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English Encountering Conflict Essay

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I’m writing in the form of n expository essay, therefore I will be writing in third person without the use of ‘I’ voice in order to remain consistent with the form. This essay will be directed to adults who are familiar with the play ‘Freedom of the city’ written by Brian Friel and those who have seen the film “In the Name of the Father’ directed by Jim Sheridan. This essay will also be aimed at those interested in the topic of conflict. This essay will be in response to the prompt ‘in time of conflict, people have their own agenda’. I will be referring to the historical events of the Sydney siege and 9/11 as well as using examples from the text ‘freedom of the city’ and the film ‘in the name of the father’. These examples will place emphasis on the idea that conflict means everyone has their own point of view, therefore resulting in everyone reacting to the issue in a different way.

Conflict is a true test, which raises issues that otherwise, wouldn’t be raised, issues which bring out the true capacity of someone inner strength and understanding. Conflict is something that occurs everyday in everyone’s lives, with everyone interpreting and defining the truth of the issue differently. Therefore resulting in everyone reacting to the conflict in a different way. Those in power are able to twist the truth as they have their own agenda as to what the correct way of dealing with the issue is. Whilst the media also have their own agenda and aims to exaggerate the conflict for their own purposes. These ideas surrounding the different agendas of those in power as well as the media have also been seen in other historical events such as the Sydney siege and 9/11. These ideas have also been explored in the play ‘Freedom of the City’ written by Brian Friel and the film “In the Name of the Father’ directed by Jim Sheridan. In these events, it is shown that each person has their own agenda and therefore deal with the conflict individually which may not always be agreeable by others.

In times of conflict, it is seen that people in power act on the conflict in their own agenda as they can justify their actions. They can get away with anything if they can convince the people that their actions were for good and not for bad. This is conveyed in the film ‘In the Name of the Father’ directed by Jim Sheridan, where the judge is set out to prove that the innocent Guildford 4 are guilty of the bombings. The four that were charged with the Guildford pub bombings were Irish and consequently the police did not believe that they were doing the wrong thing by falsely accusing them. However, the police were under extreme pressure to find the culprits of the bombing and therefore made a rash decision in convicting 4 innocent people by changing their confessions and withholding certain evidence. As the lawyer stated, “their only crime was that they were Irish, and they were in the wrong place at the wrong time”.

This idea is also seen in recent times in the Afghanistan war. America justified the deaths of thousands of innocent people and the war on Afghanistan as an effort to capture Osama Bin Laden who was likely to have been the man behind the 9/11 attacks. But, it was supposedly not known at this time if he was the man guilty of the attacks on the twin towers on September 11. Therefore proving, that America and Australia used their power to convince the people that the invasion on Afghanistan was for the good even though in reality they didn’t know who was behind this callous act. When people in power have their own agenda, they create their own truth to suit their agenda therefore twisting the truth and convicting the innocent as guilty.

Versions of the truth are twisted in times of conflict by the media who have their own agenda. The media aim to sell newspapers to earn more money and to receive higher television ratings by getting society to watch it. The media’s sole job is to produce a story that appears interesting and appeals to its readers. They achieve this by exaggerating the conflict and twisting the truth to gain more listeners. This is evident in ‘Freedom of the City’ written by Brian Friel, where the news reporter O’Kelly reported that there were “50 armed gunmen” inside the guildhall despite not having verified this information. In reality only 3 innocent people, Lily, Michael and Skinner who were in the wrong place and unarmed were within the guildhall. This further shows the aim of the media, as O’Kelly spreads the news as gossip in hope to earn more money by selling newspapers and television shows.

He sells a version of truth according to his own agenda not the ultimate truth. In a more recent event, the Sydney siege, media was spreading the news all over the world that “Sydney was under a terrorist attack”. They twisted the truth to make the event more interesting and exaggerating the true facts. But soon the world found out that it was only one man who was holding customers hostage within the Lindt café. The media created their own version of the truth to suit their agenda, and ultimately earn them more money by selling an exaggerate truth. When people in the media have their own agenda it can create a very strong force that not even the truth can overcome at times.

In times of conflict, society has their own agenda and own versions of truth are created based on people’s opinions of certain races. In the film ‘In the Name of the Father’, four innocent Irish Catholics are convicted of the Guildford pub bombings. The public believes they are guilty of the bombings due to them being Irish, and the Irish were the most likely people to have bombed the pub due to the prejudice against the Irish race. This was caused due to the troubles between Ireland and Britain at the time.

Despite there being no evidence against the four, in the eyes of the public their nationality was enough evidence in them being guilty of the bombings. This idea that truth is created due to people’s perspectives on race has been seen in multiple historical events. During the Second World War, Europeans believed that all Germans were Nazis or at least cooperated with the Nazis, when in fact many Germans were also victims of the war themselves. Therefore resulting in another version of the truth being created due to the race of an individual. This demonstrates that society has their own agenda during times of conflict, as the people’s views of a particular race overcome the real truth.

In times of conflict, many versions of the truth are presented due to the different agendas of particular people and groups. The agendas of people in power as well as the media and society twist the real truth and result in everyone reacting to the conflict in their own way. Films such as ‘In the Name of the Father’ and plays such as ‘Freedom of the City’ as well as historical events all convey these ideas. There will always be differences in the truth of conflict, as everyone has their own agenda.

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