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Could I get some feedback on my Mean Creek essay please

  1. Describe at least one important object in the text. Explain why that object was important, supporting your points with visual and / or oral language features

Modern adolescence is a journey through the darkest recesses of humanity is a theme perfectly exemplified in jacob este’s 2004 film mean creek. This film follows a group of teenagers (Rocky,Marty,Millie,Clyde,Sam) who are out to get revenge on a bully (George) who has beaten up our main character (Sam). They plan to get revenge on George by stripping him naked and throwing him into a river,humiliating him. Little do they know that George cannot swim and they will end up with a dead body in their hands.

The film starts with a closeup shot from the point of view of a handheld camera that is on the ground. Sam is fiddling with this camera but this is soon interrupted by the person who owns the camera/his bully- George. George gets very angry and starts to fight Sam leaving Sam with a black eye and several cuts to the face. Sam goes home where his black eye is noticed by his big brother (Rocky) Rocky gets angry and says “you cant just let him treat you like that,how about we give him a taste of his own medicine.” I believe what estes is trying to show to us here is that for developing adolescents it is an eye for an eye world and that because their frontal lobes are not fully developed every transgression must be met with one equal to or above the one before. Rocky starts scheming and suggests that they “Tie him to a tree naked and leave him there all night” this is vetoed by Sam with him saying that “it’s just too dangerous what if the bears come?” showing us that Sam really doesn’t want to hurt George but instead teach him a lesson so then Rocky suggest “how about we strip him and throw him in the lake so he was to walk back home through town soaked and naked?,that’ll show him” Sam agrees with this plan not knowing that George cannot swim. I think what Estes is trying to tell us here is that with people there is so much more going on under the surface and we can never/should never assume what they know/can do.

The scene then cuts to a wide shot of one of Rocky’s friends (Marty) phoning George and asking if he would like to come down to the river for “Sam’s birthday party” George agrees and then the film cuts to a closeup of Rocky’s car coming to collect George from his house. George gives Sam a very expensive present and profusely apologises for beating him up a few days earlier,this starts to give Sam a few doubts about the plan and when they get down to the river he asks his brother if they can call it off but Rocky is insistent that it is too late and when Sam tells Rocky why he wants to call it off,Rocky simply bats his argument away saying “he’s just a fat rtarded kid looking to make friends,he doesn’t actually like you.” Sam keeps trying to convince Rocky to call it off but to no avail and then the scene cuts to a closeup of our important object,the boat. I believe the boat is important as it strongly links to my theme statement that Modern adolescence is a journey through the darkest recesses. I believe this because throughout the rest of the film the boat is used as a metaphor for growing up which is displayed through their journey through the river with the journey first starting off softly gliding through the water much how like a baby has no worries or cares but then they stop for a break and things get more tense within the group upon tossing up whether to cancel the plan or not this directly translates into the metaphor as the boats steering becomes more jerky and tense which would signify a change from being a child into a teenager and from there the waters start to get less smooth and the boat judders a lot more signifying the struggles of being a teenager but this all comes to a climax when George is hurling petty insults at the group calling them (“fggots and p*ssies”)because he found out what they had really come on the boat trip for.At this point the boat is the most unstable it has ever been with it rocking side to side as George decides to fight Rocky signifying the final years before becoming an adult but then it all goes wrong and George is pushed off the boat leading him to drown.

This powerful metaphor is also propped up with some well chosen language features such as pathetic fallacy which is utilized all throughout the metaphor with the scene at the start of the metaphor having clear weather but as the metaphor progresses the weather starts to get darker and darker until eventually the weather is horrendous and looks like a storm could start at any minute when the group realise that George is dead. The boat continues to be relevant even in the scene where they have run onto the land to try and resuscitate George with it bobbing around but not going downstream even though it is not anchored. What I believe estes was trying to convey to us with the boat not heading downstream is the fact that while normal people do not normally make such a gigantic mistake such as killing someone when they are a teenager they are free to move on to their adult life these teenagers will have massive consequences and be held back from adulthood for a while as a consequence of their actions hence why the boat could not float downstream

In conclusion I believe the boat in Mean Creek is the most important object in Mean Creek because of the way it cleverly does two things, 1. The way it is a metaphor for life until adulthood and 2. The way it tells the story indirectly with the use of metaphor and language features like pathetic fallacy.

Kia ora

You should try your best to incorporate your question into the introduction - “An important object is _______ because ________” - I should be able to tell which question you are answering just from the signposting in your intro.

You clearly have an excellent understanding of the text with some evidence and a some good discussion of the author.

What you need to work on - Your unpacking of the question. You do not mention the boat until halfway through - and your whole argument for this question should be about the important object. I would go back through this essay and try to talk about the boat right from the beginning - any discussion that is not to do with the object/purpose/how it links to characters/ideas etc can be removed.

Hope that helps - come back if you have any questions :slight_smile: