English essays identity and belonging

Another character imprisoned by a socially imposed sense of identity is Muriel’s mother Betty Heslop. In the scene before the police bring Muriel home Betty is in the kitchen and the camera tracks to a mid shot as her lazy children sit prostrate in the adjoining lounge room. The youngest daughter shrieks at her mother “Mum make dad a cup of tea” and the camera then tracks from a long shot to a mid shot of Betty who with a vacant gaze responds to the order as through she is their servant. Betty is then filmed in close up looking alienated, vacantly staring at the teacup as it moves in a recurring cyclical motion in the microwave. This scene symbolises her life, which goes around in meaningless circles representing the infinite trap that Betty has fallen into as she attempts to fulfil the role of wife and mother that society expects of her. Betty is presented as completely dissociated from reality in this scene but it is not until the final scenes of the movie that the audience fully appreciate how empty her life has been as wife and mother. When Betty loses her role as wife she is completely lost because she has never achieved a sense of self outside her imposed role. The scene that best symbolises this is the burnt backyard scene. The high angle shot of the suburban backyard smouldering with the burned clothes swaying on the hills hoist best symbolises the frustration Betty felt fulfilling an identity imposed on her by society. The hills hoist, like Betty’s life is based around a meaningless circular motion. Burning the hills hoist was Betty’s final act of self-immolation and defiance against her imposed role.

English essays identity and belonging

english essays identity and belonging


english essays identity and belongingenglish essays identity and belongingenglish essays identity and belongingenglish essays identity and belonging