Cultural Context: Identifying Elements of Comparative Genres From Your Texts

Cultural Context: Identifying Elements of Comparative Genres From Your Texts

How the cultural context influences the outcome of the plots.

The Old Man and The Sea

The cultural context remains at the text’s end as the family unit’s lack of total dominance remains and Manolin acts independent of their wishes. As was established earlier, Manolin’s family instructed him to keep a distance from Santiago due to his being unlucky, however at the text’s end the boy decides to resume their partnership, indicating that the family unit now has no influence. When Manolin declares ‘Now we will fish together again’ Santiago refers to the earlier order of Manolin’s parents by remarking that ‘No. I am not lucky. I am not lucky anymore.’ The boy then reveals how is no longer bound by their demands and expectations, declaring ‘The hell with luck.. I’ll bring the luck with me’, which reveals how he will act as he sees fit. His comment also indicates that he will now have an independent mindset, which now will not be influenced by any other; usually a child will be affected by the opinion of their parent, and this break from convention is an emphatic statement of the decline of the role of the parent in the world of the text.

I’m not Scared

At the end of the text the social setting is removed as the divide that separates Michele and Filippo throughout the entire text is removed, which shows how as the text ends the tension that caused divides between the Italian population as a result of economic factor is finally countered by human kindness and compassion. After Michele finds Filippo there is a connection between the two, seen in such moments as when Michele brings him food, water and tries to save Filippo, who tells the protagonist ‘I’m scared’, prompting Michele to tell him ‘No, you are not scared’, displaying his care for his new friend. However for much of the text they are constantly separated, as Filippo is trapped in the hole, and even when Michele saves him there is still separation as Michele is trapped in the hole as he cannot get out of the hole after he helps Filippo get out; this symbolizes the divide between the rich and poor sections of the population which has been caused by the aforementioned tension, which affects even those who are not aware of the reasons for and circumstances of this divide. Initially, as Filippo and Michelle’s friendship opposes the divide, Michele’s father tries to prevent Michele going to Filippo again, threatening to beat him if he does so. Despite this Michele goes to help him, and is almost killed in the process, as Michele’s father almost kills him by shooting him, even when Michele cries out ‘Papa! I didn’t know that it was you!’. However, once the friendship counters the divide and tension it is impossible to halt the power of the friendship, and at the text’s end Michele survives the gunshot, and Filippo is saved as helicopters arrive; for the first time the boys are not separated, presenting human kindness and compassion, and not tension and division, as the dominant forces in the world of the text as it draws to a close.

Macbeth

At the text’s end it is suggested that the cultural context will be escaped from and that the kingdom will return to a unified state, where subjects follow the rule of the king who in turn will be suitable for caring for and controlling his subjects. Macbeth’s side loses the battle and Macduff arrives with Macbeth’s head in his hand, declaring to Malcolm that he is king of Scotland. Malcolm in response says all his thanes will become earls (acceding to the English system of peerage), the first time this had occurred in the history of Scotland that thus heralds the new order of rule. Malcolm also proves himself a suitable ruler for the future as he shows compassion for young Siward’s death, indicating that he has learned from Macduff earlier as he remarks to Siward ‘He’s worth more sorrow,/ And that I’ll spend for him’. As shown with the callous nature of Macbeth throughout the play, a good king must care for his subjects rather than corrupting and killing them in the manner Macbeth has, as this ensures that subjects will be loyal to their king. This will result in traits such as compassion, care, respect and loyalty being spread throughout the kingdom rather than corruption and deception, as was achieved when Macbeth had the criminals murder Banquo. There is also the indication that everyone will attend the coronation, as opposed to earlier with Macbeth’s; this presents the kingdom as unified, with Malcolm remarking ‘So thanks to all at once and to each one,/ Whom we invite to see us crown’d at Scone’

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite this content.

About the Author

John Ryan

John has a Masters in Modern English Literature and is the founder of RyJoLC, an educational consultancy based in Dublin that provides English language and curriculum resources to educational institutions worldwide.
Ask a question
Did this raise a question for you? Get involved in the discussion.