Juno of Taris
Question: Describe an important theme in the text you have studied. Explain why this theme was important to the plot of to a character. In the novel ‘Juno of Taris’ by Fleur Beale, an important theme is that power can corrupt and make people controlling. This theme is developed through many similarities between Nazi Germany and Taris. A theme that Fleur Beale could be trying to show us is that power can corrupt and become a way of controlling people. This idea is important because it shows us that too much power can corrupt the way people think and act and making them controlling.
It is ok too have a little power and leadership but when given too much or wanting too much it can change your values and the reason why you wanted power in the first place. It can also make you greedy, power hungry and want to control people. It is important that Fleur Beale has shown this theme to the audience as it is important to be aware of real life situations where power corruption has occurred and how to stop it. It also shows the importance of fighting for what we believe in.
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One allusion that Beale has made of Taris to Nazi Germany is that they both strongly encourage/ force compliance. In Taris and Nazi Germany alike, children are taught from a young age how to be compliant. As they grow it becomes clear that there is no other option than to comply or to suffer consequences. In Taris, the consequences would vary depending on what the individual had done, ranging from being withdrawn from to ‘Unexplained’ deaths, while in Nazi Germany it would either be a harsh warning from the Gestapo or death.
Also, both Taris and Nazi Germany claimed that compliance was for the greater good, rather than about an easier way to control the population. Even though both places had horrible consequences and were controlling governors, the idea of everyone complying to stop problems was initially a great idea. This links to the theme that power can corrupt because both Taris and Hitler used compliance as a way to control the population, which is the result of too much power.
Another indirect comparison that Beale has made towards Taris and Nazi Germany is that they both literally changed their history. The reason for re-writing the history and not letting people know about it was, mainly, for control. Both used this technique, because if people don’t know the history, they won’t ask questions about it. This also means that if they don’t know the history, whatever lies you feed them they will believe them. In both places, education about the place was mostly false.
For example, Taris children were taught that Taris was 200 years old when it is really only 40 years old. Doing this stopped any speculation about the outside world as it was thought that it had died decades ago. By doing this, they have grasped complete absolute power as they are controlling peoples knowledge. This links to the theme that power can corrupt because again, Taris and Hitler have used another method of control the population. Also, both parties rule by fear.
Initially, both parties had the greater good in mind, and then as they quickly rose to claim dominance, they became tyrannical and dictatorial. They both used fear and brutal punishments to control the population. By doing this they created the ideal, complying race, and they ‘removed’ any undesirables. Because they ruled by fear, people were too afraid to rival the rules. This is vital because it shows us how important standing up for what you believe in is. If we don’t, we will live in fear and be weak and vulnerable.
It links to the idea that power corrupts as it shows us how easy it is to give the wrong person power and also shows us that we need to stand up for what we believe in because our values and beliefs will stand for nothing by themselves. In conclusion, an important theme in the novel Juno of Taris by Fleur Beale is that power can corrupt and make people controlling. This is shown through allusions between Taris and Hitler’s Nazi Germany, such as that they enforce compliance, have changed the history and rule by fear. This theme is important because it shows us how important it is be aware of the dangers of too much power.