What grade would I get for this Freedom Writers Essay and how can I improve?

Describe the closing scene(s) or section of the text(s). Explain how the closing scene(s) or section helped you to understand an important message in the text(s), supporting your points with visual and/or oral language features.

Freedom Writers is a film in which a new teacher, Ms Gruwell comes to a school and helps the students within her class to become better people. The students in Room 203 faced incredible challenges throughout their lives, when Ms Gruwell came to the school at the beginning of the year, they were all worried about surviving until they were eighteen. However, we are in control of our own destiny. We can overcome societal barriers and control who we become. This is shown in the closing scene of Richard LaGravenese’s film Freedom Writers by using contrast, dialogue, close-ups and voice over.

Throughout the closing scene, the use of contrast is evident. In the scene ‘Welcome to Freshman English’ the classroom was untidy. The director uses mis-en-scene to show the desks were drawn on and in messy arrangements, the blinds were on angles and the students had no new equipment. Additionally, the students wore dark clothes and were collected in groups. However, in the closing scene, ‘Our Own Voices’ the director’s use of contrast is evident. This has a positive impact on the viewer as it proves the change that has occurred in the students over the course of the year. The desks are neatly arranged, the blinds are hung tidily and the students are wearing vibrant colours. There are also plants along the windowsill which are seen by the director’s combination of a mid-shot. This symbolises new life. The students were stuck behind their differences and societies barriers, however, Ms Gruwell brought them together and through her influence, they overcame the prejudice within society. Humanity has the desire to judge people for what they seem like, whether it be their looks or their race. People want to fit in and as result will put others down. This is seen in the film as the racial groups at the beginning will not associate with each other due to their differences. However, the closing scene proves that there is potential for society to accept everyone for who they are and for society to become free of discrimination.

The change of the students is also apparent in their actions. The students put work in during class time. This is shown using a close-up, the students are working hard to produce their own work, ‘The Freedom Writers Diary’. They are engaged and want to do well, they want to be in control of their own lives and instead of following their families’ footsteps where they live in their gangs, their beliefs have changed to wanting to graduate and go to college. Humanity has a certain desire to follow others’ footsteps, people are scared to be independent and lead the lives they want to live. This causes people to forget their own goals. However, people shouldn’t let their situation define them. Every individual within society has the potential to go and do incredible things, yet the prejudice within society often stops them from doing this. In society, people are discriminated against based on their wealth, ethnicity and gender and for society to become a better place, people need to stop looking for peoples’ differences and instead focus on their similarities.

The use of dialogue and voiceover contributes to the influence of the closing scene. Eva says, ‘It’s a sign of respect for you.’ Showing that the students have changed, they did not let the school’s disbelief in them and their lack of resources limit what they could achieve. They listened, learned and overcame the prejudice within their society. The use of voice over also further this idea, ‘MANY FREEDOM WRITERS WERE THE FIRST IN THEIR FAMILIES TO GRADUATE HIGH SCHOOL AND GO ON TO COLLEGE.’ This shows the impact that their crossing of the societal and gang boundaries put it front of them has not limited what they have achieved but rather has been a motivation for success. Perhaps what LaGravenese was trying to tell the viewer is to not let the barriers of society stop you from achieving your dreams. You should instead use them to help you achieve your dreams and be the best person you can be.

The closing scene in Freedom Writers was carefully and purposefully crafted to show the change within the students. Through the use of contrast, close-ups, dialogue and voiceover LaGravenese proved the idea that you shouldn’t let your situation define you, that you are in control of your own destiny. The closing scene carefully shows the development of the students and how they have become friends and a family. They have looked past each other’s gangs and become friends despite their differences. This is the change that needs to be scene within humanity, to look past the features of a person such as their race, gender or wealth and instead see who they are on the inside and the potential they have.

Kia ora

Good intro that solidly sets up this essay (could try to use key word “idea” in “This IDEA is shown” just to be even clearer.)

Great first paragraph - this is the perfect thing to pick out for this kind of question with elements of insight and some great evidence.

In second paragraph, I think that another piece of evidence or perhaps a couple of descriptions of closeups on different students - EG “first we see a close up of x doing y, then…” - try to use really specific examples - you mention a close up, spend the rest of the paragraph talking about ideas, perhaps then try to come back to how the ending of this film is what emphasised this. Your third one is a bit more specific again - but you could unpack it a little more - eg the fact that “they were the first in their families to graduate high school…” - Why is this so significant? Statistically much more likely to go to college if you have seen this role modeled, had family support, etc (even in NZ this is the case)

Could use of “perhaps” as a style thing!

It would get to E - but for a more secure E, consider the things above :slight_smile:

Thank you, this is really helpful!