Alienation; the Power of One and Othello

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In today’s society, modern alienation is a feeling of loss and rejection from one’s society without previous attachments. This can be due to a person’s appearance, nationality or religion. This is explored in the film The Power of One, which follows the story of PK, a young boy who experiences alienation in an Afrikaans school as the only English boy. The film also highlights the disadvantages faced by Geel Piet, PK’s friend, who is of a different race and skin colour than the prison guards. The text represents aspects of alienation through understatement and mood, and it shows that even small actions can make a difference in the world. Physical alienation is also explored in the film. Overall, The Power of One is a story about love, perseverance, and making a difference in the world, no matter how small.

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In today’s society, modern alienation means historical discontinuity, loss, and despair, with rejection not only historically, but also socially from one’s society without previous attachments. Reasons for this might be because of a person’s appearance, nationality, or religion. An example of this is shown The Power Of one when PK suffers as the only English boy in an Afrikaans school, getting bullied daily. The Power of One sticks to the idea of experiencing alienation from the view of a boy who is growing up in a system of classes and injustice and who fails to belong to any of these classes.

The Power of One relates the Othello through the disadvantages Geel Piet (PK’s friend he meets while visiting a friend of his grandfather in prison) faces being a different race and skin colour to the prison guards, this is also seen in Othello when everyone looks down upon Othello for being one of a different nation and skin colour, this is a major disadvantage for Othello and Geel Piet resulting in alienation through self division. The text represents aspects of alienation through understatement and mood seen when PK turns out to be not who everyone thought he was, but a passionate young boy with high hopes of changing the world.

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Another example of alienation in The Power of One is seen when at PK’s school when he is bullied simply because he is the only English boy attending an Afrikaan school. This is shown in the scene when Jannie (bully) ties PK upside down by his feet to the roof and slingshots rocks at him while the rest of school watches on and laughs. The techniques used here are Mid-shot and body language shown when Jannie stands over PK trying to make PK intimidated and scared of him, this doesn’t work on PK but instead makes PK want to find smarter ways of humiliating Jannie.

Alienation can also be seen in The Power of One when all the prisoners come together as one and sing in their own language (that is prohibited) at a special assembly called by the guards. The guards are unaware but what they are singing is about how mean and cruel the guards treat the prisoners; PK is the organiser of this event and has the prisoners practising weeks ahead secretly, the guards have no idea of this and are outraged to think the prisoners would do such a thing.

This is an example of the alienation being turned back around onto the guards, as they felt out of power. This is an example of conflict between the prisoners and guards. The Power of One is a film about love, about being different, about perseverance and about not only wanting to make a difference, but doing so. It shows that you may be a small fish, but you can make a difference to the world if only you believe in yourself. This film is also a great example of physical alienation, also shown in Othello.

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Alienation; the Power of One and Othello. (2017, Mar 09). Retrieved from

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