I Was There 2 1 Essay

Submitted By Viliami-Kaetau
Words: 1819
Pages: 8

I Was There

Has it ever occurred to you that a text has been heavily influenced by an authors past? Many authors use their own personal experiences to put together a text. This is why I have chosen to explore five different texts and how their time period/location influenced their writing, how characters have been influenced by real people and how texts have been related to important events in their lives.
The authors and novels I have chosen to explore are; To kill a mocking bird by Harper Lee, all quiet on the western front by Erich Maria Remarque, slaughterhouse five by kurt Vonnegut, Once Were Warriors by Alan Duff and Rocky by Sylvester Stallone.

Question 1
How has the authors’ time period and location influenced their writing?
To kill a Mockingbird by Harper lee has been heavily influenced by the time period in which she grew up. Harper Lee was born in April 28, 1926 in a small rural Alabama town called Monroeville (Wikipedia). During this time period racism was very strong, although slaving was illegal apartheid was still in practise. This theme of racism is reflected and can clearly be seen in To Kill a Mockingbird as it deals with the issues of racism that she observed as a white child in her hometown. A clear example of this can be seen when Atticus says "There's something in our world that makes men lose their heads—they couldn't be fair if they tried. In our courts, when it's a white man's word against a black man's, the white man always wins. They're ugly, but those are the facts of life” (sparknotes). This shows that the court system was corrupt and unfair towards black people during this time period because even though the black person might be in the right the white man’s word would always overpower the evidence.
The novel all quiet on the western front has been heavily influenced by the time period in which the author Erich Maria Remarque grew up. He was born on 22 June 1898 and was conscripted into the army at the age of 18 (Wikipedia). His novel was heavily influenced by his time period because of the reality of war surrounding him.
In the novel slaughterhouse five by kurt Vonnegut the time period in which they lived has heavily influenced their writing. Kurt was born on November 11, 1922 in Indianapolis United States of America. His novel slaughterhouse five is greatly influenced by the time period in which he lived due to the occurrence of war in this timeframe. During this time WW2 was in full swing and Kurt/Billy was exposed to the most cruel and gruelling parts of it.
The novel Once Were Warriors by Alan Duff is heavily influenced by the authors time period and location. Alan Duff was born born 26 October 1950, Rotorua, New Zealand and was brought up in a state house with parents who cares very little of him. During this time period and this part of New Zealand domestic violence and gang related ordeals were at a peak. This is reflected in his novel as Once Were Warriors is set in the fictional town of Two Lakes, which was based on Rotorua where Alan Duff grew up. Two Lakes is a literal translation of the Maori Name Rotorua. (Wikipedia)

Question 2
How have characters in the novels been influenced by real people?
In the novel to kill a mockingbird many characters have been influenced by real life people. Many characters within the book including Atticus finch have been influenced by her family for example Harper Lee’s father, Amasa Coleman Lee (Wikipedia) is portrayed as Atticus. This can be seen because like Atticus Finch her father was also a lawyer, and is one of the few residents of their small town committed to racial equality (sparknotes). Atticus also much resembles Lees father in a way of his qualities for example Atticus says “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” This shows Atticus is very understanding and had very strong morals which is how she has described her