4th August 2017

The Nature of Survival

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” -Charles Darwin



Survival is a task that only some can master. With only the abilities you have, and resources around you. In the film ‘Rabbit Proof Fence’ and the ‘Impossible’ and, the texts ‘ Tomorrow When The War Began and Touching The Void.’  Show how the character defeat the odds manage to survival. With mental and physical skills they use their determination, teamwork, trust and knowledge to help over come the obstacles the encounter to survive. With a both mental and physical mindset you can do anything.


The nature of survival is shown in the fiction text “Tomorrow When The War Began” written by John Marsden. Ellie shows us her techniques she and her friends use to survive the war.


The first aspect of survival is to take risks, to overcome obstacles that you may encounter. This is shown in many places throughout the text. This is shown when the group have to separate into groups of  three, by splitting up this causes more risks that they have to take to survive. Ellie, Corrie and Kevin have to risk their own life’s, by going to the show grounds to find out what is going on. Kevin and Corrie stay behind the trucks. Well Ellie has to get closer to view without being caught, well there is a big light that goes around the show grounds she has to get in a range of view by avoiding the light with one wrong move she will be shot at. This shows that you have to take risks to survive if she did not sneak around she would not know what was happening and will have less knowledge of how to survive this ordeal. This is shown when Homer shows leadership by saying “The way I see it, is these are our choices one: we sit here and do nothing, come out when the war is over. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not so good at doing nothing. Two: we can be heroes, Rescue our families from the show ground, but like Dr helpful said, we will probably play the price. Or three we go out there at night. Guerilla style, using hit at run tactics and take back our Wirrawee. Maybe even win this thing.” This does not only that show that risk taking has its advantages of knowing what situation you are in, so you have a plan of what to do next. But if Ellie did not take the risk, her group and homer will not have enough information to evaluate a plan, and they would have no clue what was going on.


The second aspect of survival is to never give up, keep going there is always a way around that you may not see with a blind eye. Ellie says that “We don’t run. We don’t hide, we’ll fight and keep fighting and never give up. Until this war is finally won.” This shows Ellie’s motivation towards her friends to continue. This quote is a good example from when Ellie, Corrie and Kevin are running away from the soldiers and Corrie hurts her leg and she can barely walk. This is when Ellie finds some equipment lying around someone’s property, and by using the mower she blows the soldiers up. There was a young girl no older than Ellie been blown up, this affected her emotionally and physically. “I too had blood on my hands, like the hermit and just as I couldn’t tell whether my actions were good or bad so too I couldn’t tell what mine were. Had I killed out of love of my friends, as a part of noble crusade to rescue my friends and family and keep our land free? Or had I killed because I valued my life above that of others would it be ok for me to kill a dozen others to keep myself alive? A hundred? A thousand? At what point did I condemn myself to hell, if I hadn’t already done so? The bible just said ‘thou shalt not kill.” “Then told hundreds of stories of people killing each other and becoming heroes, like David and Goliath. That didn’t help much.” This quote shows us even though she was affected by blowing up the soldiers. But after time Ellie shows us that she never gave up, even after blowing up the people she continued after time to try to win back Wirrawee.


The nature of survival is shown in the film “Rabbit Proof Fence” directed by Phillip Noyce. Molly shows us her story with her sister and cousin escaping the Moore River Native Settlement to go home to Jigalong.


The first aspect of survival is to use your skills. This is shown in many places throughout the film. This is shown when Molly, Gracie and Daisy are home in Jigalong with their family.. In the first scene of the film is shown in a long shot of when the girls are with Molly and Daisy’s mother. Who is teaching them how to track and hunt, these skills Molly and the girls learn help them escape the Moore river settlement. This is also shown when Molly has to take the bucket out and go to church. She takes this opportunity to escape by using the skills, she has learnt from her family and the day she had learnt at Jigalong camp. She new that this was the best time to escape because everyone was inside the church, it was also going to rain so that would cover their tracks. And that they already taken the morning roll and there will not be another roll till the end of the day. The girl skills are also used when Molly gets Daisy to give her, her bag. Molly places the bag on some reeds on the river and continues in the opposite direction to the bag. Then she tells the girls “In the water, we need to cover our tracks.” When the girls are in the water they slowly walk through the water listening for the tracker. This scene of the girls is shown in a slow motion close up. Another skill Molly used was her trying to steal eggs from a farm. This is shown in a long shot which shows her going into the chicken coup. She eats the chickens bread from the ground, by doing this she gets caught by the farmer’s wife. Her skill she used was to pretend to act dumb, by looking around aimlessly. This scene of her acting dumb is shown in a medium shot. Another skill Molly used was covering her and the girls feet with socks to cover their tracks. Then Molly carries the girls over rocks so they don’t have tracks. This is shown in the scene with close up shots. If Molly did not know these skills, she and the girls would have got captured like Olive and the other girls that attempted to escape Moore River settlement.   


The second aspect of survival is to not give up. This is shown all throughout the film as Gracie doubts Molly’s Instincts. Because Molly did not give up through all Gracie’s doubts, but she and Daisy continued on, even when they lost Gracie. Like in the text Tomorrow when the war began, if the group gave up well in the middle of doing one of their plans to save Wirrawee they would have more of a chance of getting shot. But if Molly gave up she could have got caught by the Tracker and Constable Riggs or die in the desert. But Molly and Ellie did not give up and they both survived their ordeal. Molly survives by not giving up, on what she started out to do. Molly learns that some people she can not trust, but Gracie does not know that yet. This is shown when the girls trust is put on the line when Mr A.O Neville the chief protector of aboriginals in Western Australia. He never gave up on trying to get back the girls because he believed he was doing the right thing by having the children in the Moore River Native Settlement. A technique he use so he could get the girls back to Moore River, was by telling the police to spread the word, that Gracie’s mother was at Willuna. Not long after he spread the word, the girls meet up with an Aboriginal man, he says “Which one of you is Gracie? I heard your mummy in Miluna. You can catch a train there from Meeka.” This is when Molly tells the girls not to go by saying “Don’t listen to him. He’s a liar.” But Gracie is determined to see her mother, but Molly doesn’t want to get caught, and go back to Moore river. She wants to go home. Molly tries to persuade Gracie to come but she doesn’t. A medium shot shows Gracie as she walks away, from Molly and Daisy. This shows that both A.O Neville and Molly, are determined to not give up, to do whatever it take to finish what the started.


The nature of survival is shown in the non fiction text “ Touching the Void” written by Joe Simpson. Joe Simpson takes us on a survival  journey, of him and Simon Yates. As they are the first to survive the climb of the West Face of the Siula Grande.


The first aspect of survival is to never give up. This is shown when Simon is lowering Joe down the mountain because he broke his leg. Even with a broken leg, he is determined to get down, and not give up. Well he lowers Simon down he had known idea what he was lowering him over. Suddenly Joe’s ice axes slips, well he is descending down an ice wall. Both of his knees lock as he hits the slope, and he shatters his joint in his right knee. This causes Simon to begin to slip down the mountain, and he could hold Joe’s weight much longer, other wise he would be over the edge. Simons only hope to survival is to cut the rope. “The knife. The thought came out of nowhere. Of course the knife. Be quick come on get it.” He cut the rope and Joe Plumaged through a  crevasse and hits and ice ledge and miraculously survives. Simon at that stage began to lose hope that Joe is still alive. Joe calls out to Simon as he believes that the rope had snapped, and it never came across to him of it being cut. After a while Joe also Believes Simon has plumaged to his death. This give Joe only a couple of choices, which were for him to stay there and die, or lower himself into the crevasse. He knew that there is a chance he could survive because sometimes crevasses had and exit at the bottom. So he pulled down the rope so he could assail down. He notice the rope had not snapped but had been cut that gave him hope that Simon was probably still alive. This probably gave him motivation to continue on, and he was not going to give up just yet. So he began to go down even with some hope of survival he still had doubts that he would not survive. Just like Gracie in Rabbit proof fence, she had doubts of being captured by the Tracker; but because she continued to doubt she got captured. But unlike Gracie he did not doubt the whole way, and he did get out of the crevasse. But not without a struggle he had hallucinations that he had to snap out of, so that he could continue on and get back to the camp, in time before Simon and Richard leave camp and go home. But because Joe and Simon did not give up, and Joe fought his hallucinations they were the first to survive, the West Face of the Siula Grande.


The second aspect of survival you must be prepared for anything. This is shown when Joe are at base camp getting ready to climb the Siula Grande. They have to weigh down their bags, so that they have as little as possible, but necessary things needed to survive. This is shown in the text when Joe says “Despite all our efforts to cut down on weight, the rucksack were going to be a heavy burden…the bivvi tent was far too cumbersome; we decided to leave it behind and rely on finding good snow holes instead.” But they were not prepared enough, and will later regret leaving the bivvi tent behind. Joe and Simon on the second night, they believe there is not enough gas, to boil for the entire ascent and descent. Which means they are not prepared for the climb, they are only on night two, and already concerned about how much gas they have. This is shown when Joe asks Simon this “How much gas have we got left? I asked. One tin.” This must have concerned the men, because they believed that they would only be away for a few days, but they would find that they were wrong, and did not prepare enough if anything did go wrong. On the final morning of their descent, they decided that they would use, their last gas bottle. Which only had enough for two more drinks. When the used the last of their water, they know that they wouldn’t have any water, until they made it to the glacial lakes. Because they did not prepare extra gas and food, incase they were climbing for longer than they expected or something went wrong, there would have been a backup, to prevent them from getting dehydrated and starving. Because they were not fully prepared they both suffered from the effects of dehydration and starvation. But Joe got effect the worst; he was not only affected physically but also mentally. This caused him to hallucinate, and see things that were not actually there. This is just like when in Rabbit Proof Fence, when Molly and Daisy were in the desert, and they start becoming delirious, from dehydration, malnutrition and exhaustion. This causes the girls to collapse. As you can see both Rabbit Proof Fence and Touching The Void, are both on a journey, and get effected by the dehydration, due to being unprepared or having lack of resources. Due to fighting and not giving up, even when you are not fully prepared, you shouldn’t give up, or you most likely won’t survive.


The nature of survival is shown in the film “The Impossible” directed by J.A Bayona. This is a true story, that shows the remarkable survival of Maria Belon and her son Lucas, who survival the deadliest tsunami, of the indian ocean to hit Khao lak, Thailand, on boxing day in 2004.



The first aspect of survival is to help others. This is shown when the family are on holiday at Orchid Beach Resort. They are all at the pool playing with a ball, well their mother, Maria sits on the side reading a book.  All of a sudden Maria’s pages fly out of her book so she goes over to the glass wall to get it. Then there is a rumble, and there is a bird’s-eye view shot, of the tsunami hitting the resort. Maria is smashed into the wall. The family are separated, Maria is swept away with the oldest son Lucas. And the father is taken away, with the two younger sons, Tomas and Simon. Maria get sucked under the tsunami and during this she gets a serious injures to her leg and chest. This is shown in a series of close up shots and eye view angles. When she comes up out of the water, she finds Lucas and gave him a hug. This is  shown in an eye level close up. But because she is still in the water, she doesn’t realise she has injured her leg, and chest in till later on. Her and Lucas then try to find some high land to go to.  As they are finding somewhere to go, they her a noise, of a little boy named Daniel; he had been swept away from his family. Maria said “ We have to help that little boy. Even if it is the last thing that we could do.” So they do end up helping Daniel. Then they find a tree to climb, so they can be high, in case a tsunami hits again. But due to Maria’s injury, 10-year-old  Lucas has to help, his mother get up the tree to safety. Finally they got found, by locals who transferred them, to the local hospital, in the city of Takua Pa. When they get to the hospital, Daniel gets taken away, so the locals can try find his family. This is when Maria says “ Lucas look at this place. They’re so busy in here, you get to go and do something. Go help people. You’re good at that.” Lucas then goes out and help families and friends reunite. He did this by asking people who they are looking for, and he runs around calling out the names, until he has found the person. Well he was doing this, he saw Daniel again, reunited with his father and brothers. This was shown in a close up, eye level. This is a huge relief, for Lucas and his dad, and brothers that the whole family, all remarkably survived. Lucas is reunited with his Dad and brothers, and they go find his Mom who just got out of surgery. The whole family is now reunited, and Lucas says “Mom, I found Daniel, he was happy.” This shows that when you do something good for others in need, even when you are in the same situation, good things still come out of it.     


The second aspect is to be brave not give up. This is shown on the film, when the family are on the plane to Thailand. As the 10-year-old and older brother Lucas was, he wasn’t afraid of the motion of the plane, but his mother was constantly scared and worried all through it. This shows us a bit about who they are and how Lucas and his mother Maria reacted in situations. Later on in the film when Maria and Lucas are trying to get to high grounds and find help. Lucas believes that his father Henry, and his brothers are dead. But Maria won’t believe it, till she knows that it was true. Later on  Lucas says to his mom “I’m always a brave kid, mom I’m scared.” This is shown in an eye level close up. Even though Lucas acts brave, on the outside, he was scared in the inside, like we all are at times. This relates to the film Rabbit Proof Fence. Molly acts brave on the outside, because she has to stay strong for Daisy and Gracie, and she wants to set a positive mind-set, so she can get home. But deep down Molly was scared, but she never gave up. Molly did not show that she was scared, all throughout the film and she managed to survive and get her sister home to herself and her mother and grandmother. Just like Molly, Lucas was scared, even though he never showed that the was scared. He continued on and never gave up till they found help and got his mum to safety. This shows that he was not going to give up until his mom was safe in hospital. Just like in “Rabbit Proof Fence.”

The films and texts show that for anyone to survive, they must not give up but continue fighting. They must say mentally and physically aware to survive.  People under extreme situations need their mind to be one step ahead whether it is saving your self or others. By keeping your mind positive without having a negative mindset, that will lower the chance of survival. Just like in Rabbit Proof Fence Molly had a positive mindset the whole time and she did not just look after her self but the other girls too. She manage to forage for food to keep everyone alive. But unlike Simon in ‘ Touching the void.’ He was in a situation which he could not save Joe anymore, he had no choose to cut the rope. And save himself. This shows the reader the mind-blowing physical and mental encounter people had to go through to get to the other side and overcome the ordeal in order to survival, and not let the mental pain and suffering get in the way.


Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Heidi, I am very pleased with the film techniques you chose to write about in your selected text: “The Impossible.” There is effective evidence used in this discussion. Please see me about using “Tomorrow when the War Began” as this is used as a Year 9 text at MAC. Complete your essay conclusion, then: 1) Edit your quotations and film technique examples to showcase the details that are needed for your discussion. There is a lot of evidence used to support your ideas, but not all of it is needed. 2) Look at the final judgements you are making at the end of each point; develop these “findings” to fully explain what the reader/viewer learns about people, their environment or the nature of survival. 3) Read through your writing out loud so that all of your sentences make sense. You will have two lessons this week to complete this assessment.

  2. Heidi, 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), word and spelling errors. You need to tighten-up the accuracy of your assessment, overall.
    2) Have a read through your second point for “Tomorrow when the war began.” Do you think (all of) the very long quotation is needed? What do you want to say for this point? Ensure that your discussion of why it is important to “keep going” to survive, is complete.
    3) There is a lot of plot detail for “The Impossible” Only present plot details that are relevant for your point/s discussion. Also, consider extending your explanation about what the viewer learns. This is very brief overall.
    4) Lastly, clearly explain the connections between texts. Your comparisons are quite brief but this is an important part of the assessment.
    Well done for your work thus far.


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