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Study Guide: Ransom vs Invictus: Introduction

In this area of study, students explore the meaningful connections between two texts. They analyse texts, including the interplay between character and setting, voice and structure, and how ideas, issues and themes are conveyed. By comparing the texts, they gain a deeper understanding of the ideas, issues and themes that reflect the world and human experiences.

From VCE English/EAL Units 1 and 2: 2016–2020; Units 3 and 4: 2017–2020, p.19

Exploring the meaningful connections between these two texts, the novel Ransom and the film Invictus, provides a rich opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the ideas, issues, and themes that reflect the human condition at the core of each of these texts. The focus of each text is on men who have become leaders in difficult times and who have sacrificed their own personal needs and desires for the greater good of the people whose futures depend on them. Malouf and Eastwood offer new and unique insights into the lives of the notable and much-admired men at the heart of each text, and each offers a credible, engaging story for its audience. Both texts deal with ideas about change, inspiration, self-denial, forgiveness, parental love, and personal sacrifice for the greater good of one’s society. Both texts explore issues about what it is to be a man, presenting masculinities associated with leadership, family, work and battle in both politics and sport. 

From VATE Inside texts 2017, Part 2, Marion White [ed.], Faye Crossman [teaching notes], Victorian Association for the teaching of English, 2016, p.4