Cat Among The Pigeons 2020 Issue

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ISS U E

H U M A N I T I E S & A R T S featuring the winner of the P I D G E O N P R I Z E F O R L I T E R AT U R E

Annual publication of the


I started at Caterham School in 1936 and my late younger brother Trevor in 1939. However, in 1940 the Battle of Britain was fought - sometimes right above Caterham. That was especially so when the Germans bombed Croydon airfield and on the following Sunday they attacked Kenley. During that raid, the roof of our house in Greenhill Avenue was damaged and mother decided to take us straight away to join my father. He was in MI6 (Section VIII) based at Whaddon Hall some five miles from Bletchley Park. I continued my education locally but later had a chance to join MI6 (Section VIII) at Whaddon Hall. Trevor was at the same school later going to Liverpool University. There he obtained a First Class degree in modern languages after further study at the Sorbonne. He did his two years of military service as a Lieutenant in the Intelligence Corps. Then he was invited to join the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). He was with them for 33 years, their Sinologist and leading linguist. In his retirement, he wrote the definitive story of the development and use of tanks in World War 1. He went on to write other books about the Somme. For my part, I came out of MI6 (Section VIII) in 1947 to join the family bathroom business founded by my great-grandfather in 1876. I was the fourth generation of the family. In the late 1950s, I built a bungalow in Grange Road in Caterham and two of our sons, Laurence and John, went to Caterham from the Prep to the 6th Form. They are still selling kitchens and bathrooms - the fifth generation in the industry. In 1989, I started to write about my work in MI6 and my first book ‘The Secret Wireless War’ is now in its 6th print. Others followed in due course. In order to promote creative and intellectual writing endeavours at Caterham School and in honour of all the Pidgeon family members who attended the school, Geoffrey Pidgeon has kindly founded the Pidgeon Prize for Literature, which is the inspiration for this magazine.

Welcome to this year’s edition of ‘Cat Among the Pigeons’, inspired by the theme of ‘time’. This year has been one filled with numerous challenges and uncertainties, and the publication of this magazine serves as a testament to the hard work and dedication of all of the individuals who have contributed to it. The increased interest in writing for this year’s edition (over 50 submissions – nearly double previous years), combined with the self-reflection and editing process undergone by each contributor, highlights pupils’ genuine passions, resulting in a diverse range of carefully crafted, engaging pieces to celebrate the arts and humanities at Caterham School. This magazine boasts an array of pieces spanning a range of subject areas; from creative writing to critical essays, political writing to artistic commentaries, all of the pieces are tied together by the theme of ‘time’ – a concept that has been greatly distorted during the last 6 months of Covid especially. To feature so many eloquent pieces is a great achievement in itself, further emphasised by the sheer variety of contributors from First year to Upper Sixth coming together to create this issue. Finally, a huge thank you must go to our Editor-in-Chief, Ms Wildsmith; this simply would not have been possible without her hard work and direction, as well as the continual support of our sub-editor, Keya Desai, and the efforts of all those who have written for the magazine, with particular congratulations to Phoebe Cornish, this year’s deserved winner of the Pidgeon Prize for Literature with her poem ‘Timeline’. We hope you enjoy the third edition of ‘Cat Among the Pigeons, 2020’. Shreya Ganesh Kumar & Maisie Greener Text Editors This year’s edition of Cat Among the Pigeons was one based on the theme of time and the impact of both historical and present-day events throughout societies timeline. The magazine tackled these areas with both critical, and positive viewpoints. When considering the work that has taken place for this magazine, it is vital to mention the impact of the current pandemic taking place globally as we all share a new found time for reflection, and a necessity to work together. Whilst the effects of Covid-19 have often proved a struggle when organising virtual meetings or contact, it has also been a prevalent source of inspiration, demonstrated in the quality and range of artworks showcased in this magazine, as they communicate a time accessible to all, yet remain timeless in meaning. In this case, time has become our friend and not our enemy as we have used it to our advantage and remained a team even when scattered across the globe. We have been blessed with the opportunity to use creativity fully to provide an outlet for the issues afoot and remind each other of the importance of seeing other personal reflections, even in moments of isolation. It is here we would like to thank and acknowledge the hard work put in by everyone to make this magazine happen. Without the stunning and thought-provoking artwork of our students, the dedication and diligence of Ms Wildsmith, Mrs Veldtman, and of course the countless hours put in from our designer Mark Nightingale, this magazine could not exist. We would also like to thank both the visual and literary editorial teams, including our sub-editor Sophie Tao, as the hours we have worked together have been not only productive, but enjoyable and memorable also. Phoebe Cornish & Cindy Wang Visual Editors


Contents 26 The Effects Of Time In The Grapes Of Wrath Charlotte Tracy 28 A Journey Home? Ananya Saraf 30 A Level Art 32 Can History Prepare Us For The Challenges Of The 21st Century Keya Desai 34 Roman Law Holly-Heather Cook 36 History’s Movers & Shakers(?) Chichi Tang 38 Ms May December Skyla Chen 39 My Future In Tatters Vivienne Christofides 40 The Magic Of Old Instruments Chelsea Chen & Lisa Hu 4

Timeline Phoebe Cornish

42 A Level Photography

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One Minute Of Water Katie Spurgin

44 Alone Again Millie Thomas

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Lockdown Creativity

45 Not Enough Time Morgann Bloquet

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Forsaken Eva Green

46 Interstellar Lauren Bacchus

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A Letter To The World Megan Denton

48 The End Of One’s Time Adam Roblett

12 ‘The World Should Listen Now As I Was Listening Then.’ How Can Keats’ ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ Help Us In Our Current Climate Crisis? Maisie Greener

50 GCSE Art

14 Photography Competition

56 Overthrown By Darkness Kayla Prashad

16 How Alice Walker & Sylvia Plath Channelled Their Oppression As Female Authors Into Their Novels Maisie Greener

57 A Fragment Of Time Narayan Minhas

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‘Le Chat’ Translation - Baudelaire Shreya Ganesh Kumar

52 Lagerfeld’s Legacy Sabrina Mak 54 GCSE Art

58 The Evolving Portrayal Of Time As A Theme In Art Mili Greener 60 A Level Photography

20 A Level Photography

62 Psychology Through Time Eleanor Norman

22 If Everyone In The World Could Speak English, Would Learning Other Languages Be Considered A Waste Of Time? Shreya Ganesh Kumar

64 A Level Art

24 Explore The Sense Of ‘Home’ In Refugee Literature Ananya Saraf

68 GCSE Fashion Textiles

Cover image: Kristy Lee

66 Nightfall Ria Manvatkar


Image: Tireni Adeniji

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This year’s Pidgeon Prize for Literature, celebrating excellent writing at Caterham School, has been awarded to Phoebe Cornish for her poem ‘Timeline’. Chosen from all of the pieces of writing submitted to this magazine, including those selected for publication, ‘Timeline’ stands out due to its unflinching examination of mankind’s ability to (self) destruct but also the remarkable adroitness of its complex E FOR rhythm and rhyme, hurtling us through history and into IZ the future. For such intricate, polysyllabic and nuanced R language to be so dextrously and perceptively directed, is not only an exceptional feat of poetic craft but also WINNER allows the poem’s powerful message and, indeed, warning to reverberate in a way that is all at once Phoebe Cornish empathetic, chilling and even inspiring.

P Phoebe Cornish

1914 to 1918, a four year ‘Dig for Victory’, then heaped in the whole at an uttered benedictory. Dismembered, deceased and considered a saviour, maimed and constrained by the love of thy neighbour. Children and mothers choked by the smoke of not knowing while machine perpetrators stand mic’d up and crowing. 230 an hour, a structured condolence on paper, those who were found now six feet under God’s acre. We stand silent for ten on the eleventh of November for how better to forget than by the act to remember.

Now closing in the year of 2020, the year of infection where we pray streets are empty. To touch is to kill, swabs of inspection gagging society, we breathe through our ignorance, disregarding dubiety. Surges of loss and sickness shatter pretty exteriors, the blind lead the blind whilst contagion leads superior. We stand together to tear down others in languor, we sit silent with quick thumbs to shed light on our anger. We shut what we can whilst we open our eyes, we clap for those who are saving our lives, yet our people are hurting, our people are dying And by September we pray it’s another sleeping dog lying.

September roles round, just twenty years later. Circumstance to blame and hatred our traitor. The invasion of identity, a number in skin, forced in by a needle, forced dead for the win. Removal of name through removal of tongue, introduced air thick and scolding into their lungs so I can breathe easy, a happy civilian, so lest we forget the 45 million. They gave their years, a forfeit so violent, so we could have minutes, just two of which silent.

But please, look into the future, the years to come, to all of the great things that humanity has done because in moments of darkness we can turn on the light, we can even leave it gleaming when done for the night, we can burn up our past, release fumes of our motion, feel our scalps warm in the heat of golden devotion. Mask human fault with sweet scented cans of prosperity, release ourselves of stench and guilt with skilful dexterity. We can travel set tracks axing barriers to our path, leave our taps running to clean what’s soiled by our past. But a question, what happens when the water runs cold? When it trickles down your spine like guilt unconsoled?

Then comes the blow to American history, too late for her story, time for media conspiracy: what once towered high falls to the dust of defeat, we build from foundations ripped from under our feet. We broke our commandment of thou shalt not kill, torn away by contention, left divided and still these were our people, and there’s one thing they shared: a quality of life that should have been spared. So why do we distort, to protect or to leaven? Condemned to two numbers just 9 and 11.

The year of 2040 what a year it’ll be, the air thick and scolding will be the air that we breathe. The golden devotion, misdirected and tiring While our planet was screaming, our planet was dying. Yet worry not on themes of pain that persist for by 2050 they will no longer exist.

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National Articulation Competition Finalist

Katie Spurgin

Think for a moment about how much of your life you perceive through screens. Whether that’s at work or school, writing emails and completing last minute essays. Or maybe it’s at home, scrolling endlessly through social media and news outlets. We all live our lives through technology. It is the ultimate catalyst for modern life and it shapes the way we live and interact with one another. Now, flip that idea and think of the opposite of an industrialised, mechanical, modern society. Personally, I think of water. Unlike the strict confines of metal and plastic, water, like all of nature, is not static, it is fluid and everchanging in state, shape and form. It is a true juxtaposition. It is this message of contrast that I first took from Hilary Lloyd’s ‘One Minute of Water’. When I saw it in the Tate Britain, I was instantly gripped. Sitting on a simple metal stand is a SONY monitor playing a one-minute long, unedited video of water on loop. What struck me most was that although the video lasts only a minute, it appears infinite, with no clear beginning or end. It immortalises a substance that is ever changing and moving and still manages to translate the freedom of water. Whilst what we see is confined, we are aware that there is more to be seen, that the water is free to enter and leave. In this way, it begs for us, the viewer, to imagine what could exist beyond what we are shown by Lloyd’s video. An optimist would argue that this is an elegantly simple demonstration of the freedom that we ourselves have, evidencing the inability of modern technology to confine nature within strict rectangular borders. However, I can’t help but take a slightly more cynical connotation. Whilst it is true that the water is free, we ourselves as the viewer - are dictated to and restricted by the monitor. This could highlight the decisions of modern society between nature and technology, proving we have undoubtably chosen the latter. -6-


National Articulation Competition Finalist

If you or I were take two photographs at the same place, only six months apart they would look considerably different, with changing seasons and human activity taking place. Equally, any two photographs of ‘One Minute of Water’ will be slightly different. In this way, the nature documented is reflective of the human world in which we live.

September the 16th, the destructive force of hurricane Floyd as it made landfall in North Carolina. In both cases, we see water in its most brutal forms. Turn on Lloyd’s monitor however, and the opposite is shown. It is a refreshing minute of silence in a world that is often consumed with such painful chaos.

The subject of water could alternatively be a comment on how dynamic we are as a society. Lloyd created this piece in 1999, the eve of a new millennium, a time in which the world was evolving and changing as it still is today. The use of such a modern medium by Lloyd emphasises the relevancy of her work. It is far more era-specific than paint which can range throughout millennia. This is highly impactful considering that it was taken in 1999 when innovation was at a high and the world sat in wait for the new millennium that would inevitably bring new technological wonders. This came, as I am told, with the looming threat of the so called ‘millennium bug’. I find it almost ironic that the calmness of water is portrayed, encased in technology, which was the source of so much anxiety at the time. The momentum of innovation during 1999 was as true in art as in technology. Many artists began to embrace video as their chosen medium for their works. Tabaimo’s ‘Japanese Kitchen’ video won her the Kirin Contemporary Art Award whilst Susan Hiller’s ‘Lost and Found’ and Jane and Louise Wilson’s ‘Gamma’ were also notably created in 1999. It is within this context that Lloyd created her ‘One Minute of Water’ – a context in which video didn’t have to document anymore and the ordinary became art. Were any of us to turn on our televisions on August the 17th 1999, we would have seen news reports of the horrific earthquakes and subsequent tsunami in Turkey which took the lives of over 17,000 people. Or, on -7-

Many view traditional media such as paints and pencils as superior to video, perhaps because of video’s modernity. Or maybe it’s a matter of the work behind the art. After all, it took Lloyd a minute to film ‘One Minute of Water’. It is understandable that many people question the artistic skill and style required. However, I think that such decidedly different media should not be compared to one another so starkly. Film is different. Whilst, yes, Lloyd took only moments to film her works, we must take a moment to appreciate the consideration and thought that went into the film. Lloyd describes, in interviews, paying attention to the world around her, constantly looking for inspiration for her videos. She sees the world through eyes looking for interest in mundane places. Her art is in capturing, translating and immortalising the joy of beauty in everyday life and, in turn, promoting us also to look closer at the world. Whilst the film takes a minute, it is a product of a life of observation. As a final point, maybe it means nothing at all. In many ways, I find it comforting that the piece doesn’t dictate one clear message. It can be interpreted in so many different ways, making it relatable to anyone who may view it. We can find assurance in there being no wrong answer, no prescribed light in which to view her work. When asked in an interview in 2011 what her work meant, she simply replied with: ‘Can you answer, and I’ll see if I agree?’ – and what’s more fluid than that?


Lockdown Creativity

Hailey Cheng

Megan Swan

Estella Yip

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Lockdown Creativity

Fred Oliver

Chante Morris

Lilia Jackson

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Eva Green

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I am always lonely. A mysterious, eerie silence constantly rings in my ears. Menacing, shadowy cracks slash the ceiling, crawling with scuttling, hairy spiders. They are all the company I have besides the reeking, wretched, rampaging rats that scurry and gnaw at my bones. The deathly drip, drip, drip of bitter, frosty rain falling on the roof makes my pearly teeth chatter. I am forever concealed within a neverending, murky shadow. I yearn for how it used to be: me and my crew sailing the dazzling azure ocean, through magnificent amber sunsets, under innumerable glittering stars. Look at me now, what do you see? This is what time has taken from me.

Image: Eva Zeng

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My bones are creaking and fading away. My dead nostrils sting from the pungent stench of my rotting flesh. I used to be young and enthusiastic and lively, but then it happened. The mammoth wave engulfed my boat, sending me crashing to the bottom of the murderous, grey sea. My body was discovered, and here I am years later in my tomb, aching, crumbling and screaming in horrific agony. Someone, help me!

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Eva Green

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Forsaken 2020


A letter to the world Megan Denton

We’re abusing the thing we hold most dear, What we can’t fix, I fear Will consume you. Fill you with smoke. And soon we’ll all choke. Children are starving, Forests are burning, And water is something that money can’t buy.

Dear world, Look at your reflection And tell me what you see. Do you see a child, Struggling to breathe? Do you see a towering flame, Approaching with speed, Carving a path through a valley of trees? Can you imagine what you would be like, With no animals, trees, no plants, no life? I can see you searching for the problem at hand. It’s us, humanity, Destroying your land. We fail to see the destruction we cause. We can’t seem to grasp the dilemma we face, And it’s all become just one giant race To see who can have the fastest car, The most money, the biggest house by far.

Dear world, I’m apologising on behalf of humanity, I don’t think we can fix you, We can’t change what we’ve done. So when you’re reduced to ash and dust, Our mistakes are on us, We’ll all take the blame, We’ll have to; There’s nobody else To name and shame.

Image: Antoine Bertrand

Our focus is pointed in all the wrong places, So unless we get dealt all of the aces, We need to put an end to pollution, Time’s running out, And we need a solution!

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Image: Sabrina Mak

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‘The world should listen now as I was listening then.’ How can Keats’ ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ help us in our current climate crisis? Maisie Greener

In 1818, John Keats participated in a walking tour of the Lake District, allowing the spectacular natural scenery to evoke simultaneous sentiments of awe, fright and jubilation – phenomena encompassed in the Romantic’s principle of ‘The Sublime’, which relates the environment’s beauty to the beauty of human feelings. More than 200 years later, this very area bears the brunt of the climate crisis with soil erosion tormenting the lakes, littering plaguing the greenery and exhaust fumes corrupting the clean air. Now, Keats’ alluring aestheticism reminds us how critical it is to preserve the ornamental facet of nature and he epitomises this necessity in ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’. Additionally, Keats’ consciousness of the physicality of writing heightens his poetry’s utility for us as his messages have arisen from motivations of practicality and therefore are not clouded with overwhelming emotion. Keats’ frequent employment of aesthetic undertones in his poetry connotes the magnitude of nature’s beauty, which a modern reader can interpret as a call to acknowledge the visual damage tarnishing the environment. Keats exemplifies the amplitude and fruitfulness of the natural world in ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ which is pullulated with olfactory, visual and auditory imagery to echo the enrichment of the senses that the environment induces. For example, in the gustatory imagery ‘roots of relish sweet,’ the sibilance exacerbates the sensuality of the knight and the ‘dame’s’ love whilst the archaic setting of ‘the meads’ further offers a romanticised tone. Structurally, the

twelve quatrains generate an aura of musicality and the ballad format symbolises the story’s lyrical quality, underscoring the delightful encounters a pleasant environment can provide. Nevertheless, in ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci,’ Keats also illustrates a direct correlation between humans’ mental deterioration and the consequential neglect inflicted on the environment; however, Keats does not explicate whether humane and environmental decline is complimentary or concurrent, but if a modern reader pursues the latter interpretation, Keats could be appealing to humans’ selfish prioritisation of their own mentalities by sermonizing that if one does not care for the environment, one will suffer psychologically. For example, in ‘The sedge has withered from the lake, and no birds sing,’ the verb ‘withered’ ominously depicts nature’s decay, the auditory absence of ‘no birds sing’ stresses a sense of loss and the line break reflects negative human emotions’ intervention in the smooth circulation. In this way, Keats employs transferred epithet to adumbrate the knight’s emotional deterioration and how nature mirrors this melancholy. Furthermore, Keats’ cyclical narrative and repetition of the first stanza’s natural imagery in the last exacerbates how human sentiments are paralleled in the environment. Also, in ‘Alone and palely loitering?’ the adverb ‘palely’ introduces the motif of pallidity, suggesting that the knight’s encounter with the woman takes a physical toll on him, while the present participle ‘loitering’ not only adds vividness to Keats’ description - 13 -

of malady but underscores the knight’s perceived mental futility and purposelessness too. In this way, a modern reader can comprehend the pathetic fallacy of the knight’s internal suffering and the environment’s worsening and, by linking the two, could be encouraged to protect nature to preserve their own wellbeing. Contextually too, the utility of Keats’ descriptive poems are magnified by his appreciation of writing’s mechanics. This consideration could help in our climate crisis because for a disaster of this enormity, with 7.53 billion lives in jeopardy, a thoroughly contemplated solution must be adopted. For this reason, Keats’ poetry provides optimum material for a resolution as he regularly discusses the equilibrium between reading and writing. For example, in a letter to his friend Reynolds in 1918, Keats portrays how he ‘parcelled out this day for letter writing’ and this significance which Keats allocated to the process of thought, conception and reception could be integrated into a blueprint to combat climate change. We should appreciate Keats as both a constructor and creative when we transform his lessons into environmental thoughts. The philosophical depths of his existential contemplations in ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ require acknowledgment just the same as his descriptions of ‘meads’ demand appreciation. If we, as modern readers, can receive and register these elements in equilibrium, Keats’ poetry is an appropriate means with which to address climate change – by allowing the environment that once inspired him, to continue inspiring for years to come.


Photography Competition

WINNER: Ethan Nichols

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Photography Competition

WINNER: Lauren Brooke

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HOW ALICE WALKER & SYLVIA PLATH CHANNELLED THEIR OPPRESSION AS FEMALE AUTHORS INTO THEIR NOVELS Maisie Greener

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Image: Zoe Makele


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oolf’s repetition of ‘locked’ in the paradoxical ‘I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse perhaps to be locked in,’ adumbrates the inevitable entrapment confronting women in the 20th century. Both Sylvia Plath and Alice Walker endeavoured to communicate the restrictions implemented on the female-sphere in the 20th century. Both novelists’ depictions of twentieth-century women are amalgamated by the Woolfian proposition of female entrapment, which affected the psychological and professional sectors.

you went about numb as a slave in some private, totalitarian state,’ the ideological language of ‘totalitarian’ underscores the motivations of deindividuation and automation that propel society, trapping women in cages of dissatisfaction.

The modal verb ‘must’ in Woolf’s ‘A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction,’ demonstrates the absolute circumstances of financial security and independence that are required for women to challenge their entrapment. Through her alterego, Esther Greenwood, Sylvia Plath exemplifies how women were imprisoned by society’s projections concerning their employment status, as recognised by Teresa de Laurentis’ summary of the novel as ‘a heroine’s struggle with herself and the world’. Feminist critics, like Renée C. Hoogland, frequently identify ‘The Bell Jar’ as ‘the embodiment of female victimization in the pre-liberation days of the 1950s and early 1960s,’ an epoch in which ‘marriage and children were part of the national agenda.’ With most women married by age 19 and ‘pregnant within seven months of their wedding’, this perpetuation of familial obligations consequently limited women’s opportunities in the employment sphere.

As a reader, it is paramount to accompany the study of ‘The Bell Jar’ with an acknowledgement of Plath’s arduous personal life: to dissolve the screen of fiction and elucidate real-life female entrapment. For example, the similarities between Esther confiding in ‘Dr Nolan’ and Plath’s mailing of her unfiltered letters to her former psychiatrist, Ruth Beuscher, a week before her suicide, express how women sought solace in their female counterparts. Plath’s contextualisation identifies ‘The Bell Jar’ as ‘an autobiographical apprentice work which I had to write to free myself from the past’, clearly exhibiting a cathartic incentive. In this way, the reader understands Plath’s mental state to have birthed her fiction.

On the one hand, Esther is met with traditionally conservative approaches to sexuality, as relayed through her Mother’s distribution of ‘In Defence of Chastity’ leaflets and Buddy’s commentary on a woman’s labour: ‘They oughtn’t to let women watch. It’ll be the end of the human race,’ which relays society’s efforts to camouflage the negative features of womanhood and, instead, promote visuals of beautiful domesticity. Additionally, in Esther’s speculation ‘Maybe it was true that when you were married and had children it was like being brainwashed, and afterwards

On the other hand, Plath’s implementation of a lesbian affair between Joan and Deedee mirrors the imminent arrival of sexual-liberalism that threatened the established standards. In this way, the reader could interpret Esther as being generationally sandwiched between two contradictory mentalities, magnifying the entrapment.

Additionally, Erica Jong’s theory that ‘the reason a woman has greater problems becoming an artist is because she has greater problems becoming a self,’ has certainly arisen in part from the Woolfian conviction that female advancement is biologically hindered and, therefore, women are simultaneously ‘locked out’ of careerprogress and ‘locked in’ to suffocating stereotypes. If a contemporary reader accompanies this oxymoronic interpretation of women’s limitations with Thomas Szas’ stance that ‘Insanity is the only sane reaction to an insane society’ and Tim Kendall’s perspective that ‘it is evident that sickness is located not just in Esther but in her society,’ Esther can be received as a microcosm for wider society’s oppression of women. In ‘A Room of One’s Own’, Woolf certifies how ‘there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon - 17 -

the freedom of the mind’ and Plath and Walker’s affiliation is certainly enhanced by their similar evocations of females’ psychological entrapment. Walker transfers this principle to ‘The Colour Purple’ where the epistolary structure permits Celie and Netties’ thoughts and feelings to be vocalised, bypassing society’s repressive intentions. Walker encapsulates Celie’s innate-mental isolation in ‘The Colour Purple’ through her address of ‘Dear God’ in her letters which accentuates how, despite the unprecedented intimacy these correspondences offer, total escapism from male interference cannot be achieved as her content is still dedicated ‘to the orthodox Christian God, another version of the father’. The placement of ‘Dear God,’ at the top of each page also visually portrays how male voices consistently overshadow females’. Despite the women’s troubles, Walker exhibits how the prioritisation of men keeps women’s stories ‘locked’ away. Plath also utilises structure to communicate images of female entrapment. For example, the multiple interpretations of ‘The Bell Jar’s’ symbolism in the emphatic placement of the title, all contribute to a sense of isolation. Stephanie Tsank recognised the ‘Bell Jar’ as ‘a symbol of society’s stifling constraints’ while others could concentrate on the scientific connotations of the apparatus, in which case ‘Esther’ could be metaphorically dehumanised into an experiment’s participant, contained within the glass ‘Bell Jar’. To conclude, Plath and Walker both successfully exemplified the inexorable problems corrupting the female sphere, infiltrating psychology and occupation. On the one hand, Plath’s ‘The Bell Jar’ focused on the mental toll of society’s pressures concerning sexuality and occupation and, on the other, Alice Walker tended to instil an energy of female resilience and flourishment in her novels ‘Meridian’ and ‘The Colour Purple’. However, it would be incorrect to overlook the female entrapment from which ‘Meridian’ and ‘Celie’ gained the potential to grow – in contrast to ‘Esther’ who missed her opportunity. This differentiation confirms the extreme and polarising effects of female entrapment.


‘Le Chat’

Translation - Baudelaire

Image: Georgia Bennett

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Shreya Ganesh Kumar

Viens, mon beau chat, sur mon coeur amoureux; Retiens les griffes de ta patte, Et laisse-moi plonger dans tes beaux yeux, Mêlés de métal et d’agate. Lorsque mes doigts caressent à loisir Ta tête et ton dos élastique, Et que ma main s’enivre du plaisir De palper ton corps électrique, Je vois ma femme en esprit. Son regard, Comme le tien, aimable bête Profond et froid, coupe et fend comme un dard, Et, des pieds jusques à la tête, Un air subtil, un dangereux parfum Nagent autour de son corps brun. Charles Baudelaire

Come, my beautiful cat, to my amorous heart; Take in the talons of your paw And allow me to dive into your beautiful eyes, Mixed with metal and agate. When my fingers leisurely caress Your head and your elastic back, And my hand becomes intoxicated with the pleasure Of feeling your electric body, I see the spirit of my wife. Her expression, Like yours, dear beast Profound and cold, slits and splits like a sting, And, from her feet to her head, A subtle air, a dangerous perfume Drifts around her caliginous body.

This poem is one of the most acclaimed from Baudelaire’s collection ‘Les Fleurs du mal’, greatly indulging in the themes of decadence and sensual pleasure commonly taken as vice. I chose this poem as, to me, the French language connotes elegance and aestheticism (while English feels somewhat more coarse), which I feel perfectly complements Baudelaire’s romanticism, particularly within this sonnet, with its feline and sensual subjects. This poem not only portrays how Baudelaire was mesmerised by the feline creature, made apparent through the sensual language, but also underlines the narrator’s reminiscence of a significant female figure, linked inextricably with the description of a cat. For my translation, I opted for emotionally expressive words, hoping to emulate somewhat Baudelaire’s own decadent vocabulary. I translated ‘coupe et fend’ as ‘slits and splits’, making use of the sibilance to heighten the alluring tone while incorporating a sudden change of pace. In the final line, while ‘brun’ translates to ‘brown’, I felt that this was too literal a translation, and considered other words such as dark, dusky, and shady. However, I felt that ‘caliginous’ (meaning dark or misty) better captured the beguiling nature of the woman, so I translated it as such instead. I was particularly interested in the way Baudelaire uses bold, yet mysterious, imagery (for example, when he likens the woman’s expression to the cat’s; ‘profond et froid’, meaning ‘profound and cold’) to create a captivating tone throughout this poem. This epitomises the similarity in nature that Baudelaire identified between both the cat and the woman, who I interpreted to be the narrator’s wife, intertwining the two in their representation. The rhyme scheme does not adhere to that of a typical sonnet, making it challenging to translate while maintaining the fluidity of Baudelaire’s words. For example, in the second stanza, I used enjambement to try and mirror Baudelaire’s style, disregarding the rhyme scheme and choosing to place emphasis on the distinctly sensual tone of this poem. This conveys Baudelaire’s fascination with the cat and the memories it evokes of the woman, seamlessly transitioning between the two in a mere fourteen lines. This poem evidently displays a deep understanding of, and affinity with, cats, inspiring my choice of vocabulary to mirror the captivating tone. I also attempted to recreate Baudelaire’s compelling sensory imagery, hoping that this allowed me to convey his sense of fascination and affection for the cat and the woman, as well as the unrivalled decadence used to flaunt the magnificence of the French language.

Submitted to The Stephen Spender Prize

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A level Photography

Abigail Hammond

Matt Willmott - 20 -


A level Photography

Georgia Bennett

Isabella Armitage - 21 -


The use of literature as a form of escapism is an indelible interpretation recognised for many centuries and reflecting the great esteem in which languages are held. Not only are texts regarded for their captivating themes, but also for the ability of an author’s newly construed language to incite a sentiment of joy. Consider, for example, Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling’s internationally celebrated novel series following the eponymous protagonist Harry Potter. Rowling’s novels incorporate the much-loved element of magic, set in a fictitious dimension parallel to Surrey and London. Despite this, magic dominates the setting and the world of Hogwarts seems to bear little resemblance to the real world, uncovering the potential of language as a form of escapism from the mundane realities of everyday life. The strange lexicon unique to Rowling’s series is quickly absorbed by the reader, but how does one go about translating terms such as ‘quidditch, ‘muggle’, or even ‘floo powder’? The idiosyncrasies of Rowling’s language that the reader ‘learns’ presents a kind of microcosm of the process of learning languages, displaying the nuanced detail only realised when a media is consumed in its original language.

Shreya Ganesh Kumar

A similar concern is expressed in the survival of isolated tribes; as of 2013, there were estimated to be roughly 100 ‘uncontacted’ tribes left worldwide. Most governments of countries with a tribal presence adopt a policy of avoidance, however tourists sometimes violate this, highlighting the naivety that often accompanies a lack of knowledge of foreign languages. Even supposing that these tribes could speak English, the value given to their unique linguistic heritage underlines the importance of learning languages to appreciate and empathise with people of other cultures but also their own; “Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It occurs too often that the mother tongue is taken for granted, and it is only when time and effort is invested into learning a second language that the intricacies of the mother tongue can be appreciated fully. This question suggests a sentiment lacking any appreciation of the intellectually stimulating and culturally rewarding process of learning a language that is growing more and more at risk of being lost in our rapidly globalising world, and it seems almost indisputable to conclude that it is not a waste of time to learn other languages. This view is mirrored socially, and perhaps with greater alacrity, in the desire of tribal groups to maintain their rich cultural heritage, favouring a detached way of life built upon their unique linguistic rubric. Moreover, the presence of translated texts and multi-cultural literature implies that the importance of language has a much more comprehensive audience than a small number of isolated tribes.

When considering the opposing argument, a pragmatic approach is key; communicating in one globally standardised language could lead to an enhanced level of communication, potentially eliminating misunderstandings caused by language and culture barriers that pose problems for authorities worldwide each day, as well as create huge opportunities for professional work and international relations. However, this optimistic view must remain measured; the potential of a common language simultaneously raises the question of whether it is truly possible to eliminate misunderstandings within language. Saussure, a pioneer in the field of semiotics, published a book, Course in

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General Linguistics, explaining the idea that a sign was not only a sound-image but also a concept, and thus divided it into two components; the signifier and the signified. The signifier can be interpreted as the tangible form, and the signified as the mental concept. This refutes the argument that a common language could potentially remove miscommunications – we can never be certain that everyone associates the same meaning with a particular word, given that English is an arbitrary language. The restriction of language, self-imposed if we were to choose not to spend time learning languages, is a central trope of literature from the dystopian genre. Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four is set in a state where the limitation of language to the diminished ‘Newspeak’ has readily contributed to the immobilisation of the people within the totalitarian society. Parallels to this can be found in Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, where short set phrases such as ‘Praise be’ become the handmaids’ prescribed daily communication. Of course, these novels are not written without sufficient historical precedent; the censorship of North Korea in many respects, including language, depicts the damaging effects of standardising language and conforming to an imposed set of rules that infringe on the autonomy of the people within a society. The literary, cultural, and political parallels underline the necessity of learning different languages and highlight the devastating human cost of neglecting to do so. The relationship between language and thought furthers this importance attached to the learning of languages; certain ideas are culturespecific and have developed, and been contained within, one language. Terms such as the Danish ‘hygge’, used to illustrate a mood of cosiness and comfortability, is a notion derived from Danish culture and does not have a parallel definition in other languages. As such, the cross-fertilisation of languages confirms the importance of speaking other languages as no language is isolated from external influence, and different languages lead to different ideas prompted by their cultural context. The individuality of language within literature, rendering it untranslatable if all socio-cultural and political nuance is to be retained, elucidates the importance of investing time into learning languages regardless of globalisation. The benefits gained of protecting one’s sense of self and communal identity far outweigh the benefits that might be enjoyed as a result of focusing attentions elsewhere and seem to be more of a comment on the nature and imperfections of humankind. By evaluating the different arguments both for and against learning languages, the necessity of linguistic diversity in order to further the development of our species on a specific level, and as a collective, is made evident. - 23 -

Image: Joshua Campbell


An extract from the Intermediate IRP winning essay entitled:

Explore the sense of ‘home’ in refugee literature Ananya Saraf

The following is an extract from an essay which explored the sense of “home” found in refugee literature with specific reference to the harrowing accounts in works by Wendy Pearlman, Zana Fraillon, Warsan Shire and Khaled Hosseini, the last of which will be the subject of this extract. These works, both fictional and non-fictional, encompass key refugee situations that have arisen in relatively modern times such as the Syrian conflict, Soviet-Afghan War, the plight of the Rohingya and the violence in Somalia. Before we assess these pieces, we ought first to establish what it means to be a refugee. For the reader, the primary insight one receives into the life of a refugee, prior to reading these works, is reported through the media – who too often depict them in a negative light . The books and poem studied in this essay, however, aimed to remove the taboo surrounding these refugee crises, instead humanising them, through the disclosure of their stories, thus exposing the rarely told truth behind their struggle.

Image: Max Tyler

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In his novel The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini provides a telling revelation with regards to life in Afghanistan before the Soviet-Afghan war. When the “Russian tanks rolled into the very same streets where [they] played”2. Hosseini highlights the perversion of their playground becoming a battlefield, how the pleasant memories of home are soured by war. Even before this, however, one of the characters, Hassan, deals with the bullying that isolates him within his own home, Kabul. He is constantly being labelled, solely by his ethnicity, of being a “lucky Hazara”3 and a “loyal Hazara”4. This refers to an ongoing issue of the huge divide between Pashtuns, who are Sunni Muslims - the majority ethnic group within Afghanistan - and Hazaras, who are Shia Muslims, originate from the Hazarajat province of Afghanistan and are commonly perceived as servants and labourers by Pashtuns, receiving little to no support from the government5. Hassan is thus persistently made to feel like an outsider. When, moreover, a character, Amir, returns to his home, Hosseini writes that he feels “like a tourist in [his] own country”6, highlighting, by portraying him as a foreigner, how war has made his homeland unrecognisable. It is interesting to note that all forms of The Kite Runner were in fact prohibited in Afghanistan, and yet the film adaptation was screened at the White House by President Bush, with Hosseini himself an invited guest7. We could, therefore, consider the novel itself as a refugee, in addition to its author, creating a further sense of poignancy to the work, as it too has been rejected and driven from its native country. As refugees, both the novel and its writer tussle with complex identities since his emigration from Afghanistan to the US, and we must consider how they fit into national literary traditions8. It is true that Hosseini,

having left Afghanistan at an early age, is writing somewhat on the periphery and perhaps could be seen as appropriating the suffering of his literary subjects9. I would posit, however, that Hosseini’s location on the literary periphery – on the outside of the national canon – allows him to recognise the trials faced by refugees, being in a similar situation to himself, more effectively. But, before Amir returns to America from his visit to Kabul, he wants to adopt his nephew, Sohrab. By doing so, we are told that he is lifting the child from a “certainty of turmoil and dropping him into a turmoil of uncertainty”10. What Hosseini’s chiasmus here is surely conveying is that Sohrab moving to America would have both negative and positive outcomes. Even though he is being extracted from the dangerous environment in his homeland, Amir is taking away the only thing he has ever known and separating Sohrab from the place where any semblance of family last stood. Due to this, Priya Kissoon’s mention of the concept of “double homelessness”11, seemingly encountered in the above dilemma, is particularly apt. Kissoon continues this discussion further, with refugees being forcibly displaced from their countries, often leaving them tied to traumatic experiences, with the striking, yet wretchedly true description of them being in a position of both “statelessness and status-lessness”12 further emphasising the deprivation of what little home still remains for them. Notwithstanding, Warsan Shire woefully tells us that “no one puts their children in a boat | unless the water is safer than the land”13. Additionally, Aviezer Tucker reinforces this, explaining how home is “a multi-level structure”14. Here, he refers to our perspective about the different roles of the importance of home, not just made up of a single level15. With Sohrab, however, being a refugee, he has - 25 -

had to lose both his geographical and emotional homes, which although he may cherish, in order to attain a safer one, he must give up. Hence, both Shire and Tucker are in support of Amir’s decision not only to stay in America - where it may be an unknown country - but also to take his nephew away from Afghanistan, where there is, of course, a much higher risk of death. The leitmotif of a sense of home in the refugee literature explored here conveys that everyone is always looking for a place to call home. There were, lamentably, 70.8 million individuals globally who were forcibly displaced at the end of 2018, and currently, one person is displaced every two seconds16. Yet for many, it matters little where these refugees look, as they are often left in a state of limbo, with the home they once knew, now, a forgotten ruin, and made to feel like outcasts in their new homeland. This theme of “home” found throughout the books and poem examined is not as prevalent and might not be as central as some of these highlighted concepts: youth, hope, war, and atonement. These topics could be seen, nevertheless, as concealing the ceaselessly underlying idea of a lack of home amongst the explored literature. Perhaps this provides an overall realisation for the reader of the tragic irony of home with regards to refugees: home is where the heart lies, is the domain of living – but for them, it is the place responsible for their demise. UNHCR p.i Hosseini p.34 3 ibid. p.68 4 ibid. 5 Hucal (2016) 6 Hosseini p.214 7 Raza p.84 8 O’Brien p.2 9 ibid. p2f. 10 Hosseini p.326 11 Kissoon p.78 12 ibid. p.80 13 Shire l.24-25 14 Tucker p.181 15 ibid. p.183 16 USA for UNHCR 1 2


Charlotte Tracy

Time impacts ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ in a multitude of ways from character development, through its unique setting, to the context in which it was written. Yet, despite all of these being specific to a particular time, it has something personal and universal to teach us.

Image: Tireni Adeniji

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One important influence of time that we see is in the period setting of ‘The Grapes of Wrath’; this introduces the aspect of historical time to the novel. Steinbeck sets the story in the southern states of America (specifically Oklahoma to California) in the 1930’s during the time of the ‘dust bowl’, which intensified the already crushing economic impacts of the Great Depression. These two

her input are to the survival of the family and takes a more involved and stereotypically masculine role. Her new found dominance does not go unnoticed as she has conversations with both Pa and Tom Joad on separate occasions who both acknowledge her character development and increased role in the family. In a conversation between Ma Joad and Tom Joad, he says ‘never heard you talk so much

attitudes when faced with difficulty. The structural placement of when the Joad family stays in these camps is significant as they initially experience the ‘Weedpatch’ camp where all the families are mentally separated and are only looking out for themselves. Later in the novel, we see them arrive at the ‘Hooverville’ camp where ‘the twenty families became one family, the children were the children of all’.

combined situations drove farming families to search for work in areas, such as California, that had more fertile land and, supposedly, better living conditions. Steinbeck travelled with a group of migrants from Oklahoma to California in 1937, which gave him first-hand experience into the degradation and dehumanisation the migrants faced. This undoubtedly inspired ‘The Grapes of Wrath’, which he wrote two years later in 1939 in order to depict the ‘dehumanising nature of capitalism.’ The image the reader is left with from the novel is one of Rose of Sharon breastfeeding an adult man who is starving to death with the milk she had because of her stillborn child. Humiliation, pity and degradation could all be seen as the overriding message of this final image. However, I think the dominating message is one of hope for the future. The moment is filled with ideas of rebirth and the reader feels a sense of overriding humanity and selflessness.

in my life’ and she responds ‘wasn’t never so much reason’. This quotation demonstrates that without this stress and difficulty on the family, Ma Joad would never have had the opportunity to flourish and develop.

This progression perfectly supports the move to a communal mindset and is Steinbeck demonstrating how essential cooperation and community are in times of crisis.

Time individually affects the characters in ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ as it allows them the opportunity for growth and development. Steinbeck created Ma Joad for the purpose of demonstrating that times of hardship lead to the opportunity for positive change and development in society. Ma Joad challenges stereotypical gender roles by becoming the backbone of the family and ultimately making the most influential decisions. At the beginning of the novel, she is relatively quiet and reserved. However, as time passes she realises how essential she and

Over time we also see the movement from an ‘I’ to a ‘we’ mindset among the migrants, stressing the importance of cooperation rather than individual priorities in times of difficulty and deprivation. The moment in the novel that demonstrates this the best is when Rosa of Sharon is having her baby and all the men in the camp have the choice either to leave and escape the flood or build a wall to try to protect Rosa at her most vulnerable time. The men chose to stay, which demonstrates how far the community of migrants have come as, if this situation had occurred at the beginning of the novel, there would have likely been a different outcome. This metaphorical journey of discovery about the importance of cooperation occurs over time as the migrants realise how they will suffer even more if they do not work together for the benefit of all. Tom Joad has a moment of enlightenment towards the end of the novel - ‘but I know now a fella ain’t no good alone’ - depicting how time has allowed the community of migrants to unite. The family experiences two contrasting migrant camps: the ‘Weedpatch’ and the ‘Hooverville’ camps. The distinction between these two demonstrates the significant impact that a strong sense of community and support can have on people’s - 27 -

The ‘Grapes of Wrath’ has withstood the test of time and we still see its lessons impacting us today. There are a surprising numbers of similarities to be drawn between the context in which the novel was written and how the modern day reader receives it. Steinbeck’s ‘wrath’ was aimed towards those who abuse their power and he depicted the ‘dehumanising nature of capitalism’ in times of hardship. Today we can still see huge corporations carve out a section of the market and dominate it, pushing out smaller family businesses. In America, we repeatedly see unnecessary police brutality similar to that in the novel. Therefore, how far have we truly come since the era Steinbeck depicts? Our society ‘still needs a voice as brutally honest as his’ (Alan Yuhas) as he deconstructs the idealised constructs of the time, the American dream for example. Indeed, the segregation and labelling of migrants can still be seen worldwide today. The insight ‘the Grapes of Wrath’ provided me with was a better understanding of migrants’ situations. Living in a time where migrants are so often used as the scapegoats for our societal problems, ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ allowed me to experience migration from the other side and gave me a deeper, more complex view of migrants and the sacrifices they make in the hopes of a more prosperous life.


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Image: Nagim Ibragimov


A Journey Home? Ananya Saraf

W

alls of darkness enveloped bodies that jerked to the rhythm of the waves. A persistent deafening tune played the echoing voices of agony and torment. I was addicted to those familiar screams that pulsated through my head; I longed to purge my body free. Just to know the feeling of living. With every breath inhaled, the suffocation that lurked in the air drew closer. Mortified expressions scarred across faces, struck by past strife endured. We all yearned for our homes, because we never chose this life – running. This life chose us. Each person had a story before they arrived on this boat. Those stories kept our heads above the currents; they saved us from drowning. One boy spoke of how he used to roll amidst the bottlegreen sheet that spread across the vast hills, playing with his brother for days. Waking up to the winking rays of sun that decided to peak around the serrated curtain’s edge. Certain that he was in the arms of safety. These events were now a blur, with the regular memory of not only his homeland’s betrayal, but also the life of his brother, chased by bullets. Taking a final glance back to the desolate expanse of his razed home, he realised that only he remained. These bitter memories may have burdened someone else, but he was now immune to the pain. This is the outcome, raised in a country of war. Then there was the woman who, in search of safety, was instead trapped in a permanent state of trauma. Condensed into a truck, a cattle carrier, beside others who had fled to escape the brutality. The journey started with a flood of people smothered against each other. Soon, many were obliviously undergoing their final glimpse of the fallen world around them. For those who remained and witnessed the increasing death toll in the vehicle, they debated whether this life was worth living. However, their abrupt arrival at the border crossing displayed how, while security lay ahead in an unknown place, behind was a place invariably threatening their livelihoods. All needed to have certainty amongst all that was uncertain; conversations halted, only to hear the muffled voices of soldiers. Remembering, and wanting to forget, the next moments in her life: how she stared into the menacing eyes that glared at her, whilst being pressed against the frigid metal, a towering figure dominating over her body, tears endlessly

streaking down her face. Yet, even during the perturbing reality of war, her daughter still slept. She never woke up. That day motherhood was not the only thing she lost. A final mention for a young girl dreaming of a future, ultimately silenced by her youth. Whispers of jubilant stories triggered a migration of nostalgia across the boat, eliciting sporadic sensations of comfort. Except for her, unnoticed by everyone who was blind to the spasms of war consuming her thoughts. Only her, the spectator, replaying the memories of dust engulfing her, while her homeland perished — ablaze. Everyday dragged on monotonously. A new day presented a flickering flame of hope, which gradually became dimmer with every passing wave. Further stretched away from civilisation, and pulled into the fathomless depths of the sea. Sweltering under immense fatigue, bodies began to drop. There were consistent irregular visits of ventilation, and the usual urine-soaked aroma lingered on our tongues; we were sealed in this environment. Although this routine was shifted by the stories, gifting us a purpose, it still did not suffice for this girl — her youth leaving her without a strong anchor to the past. For her, there could only be one destination. Wrestling with the waters, spluttering the sea from her mouth, liberating her anguish, she took her last breath before her body drifted away. Not a single head turned in response; their despondent minds already numbed to such suffering. Then a sudden voice wailed — land had been sighted. This unexpected exclamation caused the herd of people to congregate at the bow of the boat. Smiles of astonishment beamed towards the shore; eyes blazed with relief. Even so, this journey indoctrinated my entire perspective of the world. When we are named refugees, people may assume it’s a choice, but this label was forced upon us when war ambushed our homeland, stealing everything from our lives, destroying it. War dictates: we must flee. Had I known this would be the journey – barely surviving – then I might have returned to the persecution. The illusion of opportunity to decide our fate conceals the reality of how we can never truly find a place to belong. We lie in a perpetual limbo between our previous home and the next.


A Level Art

Olivia Sturgeon

Ana Oneide - 30 -


A Level Art

Millie Summers - 31 -


Keya Desai

History provides a deeper contextual understanding of the people and world around us and establishes the framework for our futures. The amalgamation of history and culture in this sense develops social interaction skills and instils the capacity to recognise different identities. In the absence of historical knowledge, one is more prone to misconceptions of another’s background, an error that is seen namely in the treatment of African Americans in the US - a section of society that has become hugely significant with police brutality and modern movements like ‘Black Lives

Matter’. Here, there must be the ability to employ a deepened historical knowledge to maintain a profound cultural understanding and recognise that this prejudice stems from resounding situations of transatlantic slavery – beginning in the 16th century – up until the more recent events of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 60s. The methodical study of society enables us to view from the perspectives of others and thus further informs us of the dangers in the errors that can be made insufficient historical knowledge. Renowned historian A.J.P Taylor wrote: “Like most of those who study history, [Napoleon III] learned

from the mistakes of the past how to make new ones.” History helps one to recognise where mistakes might be made by drawing comparisons between similar situations from the past that echo the circumstances of the present – whilst vulnerability stemming from the lack of historical information may result in worsened relations between countries. In the past, this has led to a deterioration of the relationship between the Soviet Union and the USA during the Cold War: leading up to the Cuban Missile Crisis, both the USA and the Soviet Union entered into an arms race, engendering the threat of what was referred to as Mutually

Image: Tireni Adeniji - 32 -


Assured Destruction (MAD). This theory based itself on the assumption that each superpower had sufficient nuclear warfare in their hands to destroy the other. The entirely new concept of “cold war” at the time meant that both superpowers did not have any historical guidance that would have helped them navigate their way through globalised tension and threat of destruction. Here, one must be prepared not to rely wholly upon the information that history provides us with because as the progression of our world continues, we will encounter situations of which we have no past knowledge, especially with the current contribution of technology continuing at such a fast rate. The aforementioned capacity to adopt extensively radical ideas and its growing influence will indubitably produce challenges as we progress further into the 21st century. Conflict between opposing radical political ideas has been echoed throughout history, an explicit example being Stalin’s expansion of the Soviet sphere of influence in the Cold War, heightening tensions between the superpowers. Political tension has been carried on into the current era with the growth of nationalism in Spain and China, with President Xi Jinping’s nationalist policies and the right-wing Vox party in Spain supporting neofascist and nationalist notions. Current evidence of nationalism in certain countries could harm the state of international relations as nationalist countries generally choose to exclude the interests of other nations. Here, we can learn from the past that some radical political beliefs are only accepted when the public is looking for a dominant figure to rise to power.

However, this must not mean that the discriminatory beliefs of the party can be overlooked. There ought to be a distinct line drawn between influence and dictation; history must be a controlling element in one’s decision making as we must learn from the past how to avoid misjudgement. As philosopher George Santayana wrote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” There is much difficulty in the distinction between allowing the past to dictate a decision and enabling it merely to provide you with a more profound understanding of something – the importance of which difference cannot be overlooked. Moreover, one’s capability to jump to conclusions built on fear is seen in the American general election in 2016, with Trump using the then-recent acts of terrorism in Paris and San Bernardino to win votes. Trump used Muslims as a scapegoat for the acts of terrorism seen around the world and used this to justify his policies on immigration resulting in an enormous influx of support. Fear impairs one’s ability to make rational and methodically thought-out judgments, perhaps providing a reason for abrupt support of radical ideas and beliefs. An intervention must be made between our ability to construct rational conclusions and fallacious conclusions, influenced by the radical views of others. The constant use of social media, innovative technology, distortion of truth and circulation of “fake news” are becoming prominent features of many people’s daily lives. Originating from the 16th century, the distribution of pamphlets - after the invention of the printing press in the 1500s - was a predominant basis for the spread of fear in England. Leading up to the Civil War,

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England underwent a tumultuous time, abundant in superstition and opposing religious beliefs - which, in essence, led to the Parliamentary split between political independents and Presbyterians. The influence of pamphlets and their ability to circulate conflicting political and religious ideas would have had an immense effect on the public’s ability to make rational decisions. This superstition was intensified by the persecution of religious groups under the monarchy of various devout Catholic rulers. A prevalent example is Mary I, whose pious Catholic faith ingrained fear within the public, perpetuated by the sharing of pamphlets. Yet, perhaps the use of media, in this manner, can be perceived as a valuable alternative to spark rebellion among the people as it enables us to possess our own political and religious opinions. The extensive use of social media will have a tremendous impression on one’s ability to construct one’s own opinion as there is a constant invasion of individuality online especially with more impressionable people. There ought to be an element of care when using history as a basis for decision making, with interfering factors like technological innovation upsetting the framework that history has constructed. Nevertheless, one must value the integral cultural and contextual understanding that historical knowledge provides us with, enabling us to comprehend the past lives and cultural identities of others. The assertion of history in the correct way - without allowing it to completely direct one’s decision making - will allow us to apply elements of some situations from the past to current and future challenges, hopefully for the better.


Roman Law Holly-Heather Cook

This year, in Academic Scholars Club we were talking about Ancient Rome and one of the Roman Laws was mentioned. This discussion stimulated my interest in Roman Laws, prompting me to undertake further independent research and write this article. It begins by examining what prompted the emperor Augustus Caesar to overhaul the Roman Laws. A few of the social Laws will then be discussed, concluding with their ability to change Roman society. AUG UST US’ L AW S Augustus Caesar became the first emperor of Rome in 27BC. In 18BC he turned his attention to social problems in Rome. His motive was to improve morality and bring peace and stability to Rome after Julius Caesar was assassinated. He also wanted to strengthen Rome, create an Empire and protect it from outside barbarians. The laws were simple; however, if they were broken there were severe consequences. They were based on ancestral values such as monogamy, chastity, and piety (virtue). Thus, these social and political reforms achieved much more than improving morals of Roman Society, they formulated a new Roman government and shaped a new way of life. - 34 -


ROM AN C I T I Z E NS

Unlike Laws of today, they were based on a Class structure. Augustus’ wanted to increase the numbers of the upper classes in Rome. He achieved this by encouraging Romans to marry and have children, whereas previously they rarely married or had children. The ‘Lex Julia de maritandis ordinibus’ law imposed an additional tax on unmarried men (older than 38 years) to encourage marriage – so in effect made marriage compulsory! Unmarried men were further penalised by not being allowed to receive inheritances or attend public games!

As discussed, Roman Laws kept individuals in the class they were born into; however, many of the protections and rights given to people under Roman law only applied to Roman citizens. To be recognised as a full Roman citizen was a privilege not available to many! There were even different levels of Roman citizenship, each one having more or less rights than the next:

Continuing the theme of morality and strengthening Augustus’ control over citizens, was strengthened by discouraging divorce and making adultery a civil crime under the ‘Lex Julia de adulteriis coercendis’ in 18BC. Adultery therefore became a crime against the State rather than just against a wife. The Law punished offenders by exiling them or confiscating their property. Augustus went even further by ensuring that adultery was outlawed; fathers were given rights to kill their daughters or partners in cases of adultery. Astoundingly, in 2BC, Augustus’ daughter, Julia, broke his own law and he was obliged to send her into exile to the island of Pandateria. Another way Augustus set about to reform society was reviving the traditional Roman religion. He achieved this by restoring or building public monuments such as the Temples of the Gods and the ‘Ara Pacis Augustae’. Symbols and scenes were carved on these monuments to promote religious rites and inspire Romans to practise religion and participate in family life. Augustus then tried to inspire Roman pride by making himself a religious leader as well as that of the State! PU N IS H M E N T Punishment was another way that Augustus was able to ‘control’ society and achieve morality. However, the punishment for committing a crime was not the same for everyone - it depended on one’s class! For example, if you were a wealthy patrician, you would receive less punishment than a slave for the same crime. Punishment could include beatings, lashings, exile from Rome, fines, or even death by crucifixion. Augustus used these punishments, which are of course now seen as brutal, to ensure Romans remained within the class they were born into.

• Patricians – were the political, religious and military leadership or wealthy land owners. • Equites – (in Latin horseman) were knights and later the political and administrative class. • Plebeians – were farmers, bakers, builders and craftsmen. • Freedmen – released slaves who have been granted freedom by their owners. Slaves were not classed as citizens and therefore had no rights under Roman Law! They were typically prisoners of war, sailors captured or slaves bought from outside the Roman territory. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Roman women had limited rights as citizens. They could not vote or hold public office, but interestingly could own property and businesses! Daughters of Romans had very little freedom and were often married off very early in an attempt to bring their family wealth. Just another way Romans ‘restrained’ their citizens. Life of a citizen was controlled further by only being allowed to interact with their own social class; wear only the type of clothes associated with their class; live in a home relevant to their class and dictate where they were allowed to sit when watching Ancient Roman games! Citizenship was inherited through birth if both parents were Roman citizens, although, one parent might be a citizen due to connubium (the right to contract a Roman marriage), despite being a peregrinus (“alien”) themself. Despite the fact that Citizens in Ancient Rome were classed as ‘free’ and could live in Rome, their position was always determined by the class system and ‘controlled’ by Roman Law.

Again the ruling class showed little mercy - especially when the offender represented a threat to their power as Jesus Christ did. Roman officials never wanted their power threatened so their solution was to kill the perpetrator. Approximately 60% of crimes had the punishment of death, and being banished was the other main punishment. An example of the disproportionate punishment was if slaves ran away - they would often be crucified as they would be seen as stealing “themselves” and their clothing which belonged to their master! Officials also used these laws to deter other slaves from also trying to run away. The laws also extended to children who could be beaten if they did something wrong, which of course would not be allowed nowadays! However, the principle of using punishment to deter crime, bears some similarities to that of the English systems.

Undertaking research for this article provided an unexpected outcome – that of Rome acting as a dictatorship. From the initial discussion in Academic Scholars, I had expected to discover links with our modern democracy, not laws to control class structure and enforce morality! Neither did I expect to discover that Rome was a dictatorship! It would be very interesting to consider similarities with other Roman systems, for example: Civil and Common Law; trials and the court system (hearing, trial, evidence, summons and appeal); the Police force; the procedures for how new laws were formulated; terms used in legal language; governance and election systems but these will have to be saved for an article another day!

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Chichi Tang

HISTORY’S MOVERS & SHAKERS[?] From the time of the Sumerians in Mesopotamia in 3000 BC, the recording of events involves commendable and outstanding individuals, drawing attention to those who succeeded in life and celebrating their achievements. Thomas Carlye once remarked, ‘history is the essence of innumerable biographies,’ providing us with opportunities to study individuals and their impacts on the subsequent times. In hindsight, it is evident that movers and shakers in the past were those who created history, hence the immense amount of work dedicated to them. The poet Arthur O’Shaughnessy first coined the term ‘movers and shakers’ in his poem ‘Ode’, referring to powerful and worldly individuals, metaphorically suggesting their groundshaking influences. For instance, Adolf Hitler was one of the foremost figures of right-wing nationalism during the 20th century. Having to lead the Nazis to power in Germany, his charisma and talent in public speaking came into great use, effectively driving the party to success. The brutal destruction of Germany’s democratic system and its dramatic transformation into a war state consequently triggered the European phase of World War II, bringing Hitler under the spotlight of international politics and therefore providing him with an opportunity to prompt other right-wing political forces across the

globe. Not only did his many acts of evil confirm our recognition of mankind’s savage nature hidden under the disguise of civilization, but his decision to invade Poland single-handedly destroyed Europe’s hegemony and its influence over the rest of the world. However, the wreckage of these empires allowed the emergence of a new triumph, with the United States being able to flourish and prosper in the aftermaths of the war, manifesting one of the most unexpected consequences of Hitler’s actions. In recent years, Greta Thunberg, a teenage figurehead of climate awareness, has inspired a world-wide movement to fight climate change. In a mere 18 months, she gave speeches at the most monumental occasions and went on to lead the largest climate demonstration in history with 4 million participants. In 2019, the then 16-yearold was named Person of the Year, by Time magazine, as she “has succeeded in creating a global attitudinal shift, transforming millions of vague, middleof-the-night anxieties into a worldwide movement calling for urgent change.” Many have suggested that her age contributed to her rise to fame, as she speaks with the authority of one who will witness the impacts of climate change. Additionally, her courage to shame those who are not acting upon it placed her successfully at the forefront of this longstanding movement to continue to push for greater changes. - 36 -

Those mentioned above certainly meet the criteria for a ‘mover’ or ‘shaker’ considering their influences and power over the world, but were they only individuals who responded as a consequence of others who were less recognized? If so, would there be ones more fitting for this term? One could consider Vladimir Lenin as one, as he led the Bolsheviks to power and established socialism in Russia. But what is it that separates Lenin from other leading authorities? Arguably, it was his determination and boldness to lead an act upon Marxism in comparison to Hitler, who was most likely inspired by other right-wings preceding him, namely Mussolini and Franco. Lenin’s resolve and leadership drove the Bolsheviks through one of the most chaotic periods of Russian history; with the collapse of the new Provisional Government and the ongoing fights between various parties, the Bolsheviks managed to come out on top. Not only was Lenin seen as a saviour of the Russian Revolution, but his ideology, Leninism, has also established him as a revolutionary thinker, allowing him, alongside Marx, to create a communist worldview, inspiring many who succeeded him. We cannot overlook the influence of Lenin over world history, considering the impact of the October Revolution on socialists across the globe, alongside the significance of his ideology over


world politics; hence his suitability for the term ‘movers and shakers.’ As historians, we should also consider those whom we may have forgotten despite their achievements such as Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of America. Perhaps he was seen as of less importance than President Washington, or maybe the ten-dollar bill is not as appealing as the one-dollar bill, yet we should never neglect his accomplishments and ideas which strengthened America and its economy. To begin with, he was a Revolutionary War hero, forcing the retreat and surrender of the British, consequently establishing the foundation of the United States. Moreover, his contribution to the American economy through the Federalist Papers and the creation of the Treasury helped stabilize its economy, ensuring that the government could manage the country without much trouble. He also helped shape foreign policies, advocating Neutral Proclamation alongside a paid military, which in turn prevented the U.S. from being entangled in diplomatic affairs. Most importantly, his opposition to slavery is possibly the most overlooked element of his achievements, as he began to call for abolishing slavery long before the abolition movement in the 1830s, forming the New York Manumission Society back in 1783. His initiative to call for an end to slavery is unlike that of Thunberg, who despite being an iconic figure is not one who commenced climate awareness – a distinct difference. As the most under-appreciated Founding Father of America, it is only recently that Hamilton has emerged from under the radar through LinManuel Miranda’s musical ‘Hamilton’, demonstrating how easily we disregard those who may seem less significant or famous than others, despite their outstanding achievements. However, O’Shaughnessy’s term can be perceived in various ways and it is up to us to provide our own interpretations of it. Some might argue that no such figure exists, as a person is always inspired by another as time goes by, or perhaps anyone could be a ‘mover and shaker’ under certain circumstances of time and place – so long as they do make an impact. Image: Valentina Quijano Evans

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C r e a t i v e Wr i t i n g

Ms M a y Decem ber Skyla Chen

December’s winter, And May is hot. The frozen river Melted a lot. Is December dancing At dawn everyday? You ‘hide’ in bed every morning, And you might prefer May. May May make you feel In a melting summer. Air conditioner makes you ill, Then you miss December. But time is a reel, Let’s think something better: The roses bloom on the hill, Near to the wood and river. When the autumn is leaving, Winter can then get on to say: Silent blue sky, it’s snowing, Fret then goes away. December’s winter, And May is hot. The frozen river Melted a lot. You can find a happy pincer, And take a little shot. You can pick off the wicker, And tie a worthy knot. The time ticks like a scissor, It cuts to build a year plot. Last few days go around quicker, Then the year ends with a dot.

Image: Poppy Oliver

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C r e a t i v e Wr i t i n g

My Future in Tatters Vivienne Christofides

Time is passing, Which deal are you taking? My life is in the making, Decisions are now coming. I am constantly thinking, Is my future really ending? Stop crumpling up my dreams, You’re breaking my self-esteem. Time is flying by, Please be my ally. My ambitions are fading, The suffering is progressing. The chances are limiting, Every day is restraining. Every moment is frustrating, The wait is only increasing, The reality comes nearer, Overwhelmingly nearer. Stop terminating my Europe, My dear little Europe.

Image: Quijano Evans

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TH E MAG I C OLD The famous musical ‘Les Misérables’ uses the harpsichord as its keyboard instead of the piano, which is unusual. Harpsichords were one of the main accompanying instruments in the Baroque Era (1600-1750), but after the invention of the piano in 1700, it has been replaced and rarely used. Genuinely, watching ‘Les Misérables’ was the first time I heard this ancient instrument and wonderfully, it was in a modern musical production.

Chelsea Chen & Lisa Hu

Mastering the harpsichord, as a virtuosic instrument, mainly focuses on techniques. The reason for this might be that complexity and ornamentation were prominent features of Baroque music. Also, the nature of harpsichords do not allow them to produce long, powerful notes or change dynamics, therefore it is possible to create massive contrasts or express dramatic emotions. This reduces the flexibility of harpsichords, while, at the same time, the speciality of harpsichords is emphasized as well. For example, the scalic run in pianos, which often appears in the pieces that were written during the Baroque period, is more suitable for harpsichords to play because of its short, lively sound. This is because of their special structure: harpsichords have a light and bright timbre due to their way of producing sound by plucking the string with quills, so it is more suitable for playing rapid scalic runs and ornaments. There is no echo in harpsichord playing. Also, harpsichords do not have pedals

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OF INSTRUMENTS making it even more special and unique. However, in ‘Les Misérables’, the usage of the harpsichord is unexpected and innovative. The harpsichord is used multiple times in the build up to an intense moment, such as while a character is speaking a monologue, accompanied by relatively ordinary chords and melodies. As strings and brass are added, the mood swells gradually, creating a symphonic feeling inspired by the harpsichord, which is absolutely stunning and ground-breaking as this has not been done before. As a matter of fact, harpsichords and organs are the instruments that were popular during the Baroque period (1600-1750) because of their suitability to accompany chamber music. However, they sound really different. For organs, long notes and chords are more suitable to play because of its speciality in structure. Organs are made up of five different kinds of stops, known as string stops, reed stops, principle stops, toy stops and flute stops. It makes sounds through the wind that is blown into the pipes when you press notes. As it has a lot of stops, it can change the sound of the notes. As a result, it became popular in the Baroque period as the technology was not that advanced, so it could substitute for some instruments in chamber music. These two instruments are the ancestor of pianos. Pianos have pedals that can make long notes and

echo, as organs can. As technology improves, pianos can now react quickly to the pressing of notes, therefore quick scalic runs can be played on pianos, as harpsichords can. Honestly, I think the piano is a great combination of the harpsichord and the organ, which might explain why not that many people are playing harpsichords and organs these days, whereas pianos are becoming more and more popular. Because they are both quite symbolic, I began to think about whether I could make a harmony or a melody by using organs, harpsichords and modern instruments, such as base guitar, electrical guitar, etc. I began the piece by writing a simple melody for the harpsichord and organ. Because organs are perfect in making long notes, I thought that base guitars could be one of the choices to replace the organ. However, I found a problem when writing the exact piece: the base guitars use bass clef whilst organs often use treble clef and as a result, the harmony that it would make would be different. I personally prefer the combination of organs and harpsichords, because base guitars sound like heavy rocks dropped into water, low and heavy, whereas the sound of an organ is more likely to that of the wind. Also, organs can sound much brighter and so produce a sense of happiness, which the base guitar cannot create.

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This sounds weird that two instruments that have the same property will create different impressions and atmospheres – I think this is perhaps to do with the special time period when organs and harpsichords were made. At that time, most of the pieces were written for church music. As a result, instruments needed to sound godlike and joyful. Harpsichords and organs fit this perfectly. The dense yet vacant sound of the organ reflects the sound of God talking; the harpsichord is lively and sounds like a jumpy little elf, which can be associated with positive things. Interestingly, the harp is also suitable for playing Baroque music. The pedals of the harp can control the strings to be flat or sharp, so one can make C into C sharp and D into D flat, letting the C and D string sound similar and harmonious. As a result, the glissando that harps can make will be harmonic and perhaps remind us of angels’ voices. Churches are still using organs, harps and even harpsichords these days instead of pianos. I presume they know that pianos are a great substitution for both. However, I believe that they have their own reasons for choosing these old instruments. In my opinion, these old instruments have a magic that can bring people back to the old days when they were played for their peculiarity and beauty. This is how instruments are combined with time, I suppose.


A level Photography

Matt Willmott

Matt Willmott - 42 -


A level Photography

Rebecca Grant

Rebecca Grant - 43 -


Sophie -15. School’s over. Children pour through gates, Groups assemble, friendships defined, They all move as one, nobody waits For the one left behind; the one trapped in her mind. She drifts along the roadside, A plastic bag in a storm: No control and nowhere to hide. She carries on walking, away from the norm.

Millie Thomas

Maisie - 26. Saturday: another wedding. She paints on her makeup and a fake smile, Bracing herself for the endless questioning “No plus one? Been like that for a while.” She laughs it off again and again, But each comment hurts a touch more inside. She just has no luck with men, Nosy aunts don’t know how hard she’s tried. Lily - 33. She holds the precious bundle close to her chest, Inhales his soft, sweet scent, Strokes his hair and straightens his vest: A moment of perfect content. But deep down she’s so unhappy, Her friends have disappeared one by one, She’s alone all day- clean, feed, then nappy; But this is her life now: she has to look after her son. Tina - 42. Scrolling through her phone, Liking and commenting all the while, But seeing them together and content only makes her feel more alone. She sees their houses, puppies and a baby’s first smile. She tries to be pleased for them, to celebrate their success, But it’s hard, they have everything and she has nothing. Friends, family and happiness. Her loneliness is crushing. Debbie - 55. The children have grown and gone. Their days playing in the sun are passed, They’re ready to face the world, her job is done, A light drizzle descends, time flies so fast. She waves them off to their new lives, Puts on a smile as they tell all their stories, As they find husbands and wives, But she is so lonely as they speak of their glories. Angela - 77. The walls used to be white, Now they’re a kind of stained grey. Keeping up her morale is a constant fight, This wasn’t her choice, she wouldn’t be here if she’d had her way. It’s like being back at school with all the cliques, She knows she doesn’t belong With the popular girls, the jocks or the geeks. She’s lonely, she wants to go home -she’s just trying to stay strong. The click of black shoes on the cold floor, The drip of the incessant rain on their black coats, The smoky smell of the exhaust as black cars pull up to the door, The sting in their eyes and the lumps in their throats. She’s alone again, as we all will be Deep under the ground, Away from everything and everyone, finally free, We won’t be hurt anymore, protected by our earthy surround.

Image: Perlie Tse

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TIME

NOT ENOUGH

Image: Amelia Watson Morgann Bloquet

Belle My mind was as blank. The relentless ticking of the clock drilled my brain into a hypnotic state of emptiness; I felt nothing and I had nothing to give. This hour of silent panic was important, but in this endless cycle of grades, percentages and charitable deeds, to excel in everything was crucial. Persistent exhaustion. My sleep was suffering due to the volume of work that I struggled to complete; however, far more detrimental, was the ever-present anxiety. Night and day, it tormented me, teasing me with brief moments of calmness, only to hit me in my chest with more vigour seconds later. ‘I don’t have enough time, I am always behind’, a nagging, little voice reminded me throughout the day (much like the ticking clock), feeding my anxiety. The stark white of the page glared at me, as if to bully me into action. I couldn’t will myself to commence, I’d given everything I had to offer and there was nothing left to give. Glancing at the clock, I saw the hands begin to increase their pace – faster – faster – a blur. I didn’t have enough time; my pencil fell to the floor with an eerie thud.

Emma It was 5pm, the hour that the swarm commenced with the usual stampede of impatience. Normality was to keep your head down and speak to no-one, this was not a pastime, enjoyment was a stranger to us all: the boxed in cubicles, the angry phone calls and the predictable structure that ruled my weekdays. The structure was indoctrinating, time ran away, months passed without notice, I wished my weeks away in hope of more exciting times; work was all-consuming. My ears rang as I reached the whistling arena, where electronic boards mapped out further structure and orders to be obeyed. I was oblivious to the constant commotion, delays were inevitable at such times and I was too drained of energy to even muster some frustration, I was simply resigned to going with the flow. Through such indifference, I allowed time to run away with me, I was a machine in a world of structure and I abided by its rules. It was at this moment that something snapped inside of me, a switch finally turned something on and I began to push. I shoved through the crowds of mindless creatures and picked up my pace; time was what I ran for, time with my daughter. - 45 -- 45 -

Emma and Belle Emma walked in to find her daughter sitting staring into space, a blank and distant look engraved into her face. Emma moved slowly to sit opposite Belle, who was unaware of her mother’s presence. After some time, Belle’s watery eyes met Emma’s gaze; deep eye contact between two broken characters. There was no explanation needed, both minds followed the same thoughts. They stayed like this for some time, brewing in the silence and mutual feelings, time drifted by without the usual panic – an odd scene of bliss. “Life is short…” a statement that consequently made both minds fall upon the same unhappy memory. Belle nodded, understanding exactly what her mother meant, and looked towards the empty chair, a void in the room that was too painful to consider for long. “There’s never enough time.”


I NT E R S TE L L AR A reflection on time and space and how love transcends both

Lauren Bacchus

Image: Antoine Bertrand - 46 -


“Rage, rage against the dying of the light”. Those are the words repeated throughout Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece ‘Interstellar’, a fitting description of the characters’ fight against space and time as they travel across both. This film may be hard to understand for some but that just adds to the beauty of it; Nolan’s films are complex and thought-provoking and never patronise their audience with easy to understand plot twists, which can certainly be said for ‘Interstellar’ as I don’t believe this is a film you can fully comprehend on only one viewing. A dizzying mix of spectacle and metaphors, this awe-inspiring film doesn’t hold back. The main characters are Coop, a retired NASA astronaut, and his daughter Murph, who believes that she has a ghost behind the bookcase of her childhood room. The year is 2070 and the earth is dying. After Coop discovers a NASA base due to disturbances in gravity, or what Murph believes is her ghost, he leaves her behind in order to join a crew embarking on interstellar travel to what could be humanity’s last hope: another galaxy. Not without its flaws, Nolan’s masterpiece does lack somewhat in the quality of its dialogue and overly complicated science. However, it requires viewers to remain open minded and wide-eyed, just like the characters who “look up at the sky and wonder at their place in the stars.” The cinematography in this film is absolutely breath-taking, with contrasts between the barren fields of Earth and the endless expanse of space. ‘Interstellar’ is definitely a film that could not have been achieved in the past as, with the help of visual effects, the shots of the planets are amazingly realistic. My absolute favourite shot in the film is of the space station in front of Saturn; it is so small that an audience would barely be able to see it and shows humanity’s insignificance compared to time and space – a metaphor that is continued throughout as the characters are shown in wide shots of the different planets’ landscapes. Another aspect that I must comment on is the fantastic

soundtrack by Hans Zimmer. The main theme is one of my favourite parts of the film as it is the perfect embodiment of the messages throughout: tentative to begin with and then reaching a crescendo by the end. The music seems to describe endless space and wonder and human curiosity all at once, filling the audience with almost indescribable joy as it plays during the final scene. Perhaps I am biased as I think that Zimmer is one, if not the best, composer of our generation but ‘Interstellar’ would not be complete without him. Nolan’s storytelling mixed with Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack and the film’s perfect cinematography leaves ‘Interstellar’ as a masterpiece that can only become more relevant as humanity realises that what they are doing to the earth may not be reversible. Time is running out and right now in 2020 Nolan’s message could not be more important. *Spoiler alert - in order to talk about the themes in this film properly, I am going to have to give away a lot of spoilers, so maybe stop reading here and come back after watching the film* At its heart Nolan’s blockbuster is primarily about time, not space, showing the way a parent experiences their child’s life at a speed that seems off balance with the rest of the universe. And no other scene shows this more clearly than the team’s failed mission to the first planet. After discovering that time moves differently in this new galaxy, their - 47 -

disastrous mission loses them 23 years back on earth. Coop returns to the space station to watch 20 years of videos from his family. His daughter Murph is now the same age as he was when he left. The messages from his family are just “drifting out there in the darkness” of space, a thought that makes love seem hopeless in the face of the time that they have lost. Coop watching the videos from his children is, in my opinion, the saddest part of the film, as he realises the years that he can’t get back and breaks down because of it. From here onwards, the film serves as a reflection between time on earth and the crew’s mission, showing the children as adults now and how humanity is slowly losing hope. The message that Nolan wanted to communicate was that time is the one thing humans can’t control; we constantly advance in technology, arts, knowledge and yet even we can’t cheat time. It runs out for all of us, as shown by Professor Brand; it can change us for the worst, as shown by Mann; and as Coop discovers, it is irreversible. Despite this, time is overcome by the only other force more powerful. Love. Love leads Brand to the final planet. Love leads Murph back to her childhood. But most importantly, love is what leads Coop back to his daughter. It is the one thing that can transcend both time and space. So despite time, or perhaps because of it, love will always endure.


THE END OF ONE’S TIME. Philosophical musings on how we cope with the idea of death Adam Roblett

Images: Eva Zeng

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H

ealthy, normal people cannot experience either agony or death in the same sense that someone injured, or grieving can. It is an integral part of normal people’s superficial equilibrium to take life as absolutely independent from death and subconsciously to reject death by reducing it to a reality that is inconceivable until it happens. That is why we perceive death as coming from the outside, not as an inner fatality of life itself. The fact that the presentiment of death appears only when life is tough, or one is living through hardship, surely proves the unseen immanence of death in life; death being a brooding inevitability that bides its time until one’s time has come. If death is immanent in life, one must ask, does the awareness of death make living impossible? The average healthy and fit person is not troubled by this awareness on their own, because the process of passing into death happens simply through a diminishment of vital intensity. For such a person, there is only the agony of the last moments, not the long-lasting agony the elderly would experience if suffering from a debilitating health condition. From a rather grave perspective, every step in life is a step into death. The average person, deprived of metaphysical or pataphysical understanding (understanding of proceedings transcending universal limitations), does not have this consciousness of the progressive advance into death, though neither they nor anyone else can escape its inexorable destiny. To have the consciousness of death is something perverse and extremely corrupt. The idea of life as a long agony on the road to death is a manifestation of life’s problems. The revelation of death’s immanence in life occurs during illnesses and long depressive states. There are, of course, other ways, but they are accidental and individual, and do not have the same potential for revelation as illness, depression or periods of exaggerated melancholy. If illnesses have a philosophical purpose in the world (religious people may refer to this as ‘God’s plan’), then it can only be to prove how illusory the feeling of life’s eternity is, and how

fragile is its illusion of finality. There are many who would renounce glory acquired through suffering for an anonymous happy existence. For example, imagine a war hero who has spent years abroad, killing enemy soldiers and seeing their comrades killed. When the hero comes back, they will be showered with praise and glory, however it is clear to many that the hero would rather not have experienced the atrocities after all, and forego the glory in favour of a quiet, content life.

The presence of death in life introduces into one’s life an element of nothingness. One cannot conceive of death without nothingness, the same as life without an idea of negativity - meaning one cannot conceive of any life without the presence of negatives or positives. The fear of death, which is nothing but the fear of the nothingness into which death throws us, proves that death presupposes nothingness. Leo Tolstoy wrote in ‘The Death of Ivan Ilych’, “He sought his former accustomed fear of death and did not find it. “Where is it? What death?” There was no fear because there was no death.” This sombre quotation shows us through the medium of literature that the immanence of death in life is a sign of the final triumph of nothingness over life, thus showing that the presence of death opens the way toward nothingness, which - 49 -

humans cannot conceive and so therefore reject. That said, one must recall the use of memento mori in art and culture, serving as a reminder to all that death is imminent. Memento mori, an artistic or symbolic reminder of the inevitability of death (often depicting a skull or skeleton), has influenced many artworks and literature; through its symbolism, it serves as a constant reminder bearing on one’s consciousness that one must always die, it is inescapable, perhaps suggesting that humans need to be reminded of death’s immanence to make life more valuable. Whoever genuinely considers the question of death must be afraid of it. The only fear is, in fact, the fear of death; if one is scared of the dark, one is scared of the possibility of death resulting from the dark. If one fears heights, this is simply a fear of falling from a great height. Different kinds of fears are merely a manifestation of the same fundamental psychological reality (that one must prevent one’s own death) in its various aspects. Those who try to remove the fear of death through artificial reasoning are totally mistaken, as it is impossible to cancel a natural fear by way of artificial constructs. Even those who believe in eternity, or heaven, do so because they are afraid of death. I believe that it is justifiable to say that the fear of death does not have a deeper justification, having these fears of death are completely natural – they are primal fears. Yet these fears are linked to and perhaps come into conflict with René Descartes’ theory ‘ergo cogito sum’ (‘I think, therefore I am’) which explicates that as long as you exist, there is no death, and once you are dead there is no longer any you; thus if one thinks, one must be alive – but one must also be able to die to be alive. Therefore, due to the equivocation of ideas concerning death, we must surely enjoy and cherish our passions and our limited time with our loved ones, and ensure that we help others and not treat life lightly, as with death being absolute, we must make the most of the limited time we are entitled to on earth.


GCSE Art

Alice Feng

Zoe Makele Hannah Chung

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GCSE Art

Keanu Khazanehdari

Sihu Jung

Keanu Khazanehdari

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LAGERFELD’S LEGACY

Image: Sharon George Kalu

Sabrina Mak

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headquarters of Chanel as a creative director in 1983. With the sudden death of Coco Chanel back in 1971, the brand focused on selling their aromatic fragrances, such as Chanel N°5, as well as their iconic accessories like the boy bags and Breton-top heels. Although Chanel was making a reasonable amount of revenue, Alan Wertheimer, who was the owner of Chanel at that time, feared that the brand would suffer a similar fate to Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton, where profits had decreased in value in a prosaic way due to the deaths of their founders. By hiring Lagerfeld, Wertheimer ultimately made the smartest decision in fashion history.

At some point of time, you may have heard of an iconic fashion designer named Karl Lagerfeld, recognised by his white ponytail look, dark, almost opaque looking sunglasses and fingerless gloves. You may have also heard of his partner in crime, his beloved Birman cat Choupette (and yes, she is the most fashionable and adorable cat you have ever seen. Google it!). Although he passed away early last year to a long battle of pancreatic cancer, Lagerfeld’s success as a fashion designer will always be remembered, and has contributed to the recognition and gain of many well-known brands, including working as Fendi’s creative director since 1965 and collaborating with Chlóe and Tommy Hilfiger. In addition, his signature style of high fashion and high camp has attracted many famous individuals, including the likes of Rihanna and Princess Caroline of Monaco. However, this article isn’t just about how he modernised the luxury fashion market and his blunt and mysterious persona. In a way, Lagerfeld was also a hero, a lifesaver. He saved the well-renowned brand Chanel from oblivion, and here’s why... Whilst everyone else was rocking neon coloured outfits and big, voluminous, teased-out hair during the 80s, Lagerfeld stepped into the

Firstly, Lagerfeld defined precise and explicit colours for the Chanel House to follow, which are black, gold, pink, beige and white. Furthermore, he reconstructed the original heritage Coco had, where he insisted on regular production of the tweed jacket and suit (which has become the signature style), pearl and logo earrings, the little black dress and the 2.55 flap bag. Lagerfeld also used the classic interlocking Cs logo, which was designed by Coco during the 1930s, in multiple forms. For example, he used it as the clasp of many handbags, necktie prints and jacket buttons. By doing this, Lagerfeld was cleverly preserving the authentic image Chanel had, which led to the brand being supported by many small manufacturers in France and also being well known through the “Face of Chanel” French model, Inès de La Fressange. Another important factor that led to Chanel’s success was the way he redesigned the classic tweed suits. Although it was already an original design made by Coco, Lagerfeld decided to revamp it, creating grunge versions of the tweed jacket, as well as elegant and classy uniforms of it. Till this day, the tweed suits remain as one of the most purchased items from Chanel, particularly due to its vibe of vintage mixed with contemporary, which attracts celebs such as Cameron Diaz and the Duchess Catherine herself. Aside from the monochrome yet upscale fashion he introduced, Lagerfeld’s exaggerated and visionary mind helped to - 53 -

revive the Chanel runway. Instead of presenting the haute collection in a sensible way, he insisted that the outfits should be displayed in a theatrical manner, which can be seen from his 2015 haute couture spring/ summer collection. This runway show became the talk of the season, which was obviously due to Lagerfeld’s hard work and the fact that it took six months to create the three hundred flowers for the Chanel set (yes – six months, I’m not even joking). Karl Lagerfeld’s strong work ethic and ingenious mindset has been successful and created a lasting legacy, as Chanel still remains as one of the most profitable, successful and inspirational fashion empires in history. It seems that Lagerfeld was probably the only person to bring Chanel back from the dead and guide her to the top of the fashion industry, as he was not afraid to push past boundaries and surpass the extreme. His trademark of courageousness and extravagance never fails to inspire other creative individuals, as his work always symbolised political and social issues, particularly the importance of feminism and gender equality. Lagerfeld’s intricate, bold and impudent character will be missed by Chanel and without him, the fashion industry will never be the same.


G C S E F a s h i o n Te x t i l e s

Tataiana Hissey

Michelle Wong

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GCSE Art

Charlotte Walker

Jeremy Chan

Seb Yip

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C r e a t i v e Wr i t i n g

Overthrown by Darkness Kayla Prashad

Dread pounds inside me; when will I get out of this house of consternation? I look at my rasping, decaying bones; my teeth chatter as panic seizes my skull. I am alone inside this inky, eerie room full of ghosts who groan and moan incessantly. Dong! The clock strikes one, fear is choking me with its murderous hands.

Image: Eva Zeng

Dong, dong! Only ten more nerve-racking beats to go. My body is paralysed, in a daze – I suddenly feel very equal to everybody; they are all staring at me with the same look of sheer terror on their face: who will the King of Hell choose?

I cannot do anything as a delicate frame of a deceased body.

My legs are draining their dark black colour and transform to a horrifying alabaster hue.

I feel a hundred spiders scuttle down my back– will I go to the place I dreamed of, or the place I have nightmares of? That is the question that I ponder.

I gasp. The devil suddenly appears; he stares at me with his venomous scarlet eyes, his monstrous mouth curves into a reptilian sneer – and upon him those devious vermillion horns. - 56 -

There rested in his hand a sinister pitchfork, pondering on who to drag down with him to hell. It points at me; I stare at him terrified – the malicious devil’s pointed tail swoops down and entwines my legs. He throws back his head and laughs like a screeching eagle, the swarming snake picking me up and prising me down through an invisible hole. Down and down I go, barely seeing, scarcely feeling anything as I am dragged into the malevolent lands of Tartarus. Who knows what dark destiny awaits me…


Narayan Minhas

Time shrinks into the tick of a clock. Time expands into the deepest corners of our mind.

Whirling, Spinning, Distorting and Warping into thin air, I hover, I watch, I wait for time to pass. I drift through the threshold and into the Grand Hall. I am the howl of the wind, no one takes notice of me. I am only a fragment of time.

The Skeleton of Time forces me to remain, yet around me, time drives on in a blur.

Time moves and drives the swing of a pendulum. Time is still, it is paused, it is waiting.

I drift into classrooms, I watch you play and learn. I don’t mean to frighten you or shoot a burst of fear through your heart accidentally when I forget what I am. I would pay anything to reverse the rusty hands of the clock back and sit and talk like you do. How can I? I am only a fragment of time.

I stand on the driveway, looking up at you, where I used to be. I am invisible, I am only a fragment of time.

Time passing is the shriek of the devil Time passing is the blessing of an angel.

You change so quickly, but I will always recognise you. I was taught by you and kept safe by you.

I look up at the cloudy sky, as I did before; I watch the people around me grow up, live their lives, have their own homes. I see reports of wars and horrible news. I hear silence, for I am silence.

Time is constant, time will not stop, they say. How can that be true? Time may be, but its skeleton is pushed down into the deep past.

Time is alive it devours the past. Time is dead, it has already past.

I am stuck in time. I am only a fragment of time.

A fool I may be, looking upon my old school, but no-one can see me, and they would have no reason to. I am only a fragment of time. I look back to when I spent those cold winter nights shivering with my friends in the dormitory. I look back to those hot summer afternoons, playing our games under the swaying trees. I cannot look forward to anything. I am only a fragment of time. Time watches you, with its terrifying eye. Time is blind and as ancient as the universe.

But for me, for me, a fragment of time is best. Oh, how much I would like to sit and talk, and live the life that you do. I hear whispers of the past echo through my mind. I will never forget anything, anything at all. I am only a fragment of time. Time will keep you imprisoned, chained by the wrists. A fragment of time I may be. But, I can take flight. I am free. I am free from time’s never ending spiral of confusion. I am a fragment of time. That’s the way I want to stay, right till the end, the very end of time. And when that time comes, my time won’t have run out. It would have only just begun.

Image: Tireni Adeniji

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THE EVOLVING PORTRAYAL Mili Greener

Time is a complicated theme to present in art because it is not a person, an object or a scene. Neither is it an emotion or a mood. It is intangible and transient but its effect is universal. There have been many responses to the theme of time by modern artists; some portraying time’s passing or depicting its different states. Others are concepts more obvious in their composition, however, recently many artists have used the passing of time to raise awareness of the issue of global warming.

Perhaps the most famous piece of art with connotations of time, must be Salvador Dalí’s ‘The Persistence of Memory’, painted in 1931. Through this surrealist piece, Dalí suggests time is a concept that is passing or a distant memory. He has captured the unstoppable passing of time through the many images he painted. Within the composition, Dalí has focussed on a pocket watch covered with ants. This suggests decay and it is possible that he included this as a reference to one of his childhood memories of a dead lizard being eaten by ants. This theme of death and decay is further portrayed through the dead olive tree standing towards the front of the dream-like landscape. The tree stands in opposition to the tradition of an olive branch as a symbol of peace and tranquillity as it seems life-less without leaves or olives, as if its purpose is complete, or neglected. Moreover, time has been presented as an inescapable inevitability through the limp head painted with a melted clock draped over it. One possible interpretation of this is that it is Dalí’s own face, showing how ageing thus running out of time is unavoidable. In this 20th century oil painting, Dalí has shown the theme of time as a concept that causes pain as it runs out through the image of a face that appears as if all life has been drained from it. It has been suggested that the three clocks represent time in the past, present and future, showing it as a constantly evolving concept that is everlasting. Furthermore, the limp portrayal of the three pocket watches shows that as time passes, objects lose all structure. They have melted over objects as if they

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are clinging onto life despite them also being near to, or already dead. Additionally, the fourth clock facing downwards with the hidden face could be suggestive of dream time. The foreground of the composition is dark in colour with a large shadow, juxtaposing the beautiful, tranquil landscape in the background. At the forefront of the painting, the clocks seem to be forgotten and abandoned. Maybe Dalí is suggesting that in a pure dream state, time is irrelevant and our normal concept of it is as well. The dream state holds great interest and importance for the surrealist movement because it is not logical. Lastly, through Dalí’s title ‘The Persistence of Memory’, he is suggesting time cannot be stopped and is everlasting. However, we can see his sarcasm of not painting time as an indestructible and non-changing concept because it is melted, thus time can be affected or changed.

and challenging. For example, the Scandinavian artist Olafur Eliasson, placed huge blocks of glacial ice outside the Tate Modern along with other public areas in London to show the rapid melting of ice caps. He left the five tonne blocks to melt as a visual reminder of the everlasting impact climate change has and will have on us. Lastly, an extended interpretation of Cordal’s response to the theme of time is that we are nearing a state of no return, where we have ignored all of nature’s signs for too long and there is nothing humanity can do; a visual interpretation of burying your head in the sand – or water.

time against the perceived arrogance of the establishment. Furthermore, Dalí presents time as intangible, infinite and incomprehensible, hence a dreamlike vision. The illusion that time is a ‘superior reality’ that is beyond our control. In contrast, Cordal presents time as a completely tangible and real concept, something that humans have the ability and responsibility to prolong and protect. However, despite their different presentations of time as a theme, both these Spanish artists created dioramas that were tiny in size but (should) have had a monumental impact on the society in which they were living.

Despite both these pieces of art being modern, post-renaissance and about the theme of time, they have many differing views on this theme of time. Dali’s painting is dreamlike and difficult to decipher with its ambiguous, surrealist message but

Despite this, both pieces, irrelevant of the time they were formed, still hold a great impact in our society today. Isaac Cordal’s piece is so recent that the impact is still what he intended it to be, whilst Dalí’s art’s meaning, I think, has changed:

OF TIME AS A THEME IN ART In stark contrast, Spanish artist Isaac Cordal presents the theme of time as a concept that is running out through his piece ‘Electoral Campaign’ which is part of a larger project, ‘Follow the Leaders’. This 2011 sculpture of miniature heads submerged in tiny puddles is a response to the threat of rising sea levels and the lack of action being taken by politicians globally. We can see many bald, middle-aged white, male politicians at varying depths under the water and this generalisation illustrates the lack of diversity among those in power.

Cordal’s realist installation is much more obvious and direct with a clear and urgent message. There is no ambiguity of what he is saying to the viewer, whereas Dalí’s artwork is deliberately challenging rational thought. However both pieces of art do represent a reaction to their

Cordal furthers the theme of time as not being infinite through the distorted reflections in the water of the buildings and cement heads. This could be showing how the future of the earth is unknown. Cordal has presented time as a countdown that we are nearing the end of and one that we have induced because of humanity’s indifference to the vital issue of climate change. His climate change protest piece is among many others in the last few years which have been both provocative - 59 -

when I look at the composition, I see a response to the climate change crisis in it looks like the nature and clocks have run out of energy. I relate that to today’s society as the earth, due to global warming and other issues, is running out of energy to keep going.


A level Photography

Grace Gair

Grace Gair - 60 -


A level Photography

Georgia Bennett

Isabella Armitage - 61 -


Psychology Through Time Eleanor Norman

Literature is vast and there are many different types of literature produced by our society but the novels and non-fiction case studies about psychology throughout time are of particular interest to me. As I’m sure you’re aware, psychology has come on in leaps and bounds over the last century and as such, the literature that we read about it is very relevant for our understanding of the topic. Here are some fascinating books that I would recommend to anyone interested in psychology.

Image: Perlie Tse

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On Different Ideologies: ‘Victorian Psychology And British Culture’ – Rick Rylance This book was written in the Victorian era. Now I have to admit it can be heavy going and so I did not finish it all but the part I read was interesting. It looks at the different theories of Victorian culture and how the human body was viewed to have a soul. The reason it concentrates on culture is because this was seen to influence the most effective way to treat patients. Victorian doctors seemed extremely sceptical and critical of new practices - like the use of talking therapies. They seemed scared of change and saw the more effective treatments as those that were tried and tested practiced methods of the time. This was of interest to me as it seemed that whilst psychology has advanced greatly in the last 100 years, the persuasion, effort and general leap of faith taken by those Victorian psychologists pushing the new treatments would have been almost impossible to achieve. This is evidenced by the fact that electroshock therapy was still used to treat patients for a long time into the twentieth century, before finally dying out in Europe. As time is the factor that we use most to judge how advanced a branch of medicine has become, this clearly shows how much we have developed from the days when electro-shock therapy and frontal lobotomies were an accepted form of treatment and common practice. However, it is clear that, with the benefit of hindsight, we regard these methods as nothing short of barbaric by today’s standards. Yet, should we really be so judgemental against those who believed that they were, at the time, to the best of their abilities, helping understand and heal the minds of their patients?

For Case Studies: ‘The Man That Mistook His Wife For A Hat’ – Oliver Sacks This book goes into great detail about certain cases that the psychologist Oliver Sacks looked at during the 80s – especially interesting if you want something light that still goes into some depth with these unique cases. This showed me how even in the last 30 years or so, we have advanced. There are many thought-provoking cases that look at different issues: one of them is a problem in the visual cortex causing the patient’s vision to alter, meaning he mistook his wife for a hat. This patient was more interesting as it didn’t seem to affect him all of the time; he described what he saw as being shapes instead of the people and only parts of them, so he could normally distinguish between certain objects. But what stood out for me was how now we would be able to provide more treatment for some of the patients, but that even now the treatments used then would still be used today, showing how we have come forward in many ways but there is still a lot that we need to understand. On Treatments & Hallucinations: ‘The Crow Garden’ – Alison Littlewood This novel is written in the 21st century but looking back at a Victorian psychologist and his understanding of how to treat patients, with also a slight romantic and supernatural element. I won’t reveal the plot twist but it’s a very good book. In this novel, the conventional treatments that the main protagonist is against include cold water baths - 63 -

(believed to increase the release of norepinephrine to the blood, a hormone that works to calm you down, affecting mood, vigilance, focus and attention) and electric shock therapy (it induced seizures that relieved symptoms of mental illness and it was thought that the brain shock could lead to realising that hallucinations were not real). The protagonist is seen to want to use conversational therapy instead, and is seen as the only doctor wishing to do so. This could be romanticising the past and changing it for us to make us think that there were many people that helped to come up with safer treatments, when in fact it was only a few that did. This could be a problem as we are not getting the full story. Are we allowing the writers to change the past? Are we allowing them to romanticise the past? The hallucinations in the novel seem to be cantered around desire and love for someone. Hallucinations are caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. Unusual patterns of cells firing mean that certain chemicals are not transmitted as they should be, causing visual or auditory hallucinations. There is a genetic root, an inherited combination of polygenic genetic mutations meaning you are more vulnerable to hallucinations, which often needs a trigger for these genes to express themselves. There are many different triggers; in this novel it seems to be the loss of someone dear to him. Having this in a novel means that we can learn more about different types of disorders, which is clearly advantageous to us as it means we can be more empathetic to them.

Time then is an important factor in all areas of development but in science and especially human science, the advantages that have occurred are staggering. In some ways we can’t blame those past psychologists for their failures or the damage they inflicted as they didn’t know the methods that we have now. However, if so, would we then be able to argue this about a more serious event in history that caused pain to individuals? When does the fact that we didn’t know or have all the answers at the time stop being a legitimate excuse for mistakes that have drastic and irrevocable consequences?


A Level Art

Izzy Armitage - 64 -


A Level Art

Izzy Armitage

Izzy Armitage

Amelia Watson - 65 -


C r e a t i v e Wr i t i n g

Image: Jiwoo Lee

Image: Jiwoo Lee - 66 -


Junior Literar y Society Competition Winner

Ria Manvatkar

I button my coat up against the wind, It flowing through my hair, seductively, he says. The boats using the wind, along the ice; Their engines struggling against it, he says. The steam puffing out in great clouds, fake clouds, Fake and pretend, like others I know, he says. Man-made, an archetype of the forewarned frauds What is man these days? Falsely idolised, he says Snow is shaken off trees by laughing children, Who knows what they’ll grow to be, he says. Their mittened hands throwing snowballs at each other What other ammunition will they throw? He says. The snow is falling on their resentful nurses, parents, supervisors; How are they meant to be grown and part of society, he says. The patterns glow, made on the ice last night, last year, last decade. How many beings were people then, and monsters now, he says. A hand passes the factory’s window, thin and osseous That child looks eerily familiar… he says. The same window’s opened, and we feel the industrial warmth escape, I’d scoff, if I wasn’t afraid of hurting you, he says. A shout is thrust out of a downstairs window, filled with life and vivacity Everyone has that, and will still have that, he says. The building exhales a puff of smoke which twists like fire Ah, the irony of life and death; mortality and immortality. He says… A stronger gust of wind breaks our silence, our perfectly imperfect silence, A strong, skeletal arm wraps around me; the winter seeping into my skin, Let me help you, he says. But I prise the fingers off me, turn to escape his acute scrutiny. Still his scrutiny was all around me, blinding me, suffocating me I wanted help, I did, but from the people he had taken, not him. But the strong, skeletal arm was too powerful and I, I couldn’t. I remember him looking at me, the lifeless eyes into my dying-fire orbs; Piss off, I say.

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Sabrina Mak