Paradise Road Creative Essay

8 August 2016

“Japanese soldiers never attack women” announced Captain Tanaka, the power hungry snake, to poor Adrienne. That man is disgusting but I can’t hate him, I actually feel sorry for him. Although he has now placed Adrienne on death row. I think I had better have a word to Colonel Hirota about this. “It is death to strike a Japanese officer and Honour is very important to Japanese people! ” says the Translator on behalf of Colonel Hirota. Now Susan’s having a go at Hirota. That’s one strong courageous woman, those Australians breed them tough. Ha! And even Sister Wilhelmina’s joined in.

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That part where she says “…and nuns never tell lies. ” is fantastic. But before one of us can say something the colonel says “This incident is being dealt with by Captain Tanaka…” Ugh! How dare him. The colonel is in charge of this camp not the Captain, maybe I should bring this to his attention. “So Captain Tanaka is in charge of this camp? I understand it was you, Colonel Hirota? ” Ha! The look on his face. That Tanaka is going to be feeling the effects of this conversation very soon. But this Susan, the Sister and I, might just have saved Adrienne’s life.

Just as Daisy, Susan and the Sister have developed their points of view and their changing values and morals, concerning the Japanese as a result of the experiences they have undergone within Paradise Road, so do we alter values due to disagreements we experience. Indeed, it can be said that we are created by the problems we endure. The pressures individuals are subjected to can alter their belief system so that they are more optimistic. Individuals when placed under fire, are often forced to change or conform, such as to reassess previously held values.

Some might emerge from the ordeal a different person and others might be strengthened or hardened by the adversity. Others might simply either engage in honourable actions or might demonstrate reprehensible traits. Upon encountering conflict, human nature is subject to manipulation and change. One can change or alter their values and morals the best suit the crisis at hand. Values and morals can undergo complete transformation, causing individuals to act irrevocably as a response to the conflict in their lives.

There will always be opposition in life and in events occurring around you. Within the movie of Paradise Road, there are several instances where individuals have had to reassess their values and morals. Susan Macathy was horrified when she caught Dr Verstak in the act of removing fillings from dead people’s teeth. Though she soon came to realise that those little pieces of gold and silver were buying the camps medical supplies, she was awakened to the necessities and soon her morals changed.

It is said that conflict builds character but it’s the response to the stimulus that ultimately shows one’s personal standards. An individual’s values ultimately affect the response to a disagreement. Encountering conflict can reshape ones beliefs and principles and in the case of Rosemary Leighton-Jones, it can break a person which can lead to death, despair and defeat. Rosemary caught sight of her loving husband heading towards death row as a result of trying to break out of a Japanese war camp, which broke her spirit and lead to her death.

While conflict inevitably leads to personal change and growth, it is when conflict truly threatens a crisis, which one may leave behind who they once were, in order to survive. This often occurs when the threat of death is most imminent, and when all other options appear closed. This idea is apparent in the experiences of the Malala Yousafi. Yousafi took a stand for women’s right to an education which has been a hotly debated topic for the last few decades. She was shot in the head by the Taliban who were for suppressing women.

She survived her ordeal and now represents the individuals who courageously stand up for their convictions and ideas. An individual can grow because of it or they can be weakened by it. Mrs Roberts from Paradise Road changed in a positive perspective as she went from demanding different protocols for the Dutch or Japanese due her racism to a woman who had become more tolerant of the women and even on her death bed she was accepting and less racist towards the women like Wing who had sacrificed their lives for her.

Conflict is the catalyst for change, as it can be productive or detrimental but it is a necessity in order to survive. When coming across a disagreement, it can be either deliberate or unintentional, but ultimately is comes down to an individual’s answer to the conflict which decides whether they engage in noble actions or ignoble traits. This concept is embodied in Paradise Road through the character of Wing. Wing was a Japanese woman who sacrificed her life to save Mrs Roberts who was suffering from malaria.

Even though Mrs Roberts was always racist towards Wing, Wing put her differences aside and escaped the camp to trade gold for malaria medicine. Wing demonstrates that even though her disagreement with Mrs Roberts was unintentional, she stepped up to the plate and participated in noble actions. On the other hand there are people like Nazi leader Adolf Hitler who purposefully start a fight and as a result gain the ignoble traits. Hitler is renowned for the coordination of the mass genocide of the Jews and is remembered as one of the worst war criminals in history.

Whether the conflict is deliberate or incidental the choices individuals make decides who they are and what they can do. Conflict builds character, and character is defined by an individual’s morals and values, the choices one makes when facing an ordeal, whether they are strengthened or hardened by adversity, or the actions take when placed under fire. Individuals will emerge from the flames reshaped and altered but the choices they make will define them.

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