A solid TOK essay should have RLEs that can be directly linked to the Prescribed Title. Within each RLE there are a multiple Different Perspectives that need to be discussed and analyzed. Successful TOK essays include Different Perspectives of individuals that have a unique view on a particular RLE.

The photo of the Vietnamese woman could be used as an RLE and could be explained / understood with one theory or multiple theories depending on a person’s perspective. There are a number of Different Perspectives that could use in May 2020 TOK essay on Prescribed Title #5:

  • The Different Perspective (DP) of a particular art critic who is focused on the aesthetic qualities of the photo
  • The DP of an art historian who looks at the place of the photo
  • The DP of a historian who specializes in the use of propaganda
  • The DP of a gender studies researcher whose view of the photo
  • The DP of someone who was in the Vietnam War who has a unique perspective on the photo and
  • The DP of a Vietnamese woman who looks at the photo from a particular national / female / individual perspective.

Students need to make sure they research their RLE to find Different Perspective that are relevant to the Prescribed Title and the arguments they are making in their TOK essay,

Info on the photo: “Her name is Lam Thi Dep (Dep means beautiful in Vietnamese), the picture was taken in 1972 at Soc Trang Province by Vietnamese journalist Minh Truong. “You could find women like her almost everywhere during the war”, said the photographer. “She was only 24 years old but had been widowed twice. Both her husbands were soldiers”. She’s wielding a M-16, the standard issue American soldier’s rifle. Usually this type of photos were taken for propaganda purposes. North Vietnamese women were deeply involved at all levels of the military campaign throughout the war, especially at the business end, fighting against the American-led forces in the jungle.” https://rarehistoricalphotos.com/female-viet-cong-guerrila-1972/

Image: https://rarehistoricalphotos.com/female-viet-cong-guerrila-1972/


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