Representation of disability

In the extract from Casualty, the first shot is of a disabled man and his brother. An over the shoulder shot is used when the brother is looking in the mirror; the disabled man is in the centre which means the audience are drawn to him first. There is another able-bodied woman in the shot as well which emphasises that fact that he is the ‘other’. Also, in the toilet scene, the disabled man in the wheelchair has to use a piece of equipment to allow him to go to the bathroom. He also has to be helped which draws attention to him being helpless. Towards the end of the extract, the guy in the wheelchair takes control of the situation when the guy with narcolepsy falls into the road. He takes the phone and makes the call to the emergency services. This shows that disabled people are not completely helpless and are valuable to society.

Additionally, the man with narcolepsy is represented as incapable of fully participating in everyday life. We first see him when he is walking passed the drunk girls. When he falls over, the camera goes down to his level, which represents that he is looked down upon because of his disability. The girls then leave him on the floor, this suggests that society doesn’t care about him as he isn’t considered ‘normal’. This is also shown when he encounters two teenagers on bikes. The are wearing hoodies which lets the audience know they are up to no good. Suspenseful non-diegetic music and the diegetic sound of the bike wheels creates tension. There is a long shot of the narcoleptic man in the middle of the two teenagers which shows how he is different and overpowered by them. When the teenagers take his bags, there is a high angle shot of him falling down the stairs, therefore showing that he is weak and vunerable. The idea of him being looked down upon is also present when the teenagers laugh at his pain.


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