COMPARATIVE ESSAY – NANBERRY: BLACK BROTHER WHITE & THE TRUMAN SHOW
Eden Menashe 9B1
Independence is a mighty thing, being free from outside control, not subject to another’s authority. Peter Weir and Jackie French both used the theme of independence to portray many different ideas. Their work, The Truman Show and Nanberry: Black Brother White, both showed independence in it, in many different ways, using different literary devices to help prove this fact.
A literary device, used to emphasise the theme of independence, is the setting. Seahaven (Truman’s world) and New South Wales (Nanberry’s world) are both microcosms. A microcosm is commonly defined as encapsulating a smaller place with the characteristics of something bigger as Christof states in the Truman Show “We accept the reality of the world in which we are presented”, a little world. In this instance, isolation plays a huge role due to the fact the microcosms are out of reach from everyone else. For Truman, he literally can’t escape his microcosm, he truly is physically trapped in a little world (inside a dome) and is out of the reach of those who want to help him. Born into the life, there was no escape, only ideas of escaping but before Truman could fight his way out of the little world physically, he needed to first do the same mentally. Truman took things as they were, believing what was handed to him, not realising he was being spoon fed but once he did, then he was finally able to become himself. In contrast to this, Nanberry was trapped more in the mental sense of the word. Nanberry was a victim of smallpox, saved by chance, but once saved could not go back. He was then, forever, trapped in the clutches of the modern world. Nanberry was looked upon as different but couldn’t go back to what he knew because his family / clan weren’t alive, therefore he was left with the colony “The world he had known was gone, even if some of its people had survived”. In a way Nanberry was also imprisoned physically because he was unable to go anywhere unless ordered otherwise. The way that Weir and French used setting, put a deeper meaning into the plot / storyline, making it more realistic and understandable.
In both pieces of work, Weir and French use the characters to support their respective ideas of independence. Nanberry and Truman are quite different individuals but also somewhat similar. Nanberry is someone who is judged unfairly and takes care of himself, whereas Truman is worshipped by people and supported like a baby his whole life, not knowing anything about who he really was. The similarity between the two is that in the end, t...