Going It Alone

English GIA Essay
“It takes courage and determination to stand alone” Do you agree? Discuss is relation to your prescribed text and at least one related text of your own choosing.

Courage and determination are both key factors and characteristics of a person who chooses to stand alone. Without these two factors a person who chooses to go it alone will find themselves suffering to a greater degree and will be forced to concede defeat. The external pressures that are associated with their journey do prove to be too much to handle. Through the examination of the journeys and mindsets of specific characters this is proved as shown in Elissa Down’s “The Black Balloon” and Uwem Akpan’s “Luxurious Hearses.

In Elissa Downs’s “The Black Balloon” the character of Thomas as a protagonist clearly exemplifies these two qualities of courage and determination as a necessary means to be able to stand alone. This is seen best by the journey he seems to take with his autistic brother Charlie and the way in which he deals with the difficult situations that Charlie poses. In the beginning of the film Thomas is seen to handle Charlie with a sense of immaturity. He is trying to hide Charlie from his new society that he trying to fit into, he is trying to separate his two worlds. This is well shown in the scene “The Unexpected Visitor”. Here when Jackie comes to visit Thomas attempts to lock Charlie within his room. The shakiness produced by the handheld camera during the struggle to achieve this represents the unstable nature of their then current relationship. Also adding to this is the constant metaphorical barriers present in the scene. The metaphorical barriers are placed there by Thomas in his attempt to divide the two worlds as shown when he locks Charlie away and then proceeds to let Jackie through the screen door. This attempt however to avoid the use of courage and determination fails as his two worlds collide when he walks out with Charlie’s dirtied clothes. The fact...