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 Weekly Task One: Social Influence in Equus

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PostSubject: Weekly Task One: Social Influence in Equus   Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:55 pm

Week One

Watch the video below and write a 100-200 word answer to the following question:

In Act One to what extent do you think Shaffer, like the presenter, blames the 'negative influences in society' (advertising, television, religion etc) for what people do, and to what extent does he, like Marylin Mason reject such notions of toxic influence?

You should provide evidence from the text in your answer.
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E Aguilera



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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task One: Social Influence in Equus   Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:56 am

At the start of the novel Shaffer makes a clear message by criticising the society. Just like the presenter, who blames the message of Manson's music, in the novel Shaffer starts by blaming themes such as Family, Religion, and Society. Shaffer starts the novel by creating a negative atmosphere around Alan's house. Alan's parents dont get along and have many differences. Throughout the novel it is clear that this differences between Frank and Dora, affect the life of Alan being an important factor of Alan's acts. A clear example of this differences is Religion. Dora being religious, and Frank thinking is an "opium". Also Shaffer blames society. This is clear with the events of the television and the stablehouse where many people stress Alan by shouting and asking for things. In my opinion Shaffer tries to suggest that Society is able to change peoples thoughts which can be one of the reasons of Alan's act. On the other side Shaffer also suggests as Manson that the external factors doesnt affect on what Alan did. The exagerated connection between Alan and the Horse on Chatpter 19 suggest that Alan always have had this thoughts. Suggests that Alan never listened to society and the fact that he blinded six horses was a dark part of him.
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Nighthawk Campero

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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task One: Social Influence in Equus   Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:42 am

Marylin Manson talks about not being his responsability what kids choose to do. What he does does not encourage suicidal, murdering, violence or any sexual act: he just shows society turned around and make us question ourselves, not to have things for granted. The problem the host points out is that children normally do not get this idea and tend to think they are being encouraged to do so. It is true that there are a lot of negative influences but what Manson states is that there is no need for them to seek out other influences than their parents. And if they can not provide this, it is their failure as parents, not Marylin Manson's fault as an artist.
In Equus we can see how this problem happens exactly as it was spoken on the show. Alan can not find guidance in his parents because they concentrate more in arguing who is right about religion, horses or television. These create an inner conflict in Alan's mind; he does not have any guidance from his parents at all. So he needs to seek out for someone or something to guide him. Unluckily he founds no good influences and turns to horses, masochism, rejection and finally blinding the horses.
Who's fault is it then? I do agree with Marylin Manson that it is the failure as parents that cause children to seek out for anything they can find, but i do not think it is entirely their fault. If there were good influences surrounding these kids they could have probably ended well. Unluckily we can not control what our kids look at or hear, it is the parents task to tell them and make them understand why are the things they see and hear the way they are; try to guide their minds to make the correct decisions and opinions about things. For example Marylin Manson has very good intentions by showing the world his music and clips but they can get misinterpret and can cause much harm. So the blame does not fall on the influences or the parents but rather all of us as a community leaving the children alone and not guiding them or hearing them.
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Christian H



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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task One: Social Influence in Equus   Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:42 pm

Shaffer clearly suggest through act one that people are easily influenced and follow fashion, making everybody to act in the same way which is meant to be the normal way.
As well as the presenter Shaffer thinks TV and the media influence in peoples mind (especially children’s) telling them what to do, like advertisement. This is shown when Alan repeats the commercials instead of talking, emphasizing how deep TV gets onto your head as for repeating commercials. Also religion s seen by Shaffer as in institution which tells what you can or cannot do, taking freedom from you. Freedom is important for Marylin Mason who wants somehow to rebel against the normality of society and show people a different aspect of life. Both Mason and Shaffer reject the influences which things like TV give, which establish what is seen good or bad by society taking your freedom, your capacity to think by yourself and don’t permitting you to do whatever you want to do. In Dysart we see this wish to be like Alan or Mason and do abnormal things but society restrains him, this is what Shaffer tries to communicate: society control us, we don’t do what we wish to do, we are puppets of society.
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josefa searle



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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task One: Social Influence in Equus   Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:01 pm

In the opening shaffer starts criticising society and blaming it, by introducing dysart's dream, were he is killing children just because he is expected to (by other priests, criticising religion, and by other people, representing society). this idea is later developed but focused more on Alan, were Dysart sees a great deal of conflict in between Dora and Frank (who seem to be the greatest influence) concerning religion. we see later Alan as a reflection of this conflicts, when he is talking and worshipping the horse in the photograph while he is asleep, and if we see it from the psicological point of view, dreams represent the subconcious that is not able to come out, probably because of repression he suffers at home concerning the matter. one the other hand, it is also suggested that society's influences have nothing to do with Alan. there is nothing that strongly pushes him to see a horse like a god, though there are a few things, such as the biblical stories with horses. I think though, that as Marylin Manson said, the message there is not literally that, but it rather depends on him to turn it, making the other influences just weak and himself the real strong influence upon himself.
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kevin



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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task One: Social Influence in Equus   Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:01 pm

The presenter blames the negative influences in society in very similar ways that Shaffer. O´Reilly criticizes MarylIn Manson for encouraging inappropriate behaviour in children with his songs and performances, while Shaffer represents us a boy who has blinded six horses as a product of negative influences.

The negative influences in Alan’s life are very clear, as for example his parent’s marriage is far from the traditional loving matrimony we are used to observe in other plays and novels. Frank and Dora have completely opposite ideas of life, as one is a socialist atheist, while the other deeply believes in Christian faith. This causes an emotional and psychological “explosion” in Alan who decides to have as a god figure the image of a horse, which eventually led’s to the blinding of six of them. O´reilly appears to believe that the same situation applies to Manson, as the children who committed murder appeared to be inspired by the artist’s songs.

Consumerism is another negative influence Alan receives, and is also considered a cause of his insane act. We deduce that he hates the fact that things end up controlling people, and that media brain washes society, making them think that they need certain products which they don’t. His act is in a way an attack to society.

On the other hand Shaffer rejects the notions of toxic influences supported by Manson, because everyone is unique, as well as Alan. Shaffer proposes the audience that the minute Alan is cured, he will lose his uniqueness and become like anybody else. Shaffer represents that if this happens, the thing that makes Alan special will disappear. Manson supports this as he says that he wants to help people show what they really are.
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Elisa García



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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task One: Social Influence in Equus   Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:56 pm

At the beginning of Equus, Shaffer is like the presenter who critics negative influences in society by accusing Marylin Manson’s music like a negative influence to children. Shaffer criticises by blaming things such as religion, television, advertising, etc which supposedly influences Alan’s behaviour. So, at the beginning Shaffer is like the presenter because presents us things like religion and advertising as bad issues which affects Alan. He presents us these by Frank, who expresses everything bad of religion and blames it like the fact which affected Alan’s behaviour; and by Alan repeating and singing the advertising, emphasising the fact that advertises made him “crazy”.
The presenter also refers a lot of “what happens with children whose parents doesn’t care much on them” and Shaffer also reflects this on Frank and Dora which are an unbalance to Alan which can also affect on his behaviour.
As the novel develops Shaffer is like Manson because Alan starts to show no influence by the issues mentioned before and start to express his own ideas, like his own religion (equus). Therefore, Alan is finally showed like a not influenced boy who has his own ideals and thoughts.
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Antonia Namur



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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task One: Social Influence in Equus   Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:17 pm

Shaffer like the presenter blames the negative influence in the media to the extent that sometimes they get to your head ( when Alan knows all the comercials of the tv) and convince you to think in a certain way, dress in a certain way and to act like society expects you to.We can see that the presenter blames Marylin Manson with his music to influence the children in suicidal acts, to have early sex, etc and that his music shouldnt promote that because it makes children act like that and think that they are going to be recognised by society if they do so.We can see that Frank is like the presenter who blames the television for the negative influence it has had on Alan.

But also Shaffer has an attitude like Manson that the media is not the one that influences you to do that, and you are the one who evaluates if you take what the society expects you to do and also you have to be yourself and dont be afraid of being diferent, just because society restricts you to be a certain
way.
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f palacios



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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task One: Social Influence in Equus   Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:16 pm

In Act one we can see how Shaffer, through the characters coment about how easily are people influenced into following a trend. This trend becomes the normal standar for society so everyone that isnt following it are clasiffed as abnormal.
We can see Shaffers view towards tv influence when Alan keeps repeating tv comercials instead of talking, media power is so big on us that it can get into our minds and change the way we speak or relate to others. The presenter, as well as Frank is constantly blaming the media for all the bad things that kids do. Manson says in the interview that he wants people to stop being afraid of acting how they are and doing what they want, not following what society says its normal or abnormal, not take everything for granted.
On the play, Shaffer presents us Dysart as a "normal" character. He has a normal marriage, a normal proffesion and aparently he has a normal life, Shaffer shows how Dysart wants to scape from that normality, but he cants because of society pushing him back. So at the end we are controlled by society, our way of speaking, of dressing, everything! This is what manson wants to fight against, so that we can finally controll our own life.
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Joaquin Don Pepito

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PostSubject: Social Influence in Equus   Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:03 pm

Shaffer, in the beginning of the novel, develops the idea of criticising themes such as family, religion and society, whereas the presenter in the video, does this criticizing of negative influences in society in a similar way. For instance, the author chooses to outline the contrasting relationship between Dora and Frank, Alan's parents, with the purpose of showing us the source of Alan's problems throughout the book. Society is also criticised, for instance, in the form of consumerism. We can appreciate Shaffer hates products, such as TV, ending up overcontrolling people's mind, as it is Alan's case, with Frank representing Shaffer.
Coming back to Alan’s parents, we can say there is so much contrasting ideas in between them, Alan doesn’t have any reference, if following religion or not. That’s why he looked further away and realized his obsession with horses, making finally Equus as his god.
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Dani Gaitan



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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task One: Social Influence in Equus   Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:27 am

In act one of Equus Shaffer blames the negative influences in society for what people do, in particular Alan, in a very similar way the presenter of the program criticizes Marylyn Manson for encouraging children to behave in a different way because of the influence of his performances and songs. In act one Shaffer introduces the idea of the negative influences Alan suffers in his life that later on results in the blinding of the six horses. Some of the negative influences Alan has to go through in his life are the constant opposing attitudes of his parents, and the religion involved in it. Dora and Frank, Alan’s parents are one if not the biggest influence Alan has and the most significant role models he has in his life. Dora is a very religious woman in contrast to the atheist way of life Frank has. The constant lack of balance in Alan´s life summed to other negative influences is supposed to be responsible for Alan’s actions. But at the same time Shaffer and Marylyn Mason questions and challenge that idea. Shaffer, through Dysart’s dream of the killing of the children suggest the fact that everyone is unique and that individuality is taken when the children are sent to be cured at the psychiatrist. Mason also supports that view in a way by suggesting that he encourages children to be unique and be able to show what they really are and want to be.
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Ade del Rio



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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task One: Social Influence in Equus   Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:45 pm

In the beginning of Act 1, Schaffer presents us Alan as a boy who only sings songs from television, who is very influenced by his mother's religious tendencies and who seems to have been affected by his parent's problems and along with that by society. We can link this with the posture that the presenter has about Marilyn Manson's influence on young people, as he says that with his songs they tend to be more violent or rebellious. At that point of the act we can say that Schaffer is blaming society's negative influences, but as Dysart starts to know Alan more and more, I think we might see him more as just a messed up person and not necessarily completely influenced by society, but not entirely. That is as far as he takes Manson's posture, because we still see some influence like when he worked in a shop or all of his parent's limitations, so his "crazyness" might be a rebellion against society and against his parents.
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Camello Angustiado Zaror



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PostSubject: G to the Z   Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:39 am

In act 1, Shaffer presents us the themes of religion, society and family as being a negative influence for society. This is represented through Alan, who is the influenced society and its parents as being the negative influence. The presenter of the video presents themes such us music and idolatry as being a negative influence for society. The presenter says that Marylin Manson is the negative influence for the children that commit damaging acts. So in a way both, Shaffer and the presenter, are blaming the "negative influences in society" for what people do. Shaffer rejects the idea of "toxic influence" because Dysart seems intrigued with what Alan is doing and he is not against it, so we can say that Alan is not being a toxic influence for Dysart. Marylin Manson says in the video that people do things because they want to do it and that they can do whatever they want so this shows that Manson is against the idea of "toxic influence". So we can say that Shaffer and Manson reject the idea of "toxic influence" because they both say that people do things because they want to, and don´t have to blame others for the decisions that each one takes.

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