As we are growing up, we are influenced by everything and everyone around us. From experiences we face, to the actions we take, we are shaped to become the people we are now, today.  This is what Sweeney Todd did, he took his personal experience – losing his wife – and learnt from that experience; what did he learn from it?, that the world is a cruel place?, that just because someone has a higher ranking, lots of money, it means they can do what they want? But what did Ichabod Crane learn? Why didn’t Crane end up like Todd? Why didn’t Todd become like Crane?

Sweeney Todd had got his wife and child taken away from him, he was imprisoned and shipped off to Australia, by false accusation, by another man’s greed aka Judge Turpin. After 15 years, Todd had to make his way all the way back from Australia to England. Thinking his wife and child were waiting for him at home, only to find out that, his wife “committed suicide” after being raped by the Judge Turpin, who also took Mr. Todd’s daughter captive in a room. Out of revenge and spite he became a bit of a serial killer, by slitting the throats, of whom ever dared to walk in for a shave

Ichabod Crane’s traumatic and life-changing experience happened when he was a child, his father killed his mother for being a witch. When we see him a young man in the film, we see him being an accomplished young man, who is quite involved in with solving the secrets of the human body, and trying to explain why his mother got killed.After going to Sleepy Hollow and going through the whole Headless Horsemen dilemma, the experience of his mother being killed, brings up memories, and he finally solves why his mother got killed by his father, and he feels like he has put his past trauma behind him.

So why did these two men end up following such different paths? When they had such similar experiences Why didn’t Crane become a serial killer? Why didn’t Todd be more like Crane and be more sad rather than angry about the situation? I would think it would be to do with the ages of the men when they experienced their trauma. When Todd’s trauma happened, he was a fulling grown adult. He had already had a really good life and gotten that good life taken away from him. He also understood what happened, unlike Crane.Crane went through his major trauma when he was a child, he hadn’t lived his full life yet, he hadn’t experienced all of that good life yet. Also when his mother was killed, he didn’t understand why his mother got killed, so therefore, just felt sad and confused.

But then he starts to take a lot of  interest in science and then in the law, to clear his childhood confusion of his mother’s death. Crane didn’t understand what happened to his mother when he was an child, and tried to solve why it happened, unlike Todd, who knew what happened and tired to get justice. Another reason to why the two men acted differently, would also be due to the feelings that they had. When Todd experienced his trauma he felt anger and spite towards Judge Turpin, therefore, wanting to take his anger out on people, specifically the people who came into his shop for a shave. Crane on the other hand felt confusion. Since he didn’t know why his mother got killed, he couldn’t rationalise it. Due to his confusion, he wanting to solve his confusion, he wanted to get rid of his confusion, because he doesn’t like being confused, do you? My final reason to why Todd and Crane acted so differently was because…… they’re not the same. People react differently, because they are different. People have different thoughts, feelings and ways to process things. There are hundreds and thousands of experiments, research papers on psychological behaviour, and why people don’t react the same way, but the answer is staring us in the face. The reason why people don’t act the same is because, we aren’t the same. And besides who wants to be the same, if we all reacted to loss they way Todd did, there might not be anyone left on the planet. If we all reacted to loss like Crane we would all be on the outside, our own Albert Einsteins, but on the inside we would be, unstable children scared of our own shadows, and never be able to trust anyone. So we are all different, we all react to experiences differently, and why is that such a bad thing, because I would rather be a freak than a clone.


  1. Hi Ayla,

    At the moment, I am struggling to see two different perspectives in your script. You have outlined what morals are on a personal and societal level but these are not “persepctives”.

    You need to look at an issue, idea or conflict from two very different angles and evaluate which angle you side with.

    We can discuss this in class on Monday.
    Mrs. P


  2. Ayla,

    When you are discussing Sweeney Todd and the development of his moral compass, you can make some more concrete observations about how this developed. He is a man that has been twisted by society and because of the flashbacks, we see how this has happened and how he has become the way he is.

    At the moment, the content within your paragraphs feels disjointed- one moment you are discussing Sweeney Todd and his moral compass and just as you are getting into this, you switch into emotions as the foundation of morals, then back into Todd. Look at how you can reorganise this.

    You are still lacking clear perspectives. My feedback on this, as outlined above, still stands. Looking into morals and how they develop are fine but two different perspectives would be to look at the formulation of morals in Western culture as opposed to Maori culture. From that point, you would then logically move towards discussing the need to find common ground or to cultivate tolerance. This is one of many avenues that you could go down but might help to clarify what I mean by “perspectives”.

    Please come and speak with me on Tuesday so we can work through this together.

    Mrs. P


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