By Suzanne Robins | Posted: Saturday December 5, 2020
The Junior Writing Competition always gathers in some fantastic writing; some of it arising from the English programmes of the various Year 9 and 10 classes and some of it produced at home by keen writers stretching their thinking and their skills.
The standard this year was very high, giving the judges a lot of enjoyment and quite a challenge! Congratulations to all the entrants, with special congratulations to:
1st - Polly Figgins 40 Minutes
2nd - Indi Kelly I Guess I'm Lonely
3rd - Alex Brown The Fall
Highly Commended - James McMillian A Seagull's Work is Never Done
Highly Commended - Minami Uchida Green Eyes
1st - Brielle Millier Examination Day
2nd - Minami Uchida The Hog's Honour
3rd - Io Jacobs The One Who Listens
Highly Commended - Emma Bradfield A Rainbow of Women
Highly Commended - Minami Uchida Bass Booming
1st - Millie Todd A Key Relationship in Jojo Rabbit
2nd - Bram Casey Character Change in Jojo Rabbit
3rd - Taisei O'Sullivan-Naito Sredni Vashtar: Uncertainty and Mystery
Highly Commended - Aurora Bettis The Colour Of Our Skin Shouldn't Define Who We Are
Highly Commended - Maia Jack An important relationship in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Like a skein of loose silk blowing against a wall, Lola sunk into the itchy red velvet theatre seat. The glittery figures shuffled onto the stage in a scruffy formation with wide eyes and fidgety hands. She looked around to see parents, equally as wide eyed as the children on stage.
The speakers coughed suddenly, and spat out a loud, achey tune. The children parted like the curtain they were behind only minutes prior, and started to pirouette in what she assumed was their idea of synchronization. “Oohs” and “Ahhs” surrounded her, at every movement on stage. Some clapped, some cried and some were even speechless. But Lola, she just rolled her eyes and looked at her watch. 10 minutes. 20. 30. 40 minutes of small feet stumbling in glistening fabric to old fashioned music. As the curtains closed, whoops of joy followed. Out in the hallways, proud parents bragged and shared photos to other proud parents.
She pushed her way out the front doors and trailed around the corner, where her sister was perched in an orange tulle dress that matched the rich setting sky.
“Did you love it? Did you see me do that jump? Did you take any photos to show mum?” she gushed as Lola cautiously helped her up so as she didn’t tear her dress.
“Yea it was so cool” She replied looking straight ahead with a monotonous drawl.
Her sister skipped down the sidewalk, imitating small movements from the show.
They approached the car, her sister hopped in the back seat, and Lola buckled her in, again, cautiously. As she turned the ignition, her sister’s voice murmured from the back;
“I’m glad you came tonight even though Mum and Dad didn’t“ and her bright eyes and shy grin flashed in the honey-coloured sunlight at her in the rearview mirror. It was quiet, but Lola didn’t need her to repeat it. She stretched her shoulders and sunk into her seat like a skein of loose silk blowing against a wall. Suddenly, the 40 minutes didn’t seem so long after all.
The sea of students
rocks the boat
of woes and worries,
carrying the off-beat
clicks and clacks
of the blue and black swords.
They gleam in the bright sheath
of the sun’s glare,
tatooing the blank space of
the pale sheets.
A waterfall with limbs
in the corner,
stares dumbfounded at
the swirling letters,
sniffling and snuffling as time undoes.
We sit as an army,
weapons held at the ready.
The times on the board are disappearing
one by one.
Describe a key relationship between two or more characters or individuals in the text. Explain how this relationship helped you to understand at least one of these characters as an individual.
In the film 'Jojo Rabbit' directed by Taika Waititi, the relationship between Captain Klenzendorf and Jojo is one of great importance, because as well as having an interesting arc in itself, it also helps us to understand things about both characters which we wouldn't otherwise see as clearly. This includes Jojo's need for a father figure, and the Captain's ideals and values, as well as the ways these things develop and change throughout the movie.
The relationship between Captain K and Jojo fluctuates and grows throughout the film. In the very beginning, the Captain represents everything that Jojo wants to be. He is a Nazi, someone with a rank, who's served time fighting for Germany. He's shown to be a well respected character to the members of the Hitler youth, which Waititi demonstrates with a series of jump cuts in which Kenzendorf is pulling stunts, coupled with reaction shots where all of the children are clearly full of admiration for him. Over the course of the film, the dynamic begins to shift, with the Captain's apathy towards the regime and Jojo's enthusiasm for it coming into play. Jojo is employed by the captain to do small tasks like spreading propaganda, a far from monumental job. The Captain becomes attached to Jojo, though, reassuring him many times, and as the connection becomes deeper, even helping him against the wishes of the army he supposedly serves. The relationship between them is one which we as the audience can really feel for, becoming emotionally invested in Captain K becoming more protective of Jojo, and seeing the boy become more trusting of him in return. By the end of the film, Captain Klenzendorf has changed from a symbol of Nazi strength in Jojo's eyes, to almost a traitor to them, and yet he's still someone Jojo can respect, because as the captain has changed, so has Jojo himself, learning to value connections with people more than the Nazi ideology.
Jojo's need for a father figure is a consistent factor throughout Jojo Rabbit. It's a prominent theme, displayed by almost any interaction between Jojo and the adults in his life. The imaginary Hitler is Jojo's need for a father figure manifesting itself. Since his own father is absent, he needs someone to look up to, and due to his indoctrination into the Nazi beliefs, Hitler is someone who can serve in that role, even though it's a warped and childish version of him who Jojo has created. It's only after Jojo is humiliated in the training camp weekend that an alternative presents itself. Captain Klenzendorf is a role model for Jojo, and since he isn't a figment of his imagination, he's a better one. While beginning the film as indifferent, the Captain quickly becomes attached to the boy, giving him advice and keeping him out of danger. In turn, Jojo begins to like Captain K more and more. The 'Yoohoo Jude' book, which Jojo stated was originally meant for Hitler, ended up being for Captain K instead, representing the shift in who Jojo's father figure really was.
The relationship between Jojo and Captain Klenzendorf also really illuminates the latter's ideals and motives. The Captain is shown to be a rather apathetic person, with not a lot of enthusiasm towards the Nazi cause, with lines like, "It would appear our country is on the back foot and there really isn't much hope of us winning this war," uttered without much thought toward the youth he's supposed to indoctrinate, or at least rally to Hitler's aid. During the book burning scene, he looks tired, if not sick of the practices, and further through the film, he's shown to have other ways of defying his superiors. When Captain Klenzendorf lets Jojo and Elsa get away from detection with the Gestapo, it shows that he has more loyalty to these children and their saftey than he does to the anti-semitic ideals of the Nazi party. In general, the relationship between these two characters helps reveal to us, as the audience, some of his views and ideals in these terms.
The scene in which the Captain sacrifices his life to protect Jojo is the end of their relationship's arc, and symbolically does a good job of showing the change that it has brought to both characters. In the beginning, Jojo was an avid anti-semitic Nazi-in-training, and Captain Klenzendorf, his apathetic leader. This directly contradicts the final scene they share, in which Captain K goes as far as to sacrifice his life for a cause he can actually believe in, and Jojo is stripped of his coat, which symbolises his belonging to the Nazi party and it's beliefs. The ripping off of Jojo's jacket in particular stands out symbolically in this scene. Klenzendorf sees Jojo and immediately begins to comfort him, despite being in obvious pain himself, fulfilling the father figure role which they'd been setting up over the course of the film. Then, when faced with the decision, he barely hesitates before saving Jojo from the allied forces. The act of taking off his jacket forcefully mirrors what many of the other characters have been telling Jojo; that he isn't a Nazi, just a boy who wants to belong to something. With nothing left to belong to in that regard, he's released from any loyalty he had, which is the final piece of growth they got from each other.
In conclusion, the relationship between Captain Klenzendorf and Jojo in 'Jojo Rabbit' is vital to the character progression of both of them, as well as being an important indicator of their individual mindsets. Waititi has used it with great effect to illuminate the importance they have to each other, and the importance the relationship serves in itself to the growth they undergo over the course of the film.