Saturday, 9 May 2015

The ANZACS-White Feather


Context

In 1915, “V.C.’s White Feather” was published in newspapers around the world. The story contrasts
two symbolic offerings: a white feather, used to accuse someone of cowardice, and a Victoria Cross medal, awarded for “acts of valour”. Giving someone a white feather was a form of social bullying.
The feathers were handed or mailed to men who didn’t wear uniforms; the intention was to shame them into signing up for duty. In comparison, the Victoria Cross is the highest military award possible and receiving one was a rare distinction.

The practice of giving someone a white feather was less common in New Zealand than in some other countries. People here recognised that there were many reasons why a young man might not be in uniform. Even so, sometimes unusual people were targeted; for example, a 98-year-old man in Gisborne received a feather in the mail.

As a symbol, a white feather can have different interpretations. For example, for some iwi, a white feather symbolises peace rather than cowardice.

Key questions


  • What can we observe?
  • What do we already know?
  • How might people view this story in different ways?

Possible discussion questions

  • What did you think was going to happen when one of the women walked over to the young man?
  • Why did she give him a white feather? What did it mean?
  • Was the woman showing bravery or cowardice by giving the young man the feather?
  • What is a Victoria Cross? Why was it awarded?
  • Can you think of other symbols that might seem insignificant to someone unfamiliar with them but that hold a lot of meaning?
  • What are some ways that people try to apply social pressure today?

Differentiated Learning

  • What the VC is amd what it is for?
  • What is a white feather given for?
  • Compare and contrast on blog. 

Resources

Conscription, conscientious objection, and pacifism:

New Zealand soldiers awarded a Victoria Cross:

Explains how Te Raukura is an important symbol to the tribes who affiliate to the Taranaki rohe. This symbol is captured in the form of a white feather, or a plume of white feather.


Learning areas

Social sciences (level 4):

Understand how formal and informal groups make decisions that impact on communities.


English (level 4):

Listening, reading, and viewing:Purposes and audiences

Show an understanding of how texts are shaped for different audiences. (Indicators: identifies particular points of view within texts and recognises that texts can position a reader.)


Health and physical education(level 3):

Personal health and physical development:Personal identity:

Describe how their own feelings, beliefs, and actions, and those of other people, contribute to their sense of self-worth.

Relationships with other people:Identity, sensitivity, and respect

Identify ways in which people discriminate and ways to act responsibly to support themselves and other people.


Interpersonal skills:

Identify the pressures that can influence interactions with other people and demonstrate basic assertiveness strategies to manage these.

14 comments:

  1. Why did she give him a white feather? What did it mean?
    I believe it meant he was coward because he wasn't in uniform, even though she didn't know the full story, she accused him just thesame

    ReplyDelete
  2. What are some ways that people try to apply social pressure today?
    They bully them over the internet and say mean things to them. Hint at them what they should and should not be doing,and treat them like a coward

    ReplyDelete
  3. Was the woman showing bravery or cowardice by giving the young man the feather?
    She was being very brave to step up like that, but she did not know whether he wasn't at war because he had a medical issue, she showed bravery and cowardice.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Was the woman showing bravery or cowardice by giving the young man the feather?

    I believe that the woman was showing cowardice because she had no right to give him a white feather without knowing why he wasn't in uniform and she probably wasn't even helping with the war effort herself such as becoming a volunteer nurse

    ReplyDelete
  5. What did you think was going to happen when one of the women walked over to the young man?
    I thought she was going to ask him to buy her a drink, but when i remembered the title of the article, I wondered if she was going to give him one.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Why did she give him a white feather? What did it mean?
    she could have given him the feather as a sign of cowardice of bravery

    ReplyDelete
  7. Why did she give him a white feather? What did it mean?
    She was giving him a white feather to call him out in what she thought was cowardice from not being at war.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What did you think was going to happen when one of the women walked over to the young man?
    me and emily thaught that the lady was going to ask him if she could join him for a drink

    ReplyDelete
  9. What is a Victoria Cross? Why was it awarded
    a decoration awarded for conspicuous bravery in the Commonwealth armed services, instituted by Queen Victoria in 1856.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Cross
    The representative of the resurrection of Jesus and the glory

    White Dove
    It is a symbol of peace and love. and it also is a messenger.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Why did she give him a white feather? What did it mean? The white feather is meant to accuse people of cowardice so it would pressure them to go to war. She gave him one because she thought he was a coward for not being in the war but he received the v.c that day but she didn't know.

    ReplyDelete
  12. what did the white feather mean to the guy

    ReplyDelete
  13. A white feather has been a traditional symbol of cowardice, used and recognised especially within the British Army and in countries associated with the British Empire since the 18th century, especially by far-right nationalists and early feminists in order to humiliate men who were not soldiers. It also carries opposite meanings, however: in some cases of pacifism, and in the United States, of extraordinary bravery and excellence in combat marksmanship

    ReplyDelete
  14. A white feather has been a traditional symbol of cowardice, used and recognised especially within the British Army and in countries associated with the British Empire since the 18th century, especially by far-right nationalists and early feminists in order to humiliate men who were not soldiers. It also carries opposite meanings, however: in some cases of pacifism, and in the United States, of extraordinary bravery and excellence in combat marksmanship

    ReplyDelete