The Theme Of Failure Is A Part Of Learning In Films And Literature

Life has its ups and downs and many people are scared of failure. Failure is a lesson which helps us to persevere to achieve the things that we want to fight for and are passionate about. Persevering for what you want won’t always have positive outcomes which led me to the theme of failure is a part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life. This theme is clearly shown through the poems Still I Rise by Maya Angelou and Mother to Son by Langston Hughes, and also the films The Help by Tate Taylor and The Lion King by Rob Minkoff and Roger Allers. I have learnt from these texts that I should just keep going forward no matter the situation as it will make me stronger and better.

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Failures may put us down, and people handle failure differently-positively or negatively. Failure teaches us a lesson in life, to be strong, to reflect the past and learn from it, and to value ourselves better. But in the film, The Help by Tate Taylor, Hilly, a character from The Help deals with failure negatively which destroys her and who she was as well as failure getting to her and controlling her life. Hilly demonstrates this by her abusive words, an ability to lie and manipulate and torments to the African-American community by her cutting words for no reason. Hilly illustrates the cutting words to the African-American community by saying “Get off my toilet! You are fired, Minny Jackson!” The word ‘my’ display her personality of being selfish and being disrespectful especially to the African-American Community. Hilly demonstrates this behavior to her mother as well, which shows clearly that she doesn’t have respect for others as well as herself. Hilly presents that she doesn’t have respect for her mother as a camera shot in The Help is when Hilly’s mother is behind her when they are on the way to go to bridge club which had a long shot of this scene. Which taught me and the audience to deal with failure positively and not negatively like Hilly did as failure will control us and ruin ourselves like we never know ourselves anymore.

Perseverance is a continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition. Perseverance is shown in the text Still I Rise by Maya Angelou, as she fights for her rights and the African-American community in a positive manner, no matter the obstacle. During the 60s African-Americans faced segregation, verbal abuse, and racism, which is why the Black Civil Rights movement was created. Angelou illustrates perseverance in the poem by the use of metaphors and the repetition. She uses the metaphor “I’m a black ocean” to convey her power. The word ‘ocean’ shows that she is a force of nature and that she is a powerful black woman and no one could put her down. The use of the repetition of “I Rise” reminds the people that she rises above hardship, no matter the situation, whether it be discrimination, verbal abuse or racism. Angelou wants the reader to realize that the African-American community has been through a lot of hardships but none of the hardships had put them down as they are fighting together. I now know that no matter the hardships we have to fight together to make a difference.

Another text that showed perseverance is The Help. In this film, Minny deals with Hilly’s abusive words. Although Hilly had fired her, she perseveres to find a new job. Taylor shows this when Minny goes to Celia’s house for a job opportunity through a long shot of Minny in front of Celia’s House. A medium long shot displays that Minny has been through many hardships and hope that persevering to find a new job could end up positive through her facial expression. Taylor wants the audience to know that hardships are just a part of learning which makes us preserve to achieve our goals. I now know that if you keep persevering and never give up on the struggles of life you will be able to fight for a different and more positive future. Perseverance has positive outcomes. This is shown in the text Still I Rise, the positive outcomes of Angelou’s perseverance has abolished slavery. This is shown through the lines “Leaving behind nights of terror and fear” to illustrate the positive outcomes of her perseverance. The word ‘leaving’ displays that the African-American community had departed from the terror and fears that they have been through the hardships. Angelou wants the reader to know those persevering things could end up positively and could make a difference in the future. I now know that by persevering can end up in a helpful, constructive, and productive future for all of us.

Positive outcomes of perseverance are also shown through the text The Lion King by Rob Minkoff and Roger Allers. This is shown through Simba’s delayed in being king. A long shot of Simba’s perseverance is shown through the change of facial expression to the disappointment of the change of pride rock. But that perseverance had a positive conclusion for Simba as he fought Scar, his uncle to be king. A close-up shot of Simba’s facial expressions shows that perseverance and anger to find out that Scar, killed his father which gave up more strength to be king. Which at the end positively he became king. Minkoff and Allers want the audience to know that positive outcomes of perseverance can take time but at the end a rewarding feeling of hope. I now know that you can’t get the outcomes you want as fast as possible as it will take time. A role model is someone you look up to because of their inspiration and positive guidance. This is shown in the poem Mother to Son by Langston Hughes. Hughes uses his mother’s hardships and experiences to illustrate that his mother has had a huge impact on his identity, and been a positive role model for him. The metaphor “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair” displays the hardships that his mother faced and shared with him. The word ‘crystal’ shows that her life hasn’t been as clear and not been valued as a crystal. This illustrates that he valued his mother’s experience and hardships as these made her a role mother for him. The imperative “So boy, don’t you turn back.” to communicate the importance of the advice to never turn back. Hughes wants the reader to know that role models can help us through their experiences. I now know that a role model can help us through the hardships of life.

Another text which shows the positive influence of a role model is The Lion King. Simba’s father was kind-hearted and, showing respect for all the creatures, even those who are lower than himself. He is not strictly business, often playing games with Zazu, and is unafraid of showing affection. As a king and a father, Mufasa is instructive and wise, born down by years of experience and instruction but passed away. He still continued to be a role model for Simba. This is shown through Mufasa, Simba’s father, never leaving his side. Even though he is not physically with him, he is always there to guide him no matter what happens. A scene in the film is where a medium shot of Simba looking at the water which displays a reflection of Mufasa’s face into his which show that Mufasa is always there with him, beside him and inside his heart. Minkoff and Allers want the audience to know that we have to value our role models as they are always there to guide us. I now know that even though a role model might not physically be with us, they will always be there with us spiritually, whatever connected to my grandmother who had passed away who is a great role mother to me as she is resilient and kind-hearted.

Failure is the process of acquiring new, or modifying knowledge, behaviors, skills and values. It means willingness to accept that negligence can teach us the critical skill of adaptation. It means not compromising on your important values that your role models had taught you, and never turning back to the hardships of life, rather than just talking the talk of abusive words. Living the life you want and don’t charge after the hatred and hardships, don’t look at the dark side of your life but the light side of it.

03 December 2019

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