15th August 2017

Significant connections

The nature of survival


“People will do amazing things to ensure their survival” – Patricia Briggs

This quote shows that in difficult situations people can change who they are to make sure they survive. In the text Rabbit Proof Fence directed by Phillip Noyce, Touching the Void written by Joe Simpson, Lone Survivor directed by Peter Burg and American Sniper directed by Clint Eastwood we see courage, leadership, smarts and natural instincts that are all qualities that are useful for survival.


The nature of survival was shown in the film “Rabbit proof fence” directed by Phillip Noyce. The first aspect of survival that was shown was having a positive attitude motivates you to push through boundaries and reach your goals. This is shown throughout the film by Molly encouraging Gracie and Daisy to keep walking and that they will make it home to Jigalong without getting caught by the police or the tracker. The viewer hears “he’s not gonna get us. We just keep walking and the rain will cover our tracks”, “ find that rabbit fence, we go home and “ Nah, that tracker not gonna get us now. This shows the viewer that Molly is being positive for her sisters so that they will believe it’s possible to get home to Jigalong. Molly being positive about getting home and surviving is a good influence on Daisy and Gracie because they can see their sister being positive and it makes them more positive. This is encouraging news for the girls so they trust Molly at the time and start their journey. In the end of the film, it shows that Molly being positive for them and then Daisy trusting her positive attitude insurers her a greater chance of survival and Gracie who had been negative a lot was then caught by the police. The positive attitude shows us that if you believe you are going to be ok then everything around you can become less scary because you don’t see it in a negative.


The second aspect of survival that was shown in the film “Rabbit proof fence” was using the resources you have in order to survive, in this case, the harsh Australian outback. This was shown when Molly continuously uses her knowledge to avoid the tracker and get food for her sisters. This is seen when Molly takes Daisy’s bag when they’re about to walk down the river to avoid leaving tracks in the sand. She places the bag upstream so that when the tracker finds it he is led upstream away from the girls giving them extra time to escape. The viewer sees a medium shot of Molly standing over Daisy with her hand out saying “givessit, give us your bag” she does this because the tracker is coming for them and she is trying to decoy him upstream. The viewer also sees a high angle, close up of Molly grabbing a pair of socks from the clothesline at a farm with ex Moore river aboriginal workers. These socks are later used in the film by Molly hopping over rocks With Daisy then Gracie so that they don’t leave footprints behind otherwise the tracker would be able to find them. This shows the viewer that Molly thinks ahead and about a situation that could happen because she knows the outback can be very unpredictable and Mr Nevile and Moodoo are trying to catch her, her sister and cousin. Molly uses what she has and is able to use, improving her chance of survival because she’s not wasting useful resources.


The nature of survival was shown in the text “ Touching the Void “ written by Joe Simpson. The first aspect of survival that was shown was knowing your environment around you. This was shown when Joe Simpson and Simon Yates are trying to climb the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. They have experience of climbing many other challenging mountains but never one of this difficulty or so secluded. They are determined to climb the west face of Siula Grande because it hasn’t been done before and they want to be the first. Simon and Joe managed to get up the mountain within their projected time frame of about two days. Then on their way down the west face, they were not sure on which side of the ridge to go down. They had planned to come down the north ridge but the weather had changed and became very cloudy as well as snow starting to fall. This meant they could not see which side of the ridge they were on.  The text states “ This ridge had turned out to be a lot more serious than we had ever imagined” This shows that Joe and Simon had not studied or looked over the map and mountain enough which had now put them in danger. The text also states” We looked back at our route so as to fix the features in our mind. Neither of us wanted to forget it on the way down.” This shows the viewer that it would have helped them to try and study the mountain more so that they would be able to get down easier. Once they got to the glacier they wanted to go back down where they came from because they know the environment there in is very dangerous with crevices and thin surface snow that they can fall through and if they could find where they had been last time it would be possible to follow there footprints back.

This can be related to “Rabbit proof fence” because Molly knows the Australian outback very well and what signs to look for in the wild landscape. This shows that in most survival situation people need to know what their surrounding are gonna be like and how to use it to her advantage.


The second aspect of survival that was shown in the text “ Touching the Void” was making small goals to accomplish the overall objective. This was shown when Simon and Joe are on their way down the mountain and Joe slipped and broke his leg. They were on their way down and as Joe was being lowered down on the belay. He went off a cliff and couldn’t get back up. Simon made a rational decision to cut the rope because he was freezing and slowly being dragged down the hill because of Joe’s weight. Joe fell 150 feet through some ice but landed onto a ledge and was still in one piece. He then belayed himself down the crevice because it was his only option. He got to the bottom and found a way out. He got out and was on the glacier. Now he had to get off the glacier. On Joe’s way down the Glacier, he set himself small goals of making it to a certain rock within a set timeframe. The text states, “ I timed myself religiously…I looked ahead to a landmark and gave myself half an hour to reach it…it felt so damned important to beat the watch…the watch became as crucial as my good leg. This shows the reader that a key point to Joe’s survival is making little goals to get to a certain place within his time frame. Then when Joe completes his goal he can feel like he’s getting somewhere and he has a chance to make it back to base camp.


The nature of survival was shown in the film “American Sniper” directed by Clint Eastwood. The first aspect of survival that was shown was being prepared. This was shown at the start of the film when Chris Kyle a US Navy seal goes over to Iraq during one of his tours. Chris Kyle is assigned as a sniper. His job is to watch over the ground troops while he sits above with his sniper, sniping anyone who is attempting to attack or kill the squad. During his first time into the war zone, he and another soldier who was watching for people behind him were sitting on top of a building. They were put so they could see in front of the battalion. Then a woman and child came from around a corner. The viewer hears Chris say to the ground troops “ her arms aren’t swinging, she’s carrying something”, Yeah, she’s got a grenade. She’s got an RKG, Russian grenade, she’s handing to the kid.” In the scene, you can hear his breathing increase and his voice rise as he spots the grenade. This shows the viewer that he is put in a difficult situation because the boy puts the troops in danger but he is hesitant to shoot because it’s a young child. He realises that it’s like his family back home because he has a young boy and a wife. It makes him think that shooting them is like shooting his family. We also hear his look over Winston say after Chris made the call took them out say excitedly “you hear that” after hearing the commander on the radio say “nice shooting Tex, hell of a call.” In shock, Chris disturbingly says “ get the …. off me”  and looks through his scope stunned at what he has done.


The nature of survival was shown in the text “ American Sniper” directed by Clint Eastwood. The second aspect of survival that was shown was knowing your limits. This was shown at the end of the film when Chris is on what ends up as his last tour and he is positioned on the top of a building with his squad. Their position is very open so once he makes the shot they will be surrounded.There they are set up for Chris to try to take out the Iraqi sniper who has been shooting a lot of the marines and seals. Chris spots Mustafa on a far away building. The shot is over 2000 yards. “ It’s more than a mile, impossible shot Chris,” says Dandridge. Chris confirms it’s him and ignores what Dandridge said. Chris takes the shot and killed mustafa. Now that he took the shot it’s given away their position and are immediately surrounded by Iraqi soldiers. The viewer hears Chris say “I’m ready. I’m ready to come home. I’m ready to come home baby.” Chris says this after his successful shot on mustafa. This shows the viewer that Chris has reached his limit and needs to come home. He has spent too much time in Iraq and wants to be back home forever with his wife and his kids.


The nature of survival was shown in the film “Lone survivor” directed by Peter Berg. The first aspect of survival that was shown is to protect each other. This was shown when four Navy Seals are in Afghanistan on a surveillance mission to take out the Taliban leader Ahmad Shah. They run into two Afghanistan teenagers and grandpa. They held them put and made a plan with the Taliban leader insight in the village not far away. Mike Murphy made the call to let them free and head for the top of the ridge so they could radio for backup. One of the teenagers ran down the hill and informed the leader Ahmad Sah. The four guys are outnumbered and have to retreat to the bush when they found out it was a false ridge. They now have to find a way back to the base. The Taliban catch up to them and they are now under fire. They each are watching over everyone and got their backs. We hear “ I think we’re getting into a pretty good gunfight.”  “copy that.” This shows the viewer that the squad is ready to fight for their guys and not backing down or leaving anyone behind.

This can be compared to “Rabbit proof fence” when Molly and the girls are constantly looking out for each other, making sure they’re ok. This shows that by protecting each other you always have someone to look out for you.


The second aspect of survival that was shown in the text “Lone Survivor” was doing what you can to survive. This was shown in the intro of the movie when it’s showing all the test they have to do and how much they have to push themselves. They are transformed into the person that puts others above himself and can lead people with confidence in any situation. They are ready for the horrors that are out in the combat zones that shouldn’t be heard of and they never back down.  We hear “whatever you do, find an excuse to win.” This shows the viewer that these guys in the middle of Afghanistan are the ultimate fighters that push themselves to the limit, they would do anything for their brothers and would die for their country. It shows the viewer that they would leave everything behind: family, friends, life. All because they’re protecting their country and brothers.


In conclusion from the text Rabbit Proof Fence directed by Phillip Noyce, Touching the Void written by Joe Simpson, Lone Survivor directed by Peter Burg and American sniper by Clint Eastwood we all aspects of survival that help the characters survive. This shows us that there is not a guideline on how to survive dangerous situation but only option that can increase the likelihood of your survival.

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Josh, in the first week of Term 4, you will be given time to finalise your “Significant Connections” assessment. Key areas to strengthen:
    1) Please read through your assessment carefully out loud, to find the punctuation (capital letters and full-stops, quotation marks), word and spelling errors. You need to tighten-up the accuracy of your assessment, overall.
    2) Look at your final sentences of each paragraph: have you fully and clearly explained what the reader/viewer learns about the effect of characters’ decisions? What do we learn about a person’s ability to survive?
    3) When making comparisons between texts, make sure you give specific evidence from your second text to support your ideas (so that the connection is clear).
    Well done for your work thus far, but your final sentences for each paragraph and your comparisons between texts need to be developed.


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