English ??? Writing for the Context “In times of conflict, ordinary people do extraordinary things” The idea that in times of conflict, ordinary people can do extraordinary things is echoed in the statement by Amos Oz that ‘A conflict begins and ends in the heart and minds of people not on the hilltops. ‘ what this quote is saying is that the beginning of conflict isn’t a physical manifestation but one that the heart and mind can create. It can also be that you can overcome anything not in a physical sense but through your heart and mind.
This is show in Beresford film Paradise Road were Adrienne Pargiter an ordinary woman that helps the women and children escape the harshness of their reality with the use of music. The sense of control and power from the music helps the women to face the cruel reality of what’s around them and gives them something to enjoy and appreciate whilst living the nightmare. Something else that I found that followed the idea of ordinary people doing extraordinary thing in times of conflict is the character Tracy Turnblad from the musical Hairspray.
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Growing up in 1960 Baltimore was the time for change and one change that happened was the integration of Black Americans on television and everywhere else in life. At the beginning her only understanding of the restraints on black Americans was ‘Negro Day’ on her favourite television show ‘The Corny Collins Show’. She soon enough learnt about the restraints black Americans had to live with, in that time. Her decision to change the way black Americans are looked on by others comes with both positive and negative consequences.
People who work or volunteer in emergency services are examples of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. One of the many extraordinary things that they do is put their lives in danger to help protect and save people and animals as well. An iconic image that remains in our minds after the 2009 bushfires is when fire fighter David Tree offered his bottle of water to a koala that had survived the bushfires in 2009. This image of a poor Koala being helped by a fire fighter Adrienne Pargiter from the movie Paradise Road is a character that does extraordinary things while living in a Japanese prisoner of war camp in Sumatra.
She helps the women and children living in this camp overcome the difficulties around them. Her ability to speak out and stand up for those around her brought support and courage from the other women as they began doing something that could help get them through the many years of struggle to come. Her natural born ability to become a leader proved to be more than beneficial when starting the vocal orchestra. The group of women who stood beside her in this up lifting idea gave them the chances to escape mentally from the brutal conditions that surrounded them.
Adrienne’s confidence throughout the movie stayed constant as the women in the choir slowly started to fade away until only a skeleton of the choir remained. This however didn’t stop her from leading the rest of the women in their continuous fight for freedom. An example of her leading the women of the camp is towards the end of the movie when Colonel Hirota comments on the number of choir percipients remaining. Her response was silent but still just a powerful. The use of rocks to make their voice sent a powerful message through the camp telling the Colonel that they still have a voice.
This extraordinary moment in the movie was created by an ordinary woman using her heart and mind to escape the cruel reality of the camp. The character Tracy Turnblad from the musical Hairspray is another ordinary person doing an extraordinary thing. Her actions in helping change the way Americans look at black Americans in 1960 Baltimore changed relationships between white and black Americans. The first sign of integration in the musical is the once a month special on the ‘Corny Collins Show. ‘ ‘Negro Day’ brought a group of black Americans to the show and allowed them to perform once every month.
Her budding friend with black performers from the ‘Negro Day’ special is what ignited the spark to help integrate black People upon learning that the ‘Negro Day’ show is being cancelled. She mainly uses the fact that she is bigger than all the other girls on television to create a flame and unite black and white Americans on television. An everyday reminder of ordinary people doing extraordinary things is the people who work and volunteer in emergency service. They risk their lives on a daily basis to protect others in their community.
One small but extraordinary action that captured the whole world during the 2009 bushfires in Victoria was when fire fighter David Tree helped a distressed Koala by giving it some water after discovering it in the charred remain of what once used to be the Victorian bush. This picture was the symbol of hope during the bush fires and that such a small action can greatly impact a country. In times of conflict extraordinary things can come from ordinary people such as Adrienne Pargiter from Paradise Road and Tracy Turnblad from the musical Hairspray.
They both do extraordinary thing whether it be in Prisoner of war camp in the Sumatran jungle or just racial difference in urban Baltimore. These to character show extraordinary skills in leading people towards a better future. The extraordinary actions of people including emergency services can also come out of conflict. The fire fighters who battled the blazing heat for many days are extraordinary in the actions as they did things that some people would fear to do. There are many different ways of doing extraordinary thing but as shown they all stem from the heart and mind.