: Nazi Germany
P2: Australia; British Settlement
P3: America: Civil Rights
Paragraph #1: **Consider: How is this true in the world of Gattaca? E.g. The world of Gattaca is aiming to generate the perfect human race, a system which is flawed by that there exist valids and invalids. Although the valids are the elites and supposedly perfect and engineered to do whatever they please, they find themselves restricted just as the invalids are also.
Invalids: Are restricted from fulfilling their dreams because society has labelled them as inadequate.
Vincent is not genetically engineered. He is predicted or predestined to be restricted from achieving anything. He dreams about going into space but is told that the closest he will ever get to that spaceship is by cleaning the inside.
Valids: Morrow (Jude Law) embodies perfection. He represents the model citizen/being.
The problem with genetic engineering is that only the physical and intellectual qualities are enhanced. The emotions are not enhanced. It is emotions that make us humans and individuals.
**Determination is also a human trait. So when a person is engineered to succeed no matter what, there’s no point in trying, dreaming, aiming. The engineered being is turned into a machine. They do things because that’s how they are wired.
Invalids (Vincent) still have that drive, they still dream and make an effort. They have personality. The determination makes them able to go further; Vincent: “My heart is 30,000 beats overdue.”
Valids are also restricted in their own way; they do not feel much, or cannot deal with emotions. They are bland, personality wise. Eugene Morrow commits suicide when, even in his perfection, he fails (comes second in the race)
Paragraph #2: How is the prompt true to the ‘future’ beheld by New Australians after 1901 Federation with the WAP and Assimilation Laws passed?
Reference to history: 1901- Federation. Australia comes together as one nation.
In its debut as a nation, the future was bright for Australia; it was quick to establish its national identity which was restrictive in itself, stripping the population of its humanity in various ways.
-The White Australia Policy restricted the future of the new Australian culture and population by determining who could enter the country based on their race (genes!!? Hence the parallel to Gattaca). **Dictation tests were set in foreign languages so that people would not pass them and be granted access into the country.
Assimilation/Integration laws were passed which forced non-English speaking migrants (Italians, Greeks, Polish etc) to be something that they are not.
Consider how many cultures were lost, how many languages, identities etc.
*Research the extent of the racism that took place in the mid-20th Century in Australia.
Paragraph #3: British Colonisation.
Britain was once an empire that extended its boundaries by colonising ‘unclaimed’ territory. Upon finding Indigenous on the various lands they colonised, they took it upon themselves to invite these “savages” into the future by ‘civilizing’ them.
Consider the treatment of the Aborigines and the Stolen Generation. How were they restricted by the self acclaimed superior race? How were they stripped of their humanity?
Note: Refer to previous essay structure notes for assistance with formulating/structuring your introduction and conclusion.