These gender stereotypes are initially suggested towards the beginning of the film in the actions of Billy’s boxing coach. He informs the boys that half the boxing hall is being used for ballet lessons and warns them to stay away from the girls, “No hanky panky is that understood? ” This rhetorical question acts as an overlay to jump shorts between the girls in their tutus and the boys in their boxing gloves. The composer’s use of these techniques together is suggestive of the notion that only girls do ballet and only boys do boxing and as a result alludes to gender stereotyping.
Further into the film we are again presented with another representation of gender stereotyping in the attitudes expressed in a conversation between Debbie and Billy. In this instance Billy is clearly conflicted with the stereotypes he has been raised with and his innate desire to learn ballet. He maintains the belief that men who do ballet are “poofs”, however Debbie assures him that men who do ballet are “not necessarily poofs” and “as fit as an athlete”.
In addition to this dialogue the composer has employed the use of a tracking mid-shot in filming this scene to reveal the setting as well as reinforce the existing prejudices regarding male ballet dancers within Durham. The sexual prejudices of Durham are later blatantly presented to us when Billy is eventually caught dancing by his father, Jackie Elliot. Billy is confronted face to face with his father at his dinner table. In this scene Daldry has employed the technique of a close up of Jackie’s face as he says “… lads do football or boxing or wrestling not friggin’ ballet”.
This allows the audience to clearly see his facial expression of disgust has he spits out the word “ballet” reinforcing to the audience the gender stereotypes which Billy is expected to abide to. Daldry’s various uses of camera angles and filmic techniques combined with the dialogue of the characters successfully present to us the gender challenges and sexual stereotypes Billy must overcome in order to enter the world of dance. The novel, The clan of the cave bear also explores experiences of sexual prejudices through the attitudes and actions of the various characters.
The protagonist of the book is a young girl called Ayla , who has been adopted by a clan with attitudes concentrated around a strong male bias. Throughout the book as Alya experiences stages of transition into the world she is exposed to these prejudices and often challenges them. Towards the beginning of the novel the clan’s attitudes of gender bias were quickly the established as seen in the line “no disaster could be so great as that of a women seeing the men’s secret rites. ” Here the composer’s clear use of hyperbole, greatly exaggerates what may occur if a female is in the presence of a male gathering.
This presents to the reader the overwhelming sexual prejudices and patriarchal ways within the clan. Another experience of such prejudice can be perceived in the actions of the mother of Vorn, a boy within the clan. She encourages her son to give orders to Alya she believes that he is learning to behave “just like a man”. The composer’s use of verbatim in this line encapsulates the strong sexual bias held against women within the tribe as well as supports the stereotypical roles of males and females. Furthermore the composer demonstrates another representation of gender stereotypes in the actions of Iza, the woman who adopted Alya.
In a conversation between Iza and Creb, Iza expresses her concern for Alya’s future. She states that “she’s not attractive” and asks “What chance will she ever have to mate? What will happen to her when she becomes a woman? If she doesn’t mate, she will have no status. ” The composer has clearly again expressed the tribe’s attitudes through the repetition of rhetorical questions. This underscores the towns gender stereotyping as Iza demonstrates a clear concern that Alya will not fulfil her role in society.
Together, these three experiences of gender prejudice and a clear male bias reveal to us a holistic understanding of the attitudes encountered when entering into a society of sexual injustice, such as Ayla’s world. Moreover another experience of venturing into society revealed within the film Billy Elliot is the experience of dealing with the death of a loved one or family member. Towards the beginning of film we are informed that the Elliot family has recently lost the mother, Jenny Elliot leaving Jackie Elliot a widow.
He is evidently still in a state of grief and struggling to carry a family of four whilst dealing with the pressures of the miner strike. This is revealed to us through his actions in the scene of Billy playing a fragmented refrain on the piano. Daldry employs the use of a close up to highlight Jackie’s facial expression where he is seen to be repressing emotions of great sadness. This is then followed by a violent outburst in slamming the piano shut. This foreshadows the family’s damaged state as a result of the loss. Another demonstration of the family struggling to deal with the loss of their mother can be seen in the actions of Billy.
After Billy and grandma Elliot visit Jenny’s cemetery the direct cuts to a mid-shot of Billy and his brother about to sleep, before Billy sleeps he asks his brother “do you ever think about death? ” in a soft voice to which Tony replies “fuck off”. This indicates that billy is clearly facing difficulties in coming to terms with the death of his mother and is attempting to reach of for some guidance. Additionally Billy’s experience of dealing with the family’s loss can again be seen in the scene where Billy wakes up in the middle of the night for a drink of milk.
The director employs an over the shoulder point of view shot when Billy turns around to see a hallucination of his mother telling him to put the milk bottle back in the fridge, he does not realise that she is in fact not there and when he turns back she has vanished. This use of a point of view shot suggests that Billy is still not accustomed to not having his mother around and has not fully adapted to the loss of his mother and in fact still mistakenly feels as if he is in her presence.
Throughout these three scenes the attitudes and actions of Billy and Jackie towards death are revealed and are evidently struggling with transition into a new phase without a member of the family. Furthermore, this experience of dealing with the loss of a loved one is echoed in the short story Triple word score. The short story begins with the mother telling the narrator about the death of his father. Clearly the death has caused a variety of differing emotions between the two. This can be seen in the line “…he searched his repertoire for further consolatory noises. At Least He Felt No Pain?
It Could Have Been Much Worse? ” Goldsworthy’s use of capital letters suggests that the narrator is struggling to find a way to comfort his mother, without resorting to and cliches. This suggests that he is has neglected his own emotional response to the loss and more focused on his mother’s. In addition, the mother’s experience in coming to terms with the father’s death can be seen in the game of scrabble. This can be seen in the line “feelings she was unable to speak of, to actually fit into speech – were sometimes, oddly, hinted at through those hard wooden letters. Here the composer employed the use of a dash to indicate a continuous flow of thought, as if the narrator is slowly deduce how his mother is communicating her feelings. The reminder of the story revolves around the scrabble board game, during this game various words are accentuated through the use of capital letters. This can be observed in the words “” Goldworthy’s use of key words creates an atmosphere of tension within the texts and reveals to the audience that the grief brought about from the death father has now lead to conflict regarding the future between the mother and the narrator.
These three instances focus on the experiences of two people as a result of one death, the consolatory actions of the narrator and the tight-lipped attitude of the mother demonstrate differing emotions being experiences by two individuals in the a phase of transition into a world without a husband and a father. Overall, these three texts display distinct notions of moving into the world which are revealed through the composers’ usage of textual and camera techniques.
These present to us differing attitudes of characters and as a result reveal experiences of overcoming gender expectations and dealing with a loss of a family member. Billy Elliot from the film directed by Stephen Daldry, overcame both these obstacles in his journey into the world of dance. Similarly Alya from The clan of the cave bear is all so being expected to adhere to female stereotypes. In dealing with death the mother and son from Triple word score experience the transition into the world without a father in the family.