The Margaret Fendley
OF CREATIVE EXCELLENCE
This page: Anna Orelli, Year 9, watercolour on paper Front cover image: Harshitha Bharaneedharan, Year 11, Art, Icarus, oil on canvas with gold leaf
Acknowledgements...................................................... 2 Writing from Middle Years........................................... 5 Artwork by Sophie Altmann, Year 12 Art......................................... 6 Caitlin Jong, Year 7 English.................................................................... 7 Artwork by Caitlin Buntine, Year 11 Art............................................. 8 Stephanie Tang, Year 7............................................................................. 8 Artwork by Jessica Findlay, Year 8 Art............................................ 9 Artwork by Georgia Butler, Year 12 Art.......................................... 10 Heidi Tully, Year 7 English........................................................................11 Artwork by Zara Rosenberg, Year 8 Art.........................................12 Babette Ben-Meir, Year 7 English.......................................................12 Sophie Lodge, Year 12 Art ....................................................................13 Artwork by Jessica Stuart, Year 8 Art............................................ 14 Phillippa Monckton, Year 8 English...................................................15 Artwork by Zoe Steer, Year 12 Art.....................................................16 Madeline Couttie, Year 8 English........................................................17 Artwork by Zoe Christofides, Year 11 Art .......................................18
Piper Le Page, Year 10 English (That’s a Classic!).....................28 Artwork by Abigail Smith, Year 10 Art........................................... 30 Sarah Adam, Year 10 English (That’s a Classic!)....................... 30 Artwork by Felicia Englander, Year 10 Art....................................32 Alyssa Yap, Year 10 English (#SAYHERNAME)..........................32 Linling (Tina) Shao, Year 10 Art......................................................... 34 Anoushka Baruah, Year 11 English.................................................... 34 Sarah Stancombe, Year 11 Literature............................................... 36 Artwork by Jasmine Harvey & Katherine Ma, Year 7 Art.......37 Artwork by Evelyn Johnston, Year 10 Art.................................... 38 Sophie Felice, Year 11 Literature........................................................ 39 Hillary Halford, Year 11 Literature......................................................40 Artwork by Hannah Smith, Year 11 Art.............................................41 Tamsyn Lovass, Year 12 English......................................................... 42 Artwork by Olena Williams, Year 11 Art......................................... 43 Taylor Dossetor, Year 12 English........................................................ 44 Artwork by Lily Gemmell, Year 12 Art............................................ 45 Cate Smith, Year 12 English................................................................. 46
Writing from Tay Creggan.......................................... 19
Artwork by Madeleine Martin, Year 7 Art......................................47
Artwork by Katharine Johnson, Year 9......................................... 20
Alannah Frampton, Year 12 English................................................. 48
Rebecca McAuley, Year 9 English......................................................21
Artwork by Lilly Toomey, Year 12 Art............................................. 49
Artwork by Ella Farley, Year 12 Art...................................................22
Artwork by Tia Haralabakos, Year 12 Art...................................... 50
Saskia Heng, Year 9 English.................................................................23
Sophie Lodge, Year 12 Literature...................................................... 50
Artwork by Kate McKay, Year 12 Art............................................... 24
Sarah Patience, Year 11 Literature......................................................52
Zixuan (Cecilia) Tang, Year 9 English............................................. 24
Marion Clegg, Year 12 Art......................................................................53
Writing from Senior Years..........................................25
Artwork by Shihua (Cindy) Xu, Year 10 Art................................. 54
Artwork by Hannah Downie, Year 12 ............................................. 26
Ming Sin (Haylie) Cheng, Year 12 EAL.............................................55
Zoe Lee, Year 10 English (That’s a Classic!).................................27
Artwork by Olivia Anderson, Year 8 Art....................................... 56
Artwork by Lucy Felice, Year 9 Art..................................................28 Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar | 1
o revisit previously loved places and experiences is, we are often advised, unwise; it is to risk disappointment, or even disillusionment. What then seemed a fresh image may appear, now, rather tired; a sound argument, somewhat insubstantial; a painting or sculpture, derivative. Our tastes and values change, and with them, our judgements.â€? This, however, has not been my experience as I have revisited the Strathcona Anthology of Creative Excellence, 2017 and 2018. I have admired, afresh, the sureness of line in a drawing, the economy of words in an argument, the whimsy in the use of thread in depicting the wispy hair of an elderly man, and in so doing, capturing his distinctive personality and character. It has been stimulating, too, to consider, again, the thoughtful and sometimes provocative approach to a classic text and to shifts in perspective and viewpoints brought about by changes in our current social values and perceptions. The quality of the writing, and of the Art - in both collections - stands up to continued scrutiny and evaluation - and that is the acid test of creativity and of excellence. I, and the rest of the Strathcona community, look forward, now, to the pleasure that awaits us in this 2019 collection. Mrs Margaret Fendley
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reativity is a word that is continuously used in the landscape of future work. The underlying principles that craft a creative mindset are problem solving, being courageous, lateral thinking, cross section of collaboration, communication and critical thinking. All of these skills are key twenty first century skills that we aim to develop and grow in our students. Award winning scientist, Anna Powers in her Forbes article clearly articulates how technology has always advanced and the key to staying ahead and participating in the creation of the future is individual creativity. “… since technology is only going to advance, the question is: what will be the most coveted skill of the future? In my opinion, it is creativity. Ultimately a computer lacks imagination or creativity to dream up a vision for the future. It lacks the emotional competent that a human being has. Thus, creativity will be the skill of the future.” (Anna Powers, Forbes, Creativity is the skill of the Future). Embracing our students creativity is vital. Providing a space for a student to create not only offers them personal freedom but elicits social and emotional development. When you read the works with in Anthology or observe the art you see the next generation creating the future. I am once again delighted to share with you The Margaret Fendley Anthology of Creative Excellence. This extraordinary collection of student work showcases remarkable Strathcona students and I thank them for sharing their perspective of the world. I also acknowledge and thank the hard work, passion and dedication of our staff, in particular Head of English, Mr David Pargetter and Head of Art, Ms Erin-Maree Horsley. May you enjoy the journey of the 2019 Anthology. Mrs Marise McConaghy, Principal
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he Art Department is once again grateful to Mr David Pargetter and the English Department for the opportunity to publish student art work in the 2019 edition of the Margaret Fendley Anthology. Publishing student Artwork alongside student writing is a public and memorable way to recognise and reflect on the importance of the creative thinking and learning that occurs during the year at Strathcona. In particular, for teachers and students of the visual arts, celebrating excellence in visual thinking and art making makes the anthology a unique way of highlighting our student’s effort and learning that lasts well beyond our yearly student Art Exhibition. This year I was pleased to select from a wide range of visual artworks. Those selected demonstrate a high degree of student visual literacy and skillful use or manipulation of techniques. These reflect the student’s developmental stage and the growth and learning of our students in 2019. Many of our students have completed work that was deeply responsive to current issues and events happening in our world today. We congratulate our students for commenting and reflecting so bravely in their artmaking. Ms Erin-Maree Horsley, Head of Art
e have again worked hard in our English classrooms in a great variety of writing sessions during 2019. Students from Year 7 to 12 have contributed writing pieces from the subjects English, EAL and Literature for the Margaret Fendley Anthology. In interpreting our world through reading and writing, we strive for excellence and creativity in our work. The students of each year level at Strathcona submit their writing in keeping with the tradition of the Margaret Fendley legacy of striving for our best and of using the craft of writing expressively and interpretively. We celebrate all dimensions of students’ writing from creative and personal reflections, viewpoints, fiction, non-fiction to discursive essays on past and present literature. I am pleased to say we have again collaborated with the Art Department in producing a publication which depicts communication through the visual arts and through the written word. Through art and writing we express ideas and these areas of endeavour have again shown to complement each other. In celebrating excellence in writing, all contributors should be congratulated, along with their ever-supportive teachers, who give the students the encouragement to put their work forward. By showcasing the students’ writing we affirm its importance and at the same time acknowledge the continually developing skills required. Strathcona is fortunate to be able to draw on the foresight of Mrs Margaret Fendley. We hope you enjoy the Anthology. Mr David Pargetter, Head of English
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WRITING FROM THE
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A r t w o r k b y S o p h i e A l t m a n n , Ye a r 1 2 A r t
Wholeness and brokenness (ceramic sculpture)
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C a i t l i n J o n g , Ye a r 7 E n g l i s h
Creative Response - A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay Dearest Reyna,
he last time I saw you, you were telling me about how much you wanted to become a tunneler. But to be a tunneler, you must understand the rock deeper than most. You must know its complex history. This is our oldest talehow we learned to respect the mountain. Many grandmothers ago, before the first Mothers were announced, we were not confined in this vast prison of stone. We lived on the other side of the mountain, on a waving piece of narrow grassland. This valley was simply a place to pass time. People came here in the warmer seasons through a passage called the Pass. They came here to gather the medicinal wicker berry, snare the once-plentiful landbirds or to eat with the company of the lush forest and the crystalline spring. During the icy winter, they retreated back into the plain, as thick layers of snow fell heavily on the valley. The snow couldn’t flow into rivers or creeks, so it built up, towering as high as a house. It was a good life, they had. An easy one, with barely any hardships. Well, almost. Our ancestors were awed by the mountain. So much so that they would go inside. They were curious, at first- they chipped a little rock away here and there. But when they discovered a beautiful, shimmering blue stone, their curiosity turned to greed. Men flocked to the rock to steal this blue stone- mica- like locusts swarming to a field to steal its grain. They destroyed a huge part of the mountain, just to gratify themselves with useless trinkets. The Gash, we call it. If you ever visit the rock, child, you can see the jagged crack snaking down its side. It becomes obvious, after seeing the Gash, why the rock raged revenge on them. Rockfall, we call it. If you ever visit the woods, you can see clumps of rock scattered around. Stones rained down from above, pummeling bruises into the flesh of the land. That was not the end of it. The mountain roared its defiance, a growl that could be heard and felt from a great distance. A pillar of sea came crashing through their homes. Destroying them. Those inside found every entrance and every exit sealed with a wall of unyielding stone. Their last moments were not pleasant- water rose above their heads and refused to let go of their throats.
They waited, hope as slim as the streak of light from the narrowest crevice. Then, a single scratch echoed. Then some more. Little by little, something made its way through a tight slit in the rock. A finger. A hand. An arm. A woman. But not just one- six others trailed behind her. Seeing these women strengthened the villagers’ hopes, but the Seven were the only ones who survived this disaster. The small spark of hope was lost, and they continued to grieve for their lost ones. For many nights, they wondered what they could have done to deserve such a terrible fate. The Pass had collapsed on top of itself - they had no escape. They longed to be as free as the sky birds that glided through the air, drifting effortlessly above the mountain and into the rest of the world. They were lost- they were without answers, without a leader and without motivation. That is, until the Seven women took control and became the first Mothers. Like all things, it wasn’t instant; it wasn’t easy- the first winter was grim and many died. The snow piled up over their chimneys, trapping the smoke from burning wood inside. It would strangle their lives out, muffling their cries for help. Those who tried not to burn wood were taken by the icy hand of winter. However, these tragedies helped them because they forced them to learn new ways of life. Instead of wood, mica was struck during the winters to provide heat and light. Wiry ventilation pipes were installed, which bought them a few more days after autumn succumbed to ice. They learned to respect the mountain, for it had been the one to punish them. They formed a line of girls, tunnelers, who searched deep inside the rock for the mica they relied on so heavily. Of course, no boys were sent. Judging by what men did to the mountain, it was clear that it would not forgive easily. They did not want to risk a second Rockfall. These practices were passed through generations, all the way down to your time. Child, once you turn seven, you will start your training as a tunneler, one of the most respected positions. Listen to the Mothers, find the harvest and make the light. Do not question the allocations of mica the Mothers give. Do not cry as they adjust you, no matter how much you want to scream. Do not question anything they do, as that is the way of things. And that is how it must always be. Take care, little one. Mother Layne
After it had all passed, the few survivors waited in silence for the rest to come home. This silence was louder than the calamity itself.
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A r t w o r k b y C a i t l i n B u n t i n e , Ye a r 1 1 A r t
Dream Landscape (oil on canvas)
S t e p h a n i e Ta n g , Ye a r 7
Creative Response - A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay
open my eyes and wake to find sunshine streaming in, laughing happily and free. I yearn to touch the liquid sunshine, but wince in pain. This stab of pain anchors me to the real world as I snap out of my dream-like daze.
I feel water, thick and cold on my skin. It drips off my arm and lands in a pool on the ground. The water is as black and filthy as petroleum. The tangy taste of blood and salt lingers in my mouth.
“How long have I been here?” I wonder to myself. Time slips away as I count the seconds, no minutes, no hours. My leg aches and throbs as if a thousand needles were puncturing my skin and, despite myself, I give a moan of despair.
Caw! Caw! Caw! In the distance, sea gulls and birds converse with each other. I long to be with them, high above the skies and free.
I see a little girl. She looks up at me with wide frightened eyes. I look around and I see more children, walking dreamily in a long snaking line, slithering around the mountain. A strange, yet pleasant sound fills the otherwise silent paths, resonant and warm. I find myself wanting to go with the music as it entrances me and beckons me to follow. I want to follow, but somehow, I cannot. I want to leave this place and go, go with the music and the children, but I am not allowed. The pied piper in the red and yellow jacket will not take me. But, still, he covers me with the pied jacket. But he will tell my dad. The man. My dad...
Annie, Simon... What would they be thinking of now? Tears rush to my eyes as I long for my family. Poor Annie. I knew what she would be thinking. But I also knew what my parents would be thinking. They would be blaming Annie for not thinking. But it wasn’t her fault. And Simon. He would be missing his bed time stories. He would be missing me. Suddenly, the vast emptiness of the cavern makes me feel lonelier than ever. I cannot look at my leg. I can’t and I won’t. Dad... Simon…Annie...
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A r t w o r k b y J e s s i c a F i n d l a y , Ye a r 8 A r t
Time (lino print)
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A r t w o r k b y G e o r g i a B u t l e r , Ye a r 1 2 A r t
Beach Culture (digital photography)
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H e i d i Tu l l y , Ye a r 7 E n g l i s h
Analytical Response - Falling From Grace by Jane Goodwin Feelings of loss and loneliness are experienced by many of the characters in “Falling From Grace”. However, it is through this desolation that such characters grow. To what extent do you agree?
n Jane Godwin’s 2006 text, Falling From Grace, we see a young girl clinging to life as she is lost in a storm. The fallout from this is drastic. Many of the characters in the novel experience loss or loneliness, and many of them grow through this desolation. However, one character, Ted, does not. Central figure Kip experiences much loss over the narrative, although he is seen to flourish through challenge. Grace and Annie also experience personal growth through their struggles. However, dysfunctional Ted is seen to be unable to positively change through his desolation. Overall, many characters grow through experience over the narrative, Falling From Grace. The central character Kip experiences many feelings of loss and loneliness throughout the text. However, by the end, he has grown and developed through this experience. Kip struggles through many burdens. He experiences loss of swimming and guilt of disappointing his parents. After Grace gets lost, he becomes caught up in it all, and is suspected and misunderstood. Yet he expresses himself through his passion for music, and thus befriends Ted who also has a love for music. Together they play songs, which keeps drawing Kip back to Ted, even though he does not completely trust him. Music is like a salvation for Kip. He realises that it is something he is good at. Yet he still feels guilty about quitting swimming as “[his] parents and coach were really disappointed,” after he made this decision. He learns to deal with his guilt though, and realises that he is a strong person who can make his own decisions. Kip eventually manages to find courage to say to Ted, “no, you grow up,” and ends up as the hero of the text. Hence the central figure Kip shows growth through his adversity. The character of Grace suffers much loss and desolation throughout the novel, yet by the end of the text, she emerges stronger than ever. Grace is physically lost. After falling off the cliff, she undergoes loss and pain which forces her to draw on her inner courage. Before this day, her family always saw her to be the weaker one, the one who needed protection. Annie feels “like I’m the one who should be protecting her,” as Grace seems so vulnerable and dreamy. When Grace finally regains consciousness, she is injured and in great pain. Being able to deal with this pain makes her family realise that she is a brave and courageous girl, and that they do not always have to be worried about her. Grace emerges from the whole experience “a tall, strong girl,” who can look after herself. Hence, the character of Grace is seen to grow and develop through her courage.
Annie experiences much loss and isolation throughout the text. However, it is through this loneliness that she learns and evolves. Annie is very emotionally lost. Her sister has gone missing. Annie does not want to become the oldest one in the family, she wants everything to stay the same, as it always was. In her idea of a normal family, sisters do not go missing. She feels guilty as “it was because of me that Grace [has] gone,” even though she knows it is not her fault. Her way of coping with this trauma is setting herself goals and making lists of where she could look for Grace. Annie is distraught, yet even through this turmoil, she finds a way to cope. When Grace is found, she realises “I don’t feel as if I need to look after Grace anymore,” and so shows her ability to evolve and mature. Therefore, Annie grows through her realisation and respect of other’s strengths. The central character Ted is overwhelmed by loss and loneliness throughout the novel. He does not manage to overcome these feelings or mature and develop. Ted is lost mentally. He does not know what to do with himself. He is very lonely as he has no friends and has lost his family, marriage and career. He was a very successful musician when he was younger, but could not deal with the publicity and because of this, he fell apart. His way of coping is through drinking, and so he is not always is his right mind. Ted has failed to mature as Kip tells him, “you grow up,” when he keeps getting angry and upset. Throughout the novel, Ted is described as wild and strange. He does not care what anyone else thinks of him. He is very contradictory, saying things like “[I’m] vegan. No animal products,” and then eating a hot dog. Kip says that Ted “was so bruised. Everywhere, he was bruised,” because Ted is a very sensitive guy. Ted was not seen to successfully cross the boundary between childhood and adulthood and learn from his ordeals. Falling From Grace charts many characters who grow and change positively over the course of the text. However, one character, Ted, is unable to successfully develop through his loss and turmoil compared to Kip who is seen to show personal growth by the end of the narrative. He struggles through challenge, to end as the hero. Grace and Annie similarly are shown as developing resilience and understanding through turmoil. Ted, on the other hand, is shown to flail through life and he is never fully able to recover. Overall, Falling From Grace shows many characters who suffer loss and loneliness, and most are able to grow through this hardship.
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A r t w o r k b y Z a r a R o s e n b e r g , Ye a r 8 A r t
Time (lino print)
B a b e t t e B e n - M e i r , Ye a r 7 E n g l i s h
Creative Response - A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay
he’s her papas’ daughter. Such a girl can not possibly be fit for the line.”
The Mothers words creep to the front of my mind, leaving a trail of doubt in their midst. “First the fingertips and then the hand.” My fingers gingerly caress the stubborn walls of the maze. “Choose your angle wisely, girl.” Something caught, then released. “There’s no forgiveness in bone.” Though in complete darkness, I see an extensive, interconnecting, labyrinth of stone, a clear path forming in my mind. ”Rotate the shoulder, let the head and hips follow.” With my back flat against the rock, I slide my legs through the opening. I pull my aching limbs up an out only to discover another shaft of stone, its unforgiving edges threatening to trap me inside if I dared brave it’s challenges, but this is what I have trained for, so I neglect my negative thoughts and move on. I relax my limbs, make my movements fluent, perform the procedure I have worked so hard to perfect. I must not hesitate, even “the smallest seeds of doubt could grow so easily, split a girl open.” Fingers, hands, shoulders, head, hips. I was through. I released a breath I hadn’t known I’d been holding. I’m not afraid but so much depends on my success. “A girl who joined the line earned her family a generous 12 | Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar
allocation of mica” and if I was the one the mountain chose, the village might be more forgiving of my unconsciously committed crimes. I would prove to myself that I can be more than what the Mothers say I am. I have done so much to give myself a better chance. I reach down to my waist, where my wrappings dig into my sides, leaving my skin raw like that of a baby bird, not comfortable but necessary. My stomach growls, ripping and clawing at my insides, begging for something to eat. The fewer helpings I take, the angrier it gets; not comfortable but necessary. If I am persistent and disciplined, I can make the line, “if the rock allows it” of course. Time passes quickly in the maze. I can already feel the air becoming full and satisfying, a crisp breeze creeps under my wrappings. The hair on my arms stand up but my body radiates the heat and fatigue that comes with the prolonged labour that is tunneling. The fullness of the air is getting stronger and I crave to breathe it, but I must never rush, one careless movement could result in a break; “a break could be the end of (my) days in the mountain” before they even begin. I feel fresh air on my skin and with trembling arms push my aching body out of the maze. The sun is just peeking over the tip of the mountain. It will stay for only a few hours, then move on. I lean against the wall of the maze and rub my tired arms and legs, checking for cuts and grazes. I rise slowly, still using the maze for balance and anxiously await my result. I have no guarantee that the Mothers will be gracious but it is the rock that decides, “in this as in all things”. It is the mountain that decides my future, that decides if we survive this winter, that decides my place in the line. I stand against the wall of the maze, anxiously awaiting my result.
S o p h i e L o d g e , Ye a r 1 2 A r t
Forbidden (digital print from colour film)
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A r t w o r k b y J e s s i c a S t u a r t , Ye a r 8 A r t
Time (lino print)
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P h i l l i p p a M o n c k t o n , Ye a r 8 E n g l i s h
Reading and Comparing Texts - The Giver by Lois Lowry
he Truman Show and The Giver suggest a possible future of over-governing and extreme power gaps. When relationships are built upon beliefs that are untrue, they are controlled and changed to produce likeable outcomes, which is not what individuals truly experience. If pain is limited and society is protected from discomfort and suffering, individuals experience a masquerade of a life, being told what to think and how to feel at any moment. Most people follow rules if they are told to, and abide by them, but there will always be some who stand out from the crowd and fight for what they believe. Even with the human side of some people making them refuse to conform, the majority of people are easily controlled and manipulated by their superiors. Throughout both texts, it becomes increasingly clear that the manipulation of characters’ lives has drastic effects on relationships. Jonas, the main protagonist in The Giver is given tablets that he must take daily to inhibit the experience of ‘stirrings’. It is supposedly a ‘routine’ that the vast majority of society takes to stop them feeling any sexual attractions to others in the community. Jonas’ life is supposedly carefree. Nobody lies and if you break the rules too many times, you are sent to ‘elsewhere’. Jonas’ life is suddenly filled with ‘terrible pain’ because he is shown the video of his father euthanising a young baby. Intense imagery such as this is used as an indicator of Jonas’ pain after the realisation that ‘he killed it!’ fearful of the other lies his father may have told, he refuses to return to his ‘dwelling’. These main scenes suggest Lowry’s beliefs about the manipulation of relationships in people’s lives. Similarly, Truman’s closest friend, Marlon, promises him that ‘the last thing [he’d] ever do is lie to [him]’. Truman believes and trusts in this, and therefore continues the television show. Faster, stressed music follows when Truman notices a slight mistake in his wedding photo. Meryl has her fingers crossed to show she does not truly love him. Considering that Meryl does not actually love Truman, she is also being controlled by the show, having to sleep, live and eventually ‘try for a baby’ with him. Her relationship with Truman is used to get views and keep Truman on the show, with no consideration of either of them. Having character’s relationships based on lies and deceit illustrates extreme control and manipulation. Regretfully, suffering and pain is an essential part of living, if experiences containing these emotions are eradicated, we lose an essential part of being human. A twin baby is killed or ‘sent to elsewhere’ in The Giver by Jonas’ father who does not even bat an eyelid as the deed is done. There is no sympathy, empathy, guilt or shame felt by this man after ending a child’s life. Jonas asks his parents ‘Do you love me?’ And he is told
that love is ‘an overused, obsolete word.’ Conversely, excuses are made in Truman’s life to excuse any mistake or accident on set. He meets the love of his life and watches her get pushed into a car and taken away. The reason given is that ‘she has schizophrenia’ and Truman is given no other possible option. He is told he ‘has a great job’ and that he should be happy with his life, but all he wants is to explore and go his own way. Unlike The Giver, Truman’s life does still contain pain but it is manufactured for the viewer’s pleasure, like when his father’s death was planned to keep Truman captive on the island. The manipulation of a character’s pain and despair inhibits experiencing a truly fulfilled life. It creates people who do not understand how to deal with these intense emotions or just do not feel them at all. As shown by both protagonists and a few others in the texts, some individuals will always rebel and fight back if their individuality and freedom is manipulated. In the world of The Giver people are ‘sent elsewhere’ if they disobey the multiple rules set in place. Even with a threat of unknown death, there are still ‘rules that are almost always broken.’ Jonas, after being told he must take his pills, made up his own mind and decided to ‘throw [it] away’. As soon as he got rid of the pills, he got rid of the protection from stirrings, he saw colour and he saw and found his beliefs. Equally, Truman sees Sylvia for the first time and instantly falls in love. His true adoration is never dampened by Meryl ‘spraining her ankle’ and falling onto him or having music played into his ears saying ‘you were meant for me.’ When Truman realises his wedding was fake, he instantly decides to leave Seahaven. He leaves his wife a message and then runs off to escape. Even though Truman is met by an unlimited set of obstacles stopping him from leaving, he is willing to ‘destroy himself’ to escape. The characters are highly controlled by rules set to contain them, but it is apparent that there will always be people who cannot be contained. Throughout the texts, it is noticeable that relationships are fraudulent and fake because of the world and rules around them. Suffering and pain is either non-existent or forced upon characters. Although this is the case, there are a few who rise above the obsessive rules and break free. The authorial intent seems quite similar in both texts. Even though controlling people and creating a so called perfect world seems amazing, would it actually be perfect at all? Maybe far from it, if it steered towards ideas expressed in The Giver or The Truman Show.
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A r t w o r k b y Z o e S t e e r , Ye a r 1 2 A r t
Self-Portrait (copic-marker on paper)
16 | Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar
M a d e l i n e C o u t t i e , Ye a r 8 E n g l i s h
Analytical Response to text The Giver by Lois Lowry
e gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others.” Do you think the community is better off or worse off with Sameness? In Lois Lowry’s novel, The Giver Jonas lives in a sheltered community where people follow strict rules and there is the concept of ‘sameness’. Throughout the text, it is clear that while sameness benefits the community in some aspects, they had to let go of many important choices and their independence to achieve this. Jonas discovers that although sameness protects the community from violence and discrimination, it prevents his community from experiencing certain emotions, colours and having choice. Sameness alienates the society, and Jonas realises that his community is controlled and isolated from many important parts of life. For Jonas’ community it is more advantageous to have sameness, as this prevents discrimination and violence between the people. In Jonas’ community, there is no racism and sexism, as the townspeople do not see colour and their jobs are chosen for them. The Elders in his community choose careers for the people in the community based on people’s attributes. This stops any sexism in the community. Jonas also feels that letting people choose their own jobs would be “not safe”, but rather “frightening.” There is no discrimination in Jonas’ community, as when the people made “the choice to go to sameness”, they stopped seeing colours. Sameness prevents conflict and disruptions in the community and creates a seemingly utopian society. In Jonas’ community, sameness works well to “protect people from [the] wrong choices” and keep the peace. Within Jonas’ community, sameness prevents discrimination, violence and war, as everyone is treated the same and fairly. While there are some strong advantages and arguments for sameness in the community, it does restrict the people from experiencing colours, emotions and having healthy relationships. Each family in Jonas’ community must “apply” to “receive” a child. The families are given their child at the “ceremony of the ones.” Immediately after they have received their child, they must “[step] down” for the “next family unit.” This makes the reader feel that getting a child is not a special occasion, and not a memorable moment in their lives. Every night in Jonas’ community, each family has the “telling of feelings.” This requirement to share feelings is a fond event and instead of family members becoming closer, there is a sense of alienation. The people in Jonas’ society are oblivious to colour due to sameness this is yet another restriction. Jonas describes colour as “beautiful” and even tries to transmit the colour red to Asher. When he is escaping, he feels that if he had stayed, he would have
“lived a life hungry for feelings, for colour, for love.” In his community, certain emotions have been suppressed, such as warmth and love. Jonas’ father even describes the word love as “so meaningless, it’s become obsolete.” During one telling of feelings, Jonas begins to understand that his family has never felt real anger or sadness. He realises that the emotions his community and family feels are “not at all the same” as the emotions he is beginning to experience. They cannot be ‘analysed’ or solved with “quick comfort”. Sameness limits people’s ability to have stable relationships and fully experience emotions and colours. Within the community, there is a lack of choice and freedom due to sameness. In the community, there are strict rules which the people do not question but blindly follow. These rules make sure no crime and uprisings happen in the society. Although the many rules protect the people from suffering and painful memories, it is another form of control. Throughout the novel, it becomes apparent that while these rules are in place to protect the people, they also take their choice and freedom. The people in Jonas’ community have become so accustomed to sameness and living within the boundaries of rules, they don’t question anything. Sameness makes life in the community “so predictable [and] so painless”. When Jonas becomes the new Receiver of Memory, he begins to understand that the people blindly follow the rules and how it limits their individuality. Sameness denies people of colours, emotions and happiness. Once Jonas receives the colour red, he immediately becomes angry and wants “to wake up in the morning and decide things.” Jonas is forced to be burdened by the painful memories of the past and feels “desperately lonely” at one point, as none of his friends or family have felt real pain, due to sameness. Sameness takes away the pain, an important part of life. Without pain and choice, the people cannot fully learn from their mistakes and are “shield[ed]” from experiencing a fuller life. In Jonas’ society, there is a lack of choice and individuality due to sameness. Whilst sameness screens the community from discrimination and violence, it comes at the cost of the peoples’ independence and choice. Sameness protects the people from sexism, racism and war yet to achieve this the people have to give up the ability to see colours, experience emotions and enjoy freedom. Without the people being able to live a full life, due to the restrictions that sameness places on them, there is a lack of diversity and individuality within the community. This limits the development and growth of the people which in turn does not benefit the community.
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A r t w o r k b y Z o e C h r i s t o f i d e s , Ye a r 1 1 A r t
Dreams and Nightmare (oil on canvas)
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A r t w o r k b y K a t h a r i n e J o h n s o n , Ye a r 9
Clouds (water-colour on paper)
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R e b e c c a M c A u l e y , Ye a r 9 E n g l i s h
Presentation of a Point of View - That the Earth is Flat
think it’s time we challenge our thinking and question what we’ve been told our whole lives. Don’t accept something without first considering it. The earth is flat, everyone. Wake up! Now, I know this is an unpopular opinion but there is plenty of evidence that the earth is not the globe that you’ve been led to believe in, and I’m going to let you in on a little of it. The truth is, the earth is in fact shaped like a circular plate, with the carefully-guarded Antarctic ice wall surrounding the whole perimeter. You want conclusive evidence? No problem. In fact, I’ll give you three: the tides, “gravity” and satellite imagery. More specifically, I will prove to you that the behaviour of ocean tides can only make sense if the earth is flat, that the theory of gravity (scientists’ answer for everything) makes no sense when inspected at close range and, similarly, I will debunk the absurd idea of satellites and the supposed images of Earth they take. But to my first point - the illogical behaviour of tides. Newton theorised that the moon’s gravitational attraction is responsible for earth’s tides. However, if the earth is roughly 4 times the size and 80 times the weight of the moon, then the earth should keep the moon in orbit, not the other way around. It should be impossible for the moon’s lesser gravity to supersede earth’s. And, even if it did, there should then be nothing to stop the oceans from continuing onwards and upwards. It is also inconsistent that all other inland bodies of water inexplicably remain forever outside the moon’s magical gravitational grasp. If the moon really had this power, it would pull all bodies of water to it, not just some. This brings me to my second point: “gravity”. The magical glue that holds the globular earth theory together. Scientists’ answer to questions regarding the mechanics of the spherical earth is almost invariably “gravity”. But if you really think about it, gravity makes no sense at all. Science informs us that “gravity is a natural phenomenon by which all things with mass are brought toward one another”. However, gravity is the weakest out of the four fundamental forces of physics, yet still it’s claimed to be the dominant force and is the cause of the formation, shape and orbit of astronomical bodies, how can it be strong enough to root everything on earth to the ground on a sphere spinning at over 1600km/hr, but simultaneously be weak enough to allow birds, bugs and planes to take-off and travel freely in any direction? Scientists claim that the earth’s mass creates a force able to hold oceans and the atmosphere tightly to a spinning ball. However, they can provide no practical example of this on any scale smaller than planetary. On a spinning wet tennis ball, for instance, any water on it is flung off everywhere, but
astronomers and scientists still claim that at some unknown mass, the magic adhesive properties of gravity suddenly kick in, allowing the spinning wet ball-Earth to keep every drop of water. People, it’s time to reconsider this unproven theory. We’re told gravity causes the earth to orbit the sun, the moon to orbit earth, the formation of tides, the evolution of solar systems, and galaxies. Basically, we’re told that everything we don’t really understand is done by the mystery of gravity. The concept of “gravity” is utterly illogical and unproven. Seeing an apple fall from a tree is not proof of “gravity”. The flat earth theory offers an alternate, logically sound explanation. Gravity simply doesn’t exist. When something falls, it is because more dense objects will fall in a less dense atmosphere. For example, a rock, denser than air, falls, but a helium filled balloon, which is lighter than air, rises. If you’re looking for logic, this makes sense. My final example is satellites. This idea was first created by a science fiction writer, Arthur C. Clarke, and became accepted fact only a decade later. Before this, radio, television and navigation systems were already established using groundbased cell towers and cables, which allow for GPS signals and radio waves to travel between points. They continue do so without the aid of the science-fiction best-seller known as “satellites”. Satellites are supposedly withstanding temperatures of over 2400 degrees Celsius, but the materials they are made of like aluminium and titanium have melting points of 660 and 1672 degrees Celsius respectively. Have you ever considered why “satellite dishes” on our roofs are always pointed at 45-degree angles? This is because they are pointed at the nearest ground-based tower, not at these mythical satellites supposedly hanging around in our thermosphere. People who claim to see satellites with their own eyes are only seeing drones or planes, because it is physically impossible to see something as small as a satellite from the earth’s surface. In addition, if satellites really do exist, couldn’t they use them to take some photos of the earth, instead of supposedly stitching together ‘ribbons of imagery’ and touching them up? However, no untouched photos of the ball earth taken by satellites exist. As I have clearly demonstrated, the flat earth theory is a logical explanation of our planet, whereas the spherical earth theory is found to be riddled with lies and inconsistencies. I’ve highlighted just a few examples, such as the behaviour of tides, the existence of gravity and existence of satellites. The earth is flat, everyone, and it’s time you were told. As John Davis of The Flat Earth Society said: “instead of clinging to our fragile security blanket that is our view of the world, go down the rabbit hole. Peer beyond the veil. Look behind the curtain. You might solve something of use if you just question and then think for yourself.” Thank you.
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A r t w o r k b y E l l a F a r l e y , Ye a r 1 2 A r t
Gaia (water-colour on paper)
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S a s k i a H e n g , Ye a r 9 E n g l i s h
Presentation of a Point of View “We treat all people in detention with respect, dignity and fairness. While in an immigration detention facility, we provide appropriate food, medical, recreational and other support services, including mental health services. Authorised by the Australian Government Canberra”.
espect, dignity and fairness. What about the 12-yearold girl imprisoned on Nauru who is one of many who repeatedly try to kill themselves? What about Hamid Khazaei, who died on Manus Island because he wasn’t given adequate medical attention? What about Omid who set himself on fire and died because doctors were not qualified? We need to say their names, their blood is on Australia’s hands, on our hands. We boast being Australians, we laugh at Aussie memes and follow the ‘youknowyoureaustralianwhen’ Instagram account. But in reality, we should be ashamed. Australia’s treatment of refugees is inhumane, unethical and simply revolting. Respect, dignity and fairness. Article 9: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. Article 14: Everyone has the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution. We all read the Declaration of Human Rights last term in English. Human Rights were created to ensure the balance between individuals and the power that the government holds over them. Australia is violating these rights and this culture of secrecy surrounding our practices needs to stop. The Australian Government brushes issues concerning immigration detention under the carpet, hidden from the media and therefore hidden from many of us. Just
because we were lucky enough to be born in a country that’s not poverty - and war-stricken, that’s not our issue, right? Respect, dignity and fairness. The psychological torment refugees endure is unimaginable for us. We can’t imagine what it’s like to be held indefinitely, never knowing when, or if, you’ll have freedom again. A group of paediatricians needed to break the law to expose the horrific treatment of children in these facilities, describing them as ‘mentally tortured’. In detention centres refugees are referred to as a number. We’ve all studied Maus and I’m sure you remember how the Nazis reduced the Jews to the number that they tattooed onto their wrists. We might not be tattooing the numbers on, but I’m sure it won’t be long until we start. Respect, dignity and fairness. The conditions that refugees are forced to live in while in detention centres are nothing short of disgusting. Just two years ago, over 2000 reports were leaked regarding assault, sexual abuse, self-harm attempts and child abuse on Nauru. These pressing issues are disregarded and kept hidden too often. The Government claims that appropriate medical services are provided in detention centres, but this is contradicted by countless accounts, such as a man who will likely go blind because doctors are simply not qualified to treat him. Refugees have even died due to the lack of medical services and the Government still has the audacity to claim otherwise. Respect, dignity and fairness. Detention centres need to be shut down. Refugees need to be accepted into the country and Australia needs to get its act together. Respect, dignity and fairness.
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A r t w o r k b y K a t e M c K a y , Ye a r 1 2 A r t
Bind (ceramic and found object sculpture)
Z i x u a n ( C e c i l i a ) Ta n g , Ye a r 9 E n g l i s h
Creative Response - Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare
t first, Julie considered that she couldn’t see anything. Her chest rose and fell slowly, breathing with difficulty, like a shabby blower that uses its last power to work and is useless. Her finger stuck in the unknown liquid on the cold floor. Maybe it was her blood, she guessed. She felt a chill creep over her body. Although the fear of death hung on her heart, she still tried to resume the feeling of struggle. The little desire of love gave her some warmth. Just as when she first saw him, her dear love, who had worn a grey wool scarf and long black coat, caught her hands and brought her ‘home’. That was the first time she truly tasted warmth, instead of the fake love from her father. Before she met him, her whole life was controlled by her father. A pretentious politician who never minded his daughter’s feelings. As if a dynamic little bird was forbidden by the cage, having lost her freedom forever and finally becoming a cold and lifeless toy. From his perspective, his daughter was just a pathetic tool of marriage, which could give him political revenue. So, desperately, courageous Julie had escaped her father’s cage, but had become lost in the outside darkness. However, meeting Romero, like a bright light, broke into her dark, numb life. He rescued her from the darkness and took her to his world. His world was fascinating; she immersed
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herself in his warm smile, his attractive and blue-jewel eyes and his optimistic attitude to life. In mutual understanding, she fell in love with him, but she also uncovered a shocking secret—her Romero is a godson of the Mafia who absconded from the Mafia family. She began to fear and was trembling over her misfortune of fate. The shadow of her father was already impressed upon her heart, this wrong love had now covered her soul in complete darkness. Unfortunately, she had never been a weak person, resigned to fate; she tried to fight with her destiny, even if she suffered more of the pain of life for doing so. Julie was like a little insect, flying into the bright fire, because of love. Now she, with her lover, had encountered assassination wrath by the Mafia. Her lover was lost, every trace, in this fight to protect her. Now she, too, was nearing the line of death. Love had given her power but had let her fall into this irreparable dilemma; there would never be a peace between the government and the Mafia. Their love was pallid in the face of this conflicting interest. Their misadventure had already been written. Even their death didn’t change anything, it only deepened pains, hates and tragedies. Julie suddenly felt tired. As she was closing her eyes, she heard familiar footsteps. A little light shone into her eyes…
WRITING FROM THE
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A r t w o r k b y H a n n a h D o w n i e , Ye a r 1 2
Flora (acrylic paint on canvas)
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Z o e L e e , Ye a r 1 0 E n g l i s h ( T h a t ’ s a C l a s s i c ! )
Analytical Response - Gwen Harwood: Collected Poems 1943-1995 Women are often depicted as victims of a patriarchal society in Harwood’s poetry. Discuss. In Gwen Harwood: Collected Poems 1943-1995, Gwen Harwood’s observations, challenges and criticisms reflect the changing nature of Australian society and expectations towards women. She does this through the exploration of the roles of women in the heavily male-dominated society. Women are often depicted as victims of a patriarchal society in Harwood’s poetry. This is done through the portrayal of women being trapped in the roles of mothers and housewives and ultimately belonging to their husbands and fathers. Additionally, Harwood also shows how women seem to lose their identities once married, and she also uses male pseudonyms to explore common judgements that men had of women at the time. Harwood uses these to suggest that women were the victims of a very male-dominated social system during the 1950s and 1960s in Australia. Women in Harwood’s poetry are portrayed as the victims of a patriarchal society as they are trapped by the roles of mothers and housewives. The suffering that many women endured is shown through much of Harwood’s poetry as they felt forced and pressured to fulfil society’s expectations of them to become full-time wives and mothers. This can be seen particularly in her poem In the Park, which highlights the stifling, taxing nature of motherhood. As the mother in the poem sighs that her children ‘have eaten [her] alive’, readers are able to see how exhausted and drained being a wife and mother has made her. Additionally, the mother pleading ‘for the grace of God’ to be let out of the trap of motherhood emphasises the longing and desperation that these mothers feel. Although Harwood is celebrating the role of motherhood in Mother Who Gave Me Life, she depicts mothers as ‘women bearing women’, showing that the responsibility of parenting is often placed solely on mothers and that the men in the patriarchal society play little to no role in the upbringing of their children. These show that women at these times were victims in a society that was very patriarchal and genderimbalanced. Women are also portrayed as victims of a patriarchal society through their portrayal as possessions of their husbands and fathers. Harwood’s poem, The Lion’s Bride, very strongly illustrates the possessive, primal nature of the husband, who is symbolised as a lion. The line in which the husband claims the woman as ‘[his] love, [his] bride’ shows that brides were often seen by their husbands as their property. Harwood also portrays the bride as ‘a ghost [with] bones, and meat’ in her husband’s eyes, signifying that women were not seen as human beings, but as objects that the men owned. Furthermore, the impression of Harwood’s family’s home as ‘[their] father’s house’ in Mother Who Gave Me Life and the bride’s father in The Lion’s Bride being ‘her faithful keeper’ show that women were often viewed as their fathers’ possessions as well. Women in Harwood’s poetry are often depicted as victims of a gender-imbalanced society as they are shown to be possessions of their husbands and fathers.
Another way that Harwood portrays women as victims of a male-dominated society is through many women losing their identities once they were married and became mothers. Harwood’s Suburban Sonnet explores the duty that many mothers feel, as mothers, friends, wives and lovers; they must provide to others before focusing on their own passions. It exposes the daily drudgery of a once aspiring musician who ‘once played for Rubinstein’. The woman is now trapped in the life of a mother and housewife and ‘practises a fugue, though it can matter to no one now if she plays well or not’. The ‘soft corpse’ of the mouse that her children find is also symbolic of the death of the younger, freer, more artistic woman that the mother once was. Harwood outlines how the stifling nature of motherhood has caused the ‘zest and love’ she once felt for her life and her passions to metaphorically ‘drain out with soapy water’. Although this poem is very autobiographical of Harwood’s past experiences of motherhood, it was published under the pseudonym Miriam Stone, suggesting to readers that these poems are more than just a personal narrative, but a criticism and challenge to society as a whole. Harwood, through Suburban Sonnet in particular, uses the metaphorical death of the identities of women upon marriage and motherhood to portray women as victims of a patriarchal society. Harwood often portrays women as victims of a patriarchal society to her readers as she uses male pseudonyms to judge and criticise women and girls. In the publication of some of her poems, Harwood uses the alias Walter Lehman to impose judgement of women on the behalf of men. In the poem In the Park, Harwood’s use of the pronouns such as ‘she sits in the park’ serves to create a distant, detached tone, heightened by the unadorned use of phrases such as ‘she sits staring at her feet’. Harwood uses this impartial tone while publishing under the male pseudonym Walter Lehman to suggest that the onlooker is a male, hence implying that this almost disinterested viewpoint was common amongst many men at the time. Furthermore, Harwood’s poem Home of Mercy was also published under the same alias Walter Lehman, whose view of the girls in the ‘home’ as ‘ruined’, creating a sour, distant, judgemental tone. Harwood uses a male pseudonym to suggest to readers that this is what many men in society thought of these girls and women, hence implying that they are victims in a patriarchal society. Women are represented in Gwen Harwood’s poems as victims of a heavily male-dominated society. Harwood does this through the portrayal of women being trapped in the roles of mothers and housewives and ultimately belonging to their husbands and fathers. Additionally, Harwood demonstrates how women seemed to lose their identities once married and uses a male pseudonym to explore common judgements that men had of women at the time. Through her poetry, Harwood depicts women, especially those in the 1950s and 1960s in Australia, as the suffering victims of a gender-imbalanced, patriarchal society.
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A r t w o r k b y L u c y F e l i c e , Ye a r 9 A r t
Landscape (water-colour on paper)
P i p e r L e P a g e , Ye a r 1 0 E n g l i s h ( T h a t ’ s a C l a s s i c ! )
Analytical Response - Gwen Harwood: Collected Poems 1943-1995
omen are often depicted as victims of a patriarchal society in Harwood’s poetry. Discuss
Gwen Harwood’s Collected Poems presents a range of thought-provoking pieces in which the lives and roles of women in society are highlighted. They are shown in many different perspectives although mainly as sufferers in our patriarchal world. Harwood uses pseudonyms to explore women from the viewpoints of both male and female characters, which further expresses how trapped women can feel within their own lives as: mothers, sexual partners, wives and objects of affection. Gwen Harwood displays women in a wide range of roles, yet many of her poems hold a common theme; the feeling that the women are cemented as victims in society and their dreams and careers are less important than 28 | Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar
that of their male counterparts or children. A central theme of many of Harwood’s poems is motherhood. She portrays how although motherhood is supposed to be the most rewarding life experience, it can be incredibly taxing and challenging for some women. Throughout In the Park there is a strong feeling of loss and despair as the mother talks to “someone she loved once”. It is evident that she fell into the life expected of women and her desperation and unhappiness is clear when she states, “they have eaten me alive”. The poem is reminiscent of a happier time when the woman was not feeling so isolated by her family-centric life. This mother is now sentenced to a life of caring for her children above everything else, including her own mental health. Suburban Sonnet is another piece in which the mother
is disillusioned by her simple, suburban life. It differs from In the Park, as the mother does not seem resentful towards her children as “she comforts them” and there is no mention of any ill-feeling. Instead, she is yearning for her lost career. It is written that she once “played for Rubinstein,” which indicates that she was an accomplished musician before her children came along. The imagery in this poem of “zest and love (which) drain out with soapy water” suggest that she is feeling everything about her very existence drain away with her household chores. By writing these poems, Harwood shows that parenting can take away a woman’s life and as men are removed from the story it seems that they have kept their careers. This mirrors what we know about patriarchal society, where a woman’s main job is to provide children.
she is no longer a person but just a body for her husband to show off. Another example of marriage being like a death is in Suburban Sonnet when we discover that the mother was a professional musician before marriage and children, but “it can matter/to no-one now if she plays well or not”. Harwood portrays marriage in her poetry as a societal construct in which women are seen as unequal to their husbands and mere prizes to be won. This is aptly summed up in Mother Who Gave Me Life, a touching tribute to Harwood’s mother. Although praising her mother throughout, the last line of the poem refers to her “father’s house” to show that even though her mother lived there, she still did not own it and was, in a sense, just her husband’s wife.
The significance and focus on women’s sexuality is brought to the fore in much of Harwood’s poetry. Women are described in an almost animalistic way and often reduced to only their sexual purpose. In The Lion’s Bride the woman is only shown by her sexuality and we are not made privy to other parts of her. The man speaks of her as she “laid [her] muzzle on [his] thigh” which is a very sensual description. His desire for her “warm human smell” and “dark mane” suggests that she is only there for his use as a sexual partner and is not a human being worthy of a voice. The woman does not have a choice in this situation and it is suggested that she feels trapped and worthless, as her only apparent role is to please her fiancé. The “lion” depicts the lady as “minc(ing) to [his] side” on their wedding day, which is a sexualized depiction of her walk towards him. It illustrates her as a possession of her husband, condensed to her body. Women are often seen as nothing more than their sexuality and Harwood shows her frustration and disappointment at this through The Lion’s Bride.
Through Harwood’s use of pseudonyms, she manages to explore the objectification of women through the male gaze. An example of this is in Home of Mercy when the girls at the convent are described as “ruined” and blamed for their “sin” of falling pregnant. There are two people involved with every pregnancy and we can assume that some of the girls did not consent to intercourse. Men are also to blame for the girls’ circumstances, yet they are not answerable or involved because the patriarchy lets them escape without consequences. A particular example of women though male eyes is The Lion’s Bride which is written through the perspective of the “lion”. The bride is this poem is nothing more than “meat”, an object of affection for her husband. He describes what he does to her in a violent manner; “ripped the scented veil” and “engorged the painted lips” which again suggests she only exists for him to possess. Because of the patriarchy, women are often viewed as inferior and men see them as trophies to be showcased, instead of humans with feelings and ambitions.
In the times that Harwood wrote her poetry, marriage was considered a necessity for girls to become women and give themselves over to their husbands. In most marriages, the wife was considered the lesser, just the possession and almost slave of their husband. In The Lion’s Bride, the line “her father, faithful keeper, fed me well” suggests that the bride’s father married her off to this “lion”. This was very common, and these girls spent their whole lives living in the shadows of men; first their fathers, then their husbands. The Lion’s Bride also describes the bride as a “ghost” after her marriage. This imagery is to suggest that she has died through marriage, as
Gwen Harwood’s Collected Poems characterizes women as victims of society’s pressures, especially regarding children and marriage. The female sex is shown as having no needs of her own, but rather as being subjugated and silenced by men. Women are shown as being forced into a life of child bearing, sexualization, marriage and objectification. Women clearly have so much more to offer to the world than mere household duties, yet they are often confined in their walls, as presented by Harwood’s fiction. Harwood’s poetry brings to light the struggles of women and helps us understand the pressures of the patriarchy.
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A r t w o r k b y A b i g a i l S m i t h , Ye a r 1 0 A r t
Social issues (ink on canvas)
S a r a h A d a m , Ye a r 1 0 E n g l i s h ( T h a t ’ s a C l a s s i c ! )
Analytical Response - William Shakespeare’s Macbeth
n Shakespeare’s tragic play Macbeth, the audience sees a hero’s destruction brought about by his interference with the natural order of things. In the beginning of Macbeth, the witches say, “fair is foul and foul is fair”. This antithesis is a common theme and is demonstrated in several ways. Starting with regicide and leading to the murder of countless innocents, Macbeth’s toying with the balance of nature is what results in his death. In Macbeth, nature always indicates whether the order of things has been disturbed, as consequences are shown in weather and animal behaviour. The three witches are in themselves a disruption of the natural world, resulting in repercussions for all throughout
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the play. Lady Macbeth’s constant and cruel interference with nature’s order is what leads to her eventual madness and death. Whether seemingly insignificant at the time or not, all interferences with nature’s balance result in disastrous consequences. Macbeth’s constant need to alter the course of fate and order with his violent ways is what leads to his eventual demise. Almost from the beginning of the play, Macbeth does all in his power to upset the natural balance of the world in an attempt to achieve what he desires. His murder of King Duncan is so effective in changing the balance of nature that
consequences are not just demonstrated in the natural world, but also in his own mental state. Leading up to committing his first murder, Macbeth sees a “dagger of the mind”. This “false creation, proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain” demonstrates how his sanity has also been affected by his significant upheaval of nature’s order. Additionally, Macbeth often asks for the heavens or natural world to alter itself to fit his needs. His request that the “stars hide [their] fires”, shows his disregard for nature’s balance and that despite the fact he realises what he wants to do is wrong, he will proceed to commit the crime anyway. It is through his cruel actions and ambitions that Macbeth is able to alter the natural order of things, resulting in his deteriorating way of life and mental state. Whenever the natural balance of things is disturbed, nature itself is what is most affected as a consequence. In the time period that Macbeth is set, the natural world was thought to mirror the actions of those on Earth. The concept of nature punishing people if it is “troubled with man’s act” is prevalent throughout the play. The night of King Duncan’s murder was said to be filled with “strange screams of death… prophesying with accents terrible of dire combustion and confused events”. Similarly, following the murder of King Duncan, there were many instances where the characters of Macbeth brought up occurrences that they considered to be “unnatural, even like the deed that’s done”. However, weather was not the only aspect of nature to punish Scotland for Macbeth’s crimes. Animal behaviour was also used as an indicator for foul play on Earth, as in the days after King Duncan’s murder, his horses “turned wild in nature… contending ‘gainst obedience as they would make war with mankind”. These unnatural occurrences were all linked to and consequences of Macbeth’s interference with the natural order. In and of themselves the witches disturb nature’s balance, causing problems for all who encounter them. It is implied that the witches are an interference in the natural world from their first appearance, in thunder and lightning. From the very beginning, the three “weird sisters” are able to interfere with nature’s order by influencing Macbeth with their equivocation. It is not only their appearance to Macbeth that disturbs the natural world but also their apparitions. The warnings given to Macbeth are in themselves unnatural, so Macbeth dismisses them as impossible. The idea of a man being “not of woman born” or “Birnam Wood come to Dunsinane” is so ridiculous to Macbeth that he brushes the warnings off completely, showing that he still expects to get the benefits of the natural world through unnatural means. Despite Banquo’s warning
that “the instruments of darkness tell us truths…to betray’s in deepest consequence”, Macbeth continues to take the witches warnings and predictions at face value, allowing himself to continue to go against nature’s will. It is in this way that the witches are able to so significantly alter the course of nature, resulting in consequences for all of Scotland. Lady Macbeth lost both her sanity and her life as a consequence of her desire to change fate and nature’s order. When Lady Macbeth first appears in the play, her disregard for the natural world is immediately clear as she asks the “spirits that tend on mortal thoughts” to “unsex [her]”. Lady Macbeth’s request for supernatural forces to take away her femininity is a clear disruption of the natural world that is made worse as she asks spirits to fill her “from the crown to the toe topfull of direst cruelty”. She uses this cruelty as well as her persuasive skills to convince Macbeth to commit regicide and to put him on a path of destruction. It is this persuasion that makes Lady Macbeth not just responsible for her own interference in nature’s order, but to a certain degree, Macbeth’s as well. It is due to this that her fall from grace is quick and brutal. The consequences for her interferences in the balance of nature are severe, as her descent into madness becomes more and more apparent. Lady Macbeth’s hallucinations of blood on her hands leave her constantly obsessing over the idea that her hands will “ne’er be clean”. It is this crippling insanity that leads Lady Macbeth to suddenly take her own life. While Macbeth does die a brutal death, it is perhaps Lady Macbeth, with her madness and suicide, who best demonstrates the destruction that can be inflicted when the balance of nature is interfered with. Macbeth’s tragic fall from grace and violent death is a perfect demonstration of how interfering with the natural order of things leads to disastrous consequences. Through his desire to change fate in order to attain power, Macbeth significantly disrupts nature’s order, resulting in his brutal demise. Interferences with the order of things led to repercussions in nature itself, resulting in unnatural weather patterns and animal behaviours. The very presence of the witches is a disturbance in nature’s balance, leading to consequences for all who encounter them. Lady Macbeth’s corruption of her husband and ruthless destruction of the balance in the natural world is why, out of all of the characters in Macbeth, she suffers the worse fate. Whether they played a small part or not, all who disrupted nature’s balance were eventually punished, and it is in this way that Shakespeare was able to reinforce the common theme of there being consequences for all who interfere with the natural order of things.
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A r t w o r k b y F e l i c i a E n g l a n d e r , Ye a r 1 0 A r t
Portrait, Ink on Paper
A l y s s a Ya p , Ye a r 1 0 E n g l i s h ( # S AY H E R N A M E )
Analytical Response to text - The Help by Kathryn Stockett
he Help portrays the conditions and treatment of AfricanAmericans in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s as less violent than reality. Discuss. Kathryn Stockett’s The Help is a “daring” (Marian Keyes) and “very compelling” (Daily Telegraph) novel following the lives of two “black maids”, Aibileen and Minny and “white Miss Skeeter” during the 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi. Eyes on the Prize is a definitive documentary series on the American Civil Rights Movement. In contrast to The Help, which is a work of fiction, Eyes on the Prize is purely factual, taking insightful information and viewpoints from people of all walks of life in a multitude of interviews. Although The Help is steeped in factuality and ties into real historical events, it inevitably is a sanitised version of reality. Stockett allows readers to experience the racial injustice of the 1960s through the eyes of her three female main characters. She unfurls
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the emotional racial trauma in her writing, rather than the physical scars evident in Eyes on the Prize and moulds her story to allow for a resolution in the end. Both The Help and Eyes on the Prize provide articulate insight into the American Civil Rights Movement, but The Help portrays the conditions and treatment of African-Americans in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s as less violent than the reality. The documentary, Eyes on the Prize, focuses on the violence caused by the great racial divide because that was what was most memorable from the American Civil Rights Movement. In contrast, The Help emphasises the emotional aspect and trauma that many felt during that period in history. The Help lacks in physical prejudice, whereas Eyes on the Prize lacks emotional prejudice as it focuses mainly on the events that made news coverage – events that were usually extremely violent or consequential. In reference to Freedom Summer in 1964, Eyes on the Prize recounts how that, in order “to
change Mississippi and the country, [civil rights workers] would risk beatings, arrest, and their lives.” Recruits “were warned of violence and possibly death once they crossed the Mississippi state line.” Violence, and physical battles are heavily stressed in Eyes on the Prize, especially in regard to civil rights demonstrations and protests. In comparison, The Help focuses more heavily on the emotional elements and trauma that came with these civil rights events. In the aftermath of Medgar Evers’ death, “Deacon Thoroughgood [does mention the] march with Doctor King [and] down the streets of Jackson” , but the Community Concerns Meeting, and the community that surrounds Aibileen and Minny concentrate on “light[ing] our prayers to God” and the “need to heal” . In this way, Stockett diminishes the violence in her novel to highlight the emotional aspect, but also, in turn, portrays the circumstances of the Civil Rights Movement as less violent and somewhat “peaceful”; an idealised version of reality. Kathryn Stockett writes The Help in the first-person perspective of three women, Aibileen, Minny and Eugenia, creating an utterly different outlook on Jackson, Mississippi. As women, they attempt to stay away from the violence and “keep their hands clean” , in turn sanitising the novel from the brutality that plagued the streets of Jackson, Mississippi. Nearly all historical documentation of the American Civil Right Movement, including Eyes on the Prize, documented the ‘fight’ between ‘black’ and ‘white’ men – whether it be politics, law or physical aggression. However, it was, and still is, scarce to find documentation of the ‘fight’ between ‘black’ and ‘white’ women; something that Stockett has recreated in The Help. A ‘white’ lady might not inflict physical violence on ‘blacks’, but if they wanted to, they could easily mastermind a ‘black’ person’s demise. They use “a shiny little set of tools” and pull all the right strings to make a ‘black’ person’s world collapse right in front of their eyes. Stockett untwines the power dynamics and dichotomy between women of different racial backgrounds in her novel. From the subservient manner of ‘black’ maids towards their ‘white’ employers – “always saying ‘yes, ma’am’ and ‘no, ma’am” and the “psychology of fear in part of most of the Negroes … of losing their jobs” – to the way in which ‘whites’ use their higher status and influence to maintain the upper hand over ‘blacks’ – Hilly Holbrook sentenced her maid, Yule May, to four years in the State Penitentiary – The Help unfolds and retells the racial injustices that ‘black’ women, especially maids, suffered during that period of history. The novel, by focusing on the female
racial power dynamics, and reducing the male elements, consequentially becomes less violent than the reality. Throughout The Help, many of the political and legal aspects that make up the majority of Eyes on the Prize are reduced. During the American Civil Rights Movement, creating change was only possible with the support of political power, and this desire for political backing was what drove many civil rights activists. People knew that “blacks in Mississippi would have no real power until they had the power to elect those who governed them.” And this knowledge resulted in “the state [passing] new voting laws to make registration more difficult” and essentially ensured the continuation of racial segregation. If Aibileen, Minny and Eugenia were to publish their book under real circumstances, it would be under considerably more fire and there would be extensive backlash from people in power, those with authority, and the socially elite. Stockett reduces the possibilities of disastrous outcomes by diminishing the politics and legal restrictions within The Help. Stockett undeniably wants to create a ‘happy ending’ for her characters; a contented resolution to her novel. In this way, she plays down the ‘technical difficulties’ – the political and legal implications – in order to both proverbially raise up her characters and to give her characters the opportunity to “see the light at the end of the tunnel.” In reality, their book, ‘Help’, would make no significant impact on society, save for further infuriating ‘whites’ who ‘believe in the separation of races” and would continue to make it impossible to attain racial equality. Whether it serves to make creating a resolution easier, or to accentuate the powerlessness of ‘blacks’, removing the political and legal aspects of the American Civil Rights Movement has created an idealised world, one less brutalised and violent than the reality. Kathryn Stockett’s The Help is essentially a sanitised version of reality compared to the documentary, Eyes on the Prize, which delivers factual recounts of history to audiences. Stockett sweetens the harsh reality of the racial prejudice in the 1960s by writing the experiences of one living during that era from a variety of subdued perspectives – from two ‘black’ maids and a young ‘white’ lady. Consequently, Stockett creates a new outlook on the Civil Rights Movement in Jackson, Mississippi through by reducing the cold-blooded violence and brutality and intensifying the emotional element and trauma ever present during that time. This allows readers to feel the raw inhumanity of racial prejudice, yet makes it more human than it will ever be.
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L i n l i n g ( T i n a ) S h a o , Ye a r 1 0 A r t
Still Life (acrylic painting on canvas)
A n o u s h k a B a r u a h , Ye a r 1 1 E n g l i s h
Reading and Comparing texts - Fly Away Peter by David Malouf and the poetry of Wilfred Owen
an is an exception, whatever else he is. If it is not true that a divine creature fell, then we can only say that one of the animals went entirely off its head.” Both David Malouf’s reflective novella, Fly Away Peter, and Wilfred Owen’s bitter and despondent poetry presents readers with the madness and brutality of war as they explore the human condition, and lead us to question our faith. Through depicting the animalistic brutality and suffering inflicted by man upon his fellow man, Owen suggests that humankind’s capacity for evil leads to a loss of hope and faith; while Malouf muses the essential role that brutality plays in the binary relationship of human connection and the nature of life itself. It is also through the suffering faced by these soldiers that Malouf reveals the innate need for human connection and comradery to endure war. This is particularly evident in Owen’s writing, where the soulless anonymity of the soldiers pervades the hopeless mood of war. Finally, both writers explore the idea that nature and humanity are inextricably intertwined, revealing how greatly nature
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impacts the psychological state of the soldiers during war. Malouf offers a view of life’s value that does not rest in an individual’s experiences, rather the “long view” of human experience which heals through the continuous presence of nature. Owen’s poetry, however, comments on the harsh and unforgiving natural world, which taunts and exploits the unbearable life at war. Both authors present contrasting arguments of the meaning of life in relation to war, and what specific human traits are revealed. Whilst Owen suggests that the madness of war creates a breed of brutal, and fragile soldiers; Malouf intends to show that in spite of these horrors, we can emerge with more understanding, and a life well lived when we find meaning in nature. Although both writers find mutual ground as they explore humankind’s capacity for evil, Malouf suggests that experiencing war is an inevitable, and even necessary tool for humanity’s development. Society “shall forget by day” the traumas it has endured in the past when “black anger”
takes control; but as a result we come to understand the fragility and importance of life. Malouf’s writing encapsulates the “odd electricity” felt by the country as men and women alike became “suddenly fiercely patriotic and keen for battle.” As seen in Jim’s father, and even by strangers who could not enlist, the forceful peer-pressuring by society on young men to enter the war shows the “dull savagery” which people hold inside. However, as the glory of war is revealed to be “senseless and brutal extinction,” Malouf painfully shows us how the soldiers and the outside world come to understand the gravity of death; even Jim’s father becomes distraught when processing the new reality of being without a son. Similarly, Owen’s poetry explores the “pity of war,” and how apathetically society treats their soldiers. In ‘The Send-Off,’ Owen condemns the society of the time who, like “dull porters,” watched the soldiers enter the battlefields, which are essentially alluded to as hell. The poetry serves as an overwhelmingly reminder of the disservice done by the country, much less the government, on the lives of the boys. Through this, Owen intends to show us how our human condition of seeking evil, and infecting it in others, leads to a loss of hope in humanity. In contrast, Malouf’s writing grants a sort of finality where he encourages the reader to learn from the aftermath of the war. He suggests that in looking through the “long view” of human experience we, like Jim, can find a sense of closure in nature; and that life did not have to be “for anything, it simply was.” Both authors thereby suggest that our human condition, which grants a capacity for evil, teaches us of the fragility and value of life. Through the suffering of these men at war Malouf and Owen also reveal the innate need for human connection during traumatic times. On a psychological basis, Malouf suggests that the presence of mateship is what enables Jim to continue to fight, where the shared feelings of fright become easier to manage collectively. Characters like Clancy and Bobby grant Jim a “a great warmth in his heart,” emphasising how these human connections anchor many soldiers back to hope and life outside of the trenches. Even following the death of his best mate and with a memory that “hosing off never, in his own mind left him clean,” Jim is reminded by Imogen to “keep hold of himself,” and find comfort in the “cycles of nature”. Also, from Ashley Crowther’s perspective as an Officer, Malouf bolsters the need for comradery. Understanding that each “new lot” of soldiers would “go down too,” Ashley recognises that it is “more important to hang onto the names,” and their significance, so as to keep sane during each battle. In contrast, Owen’s writing permeates melancholy, as the nameless and faceless soldiers endure each battle alone, stressing the lack of human connection. Owen eerily depicts the soldiers’ desensitisation to war in ‘Exposure,’ as they “pause over half-known faces,” of the dead with eyes like “ice.” Likewise, in ‘The Sentry,’ the imagery of the blinded soldier, whose eyes “bulged like squids,” emphasises the complete void of mateship as the surrounding soldiers “forgot him there,” in his desperate and mutilated state. Owen calls into question our humanity, as a result of the desensitising horrors witnessed during battle. In result, this juxtaposition prompts us to recognise how isolating war can become when mateship does not exist to help endure the suffering, and the dehumanising psychological effects on the soldiers.
Finally, both authors demonstrate how vital the natural world is for the psychological wellbeing of the soldiers. Given Jim’s background, which deeply connects him to birds and nature, we see the calming reassurance he feels in knowing that “a natural cycle of things… still follow[ed] undisturbed.” Through the symbolism of the birds, Malouf highlights the continuity of life, which enables the world to see beyond these tragedies. Even during the long days of waiting for battle, Jim feels he can could “forget” the continual “notion of danger,” when his “limbs unfroze in the yellow sunlight.” Although Malouf presents nature to be a healing and restorative feature of life, Owen conveys the idea that nature is pitted against the soldiers. In his poem ‘Mental Cases,’ the “sunlight seems a blood-smear; night comes blood-black; [and] dawn breaks open like a wound that bleeds afresh.” Owen suggests that nature emphasises the pain and suffering of the individual and does not let one heal from wounds. The soldiers here seem as though they will never be able to reconcile the losses of war in the way that Jim is able to. Additionally, the idea of death is presented very differently in Malouf and Owen’s writing. Jim is seen “digging through to the other side,” as he makes his way to the afterlife. Here he can find the same comfort in returning back to the “earth,” as he did with the birds when he was alive. However, unlike Jim’s calming death, the poem ‘Strange Meeting’ describes a dead soldier trapped like a “purgatorial shadow” “down some profound dull tunnel.” Owen’s picture is a suffocating one, suggesting that the soldier will never find peace as he drags through the empty tunnels between life and death. Malouf’s “long-view” lens is from decades after the war, his suggestion of the human condition and nature comes from a place of optimism, where nature heals the soldiers, like Jim. Owen, however, wrote his poetry so intimately close to the battlefields themselves, and unsurprisingly presents how the unforgiving weather served to mock the already dire circumstance. Regardless, the two writers show how greatly nature would affect the soldiers who fought. The lasting message from the communal tragedy of war is handled differently in Malouf and Owen’s writing, revealing different things about the human condition. Coming from a perspective not of the time, Malouf suggests that the madness of war exploits our capacity for wickedness; but is a necessary evil to understand the meaning of an individual’s life. Owen, who has seen and lived through the horrors of war, contrasts this hope by condemning the glorification of “the old Lie: Dulce et decorum est / Pro patria mori.” Both writers also explore the human condition through the presence, and absence, of comradery, and how it affects the soldiers psychologically. Here, Malouf’s writing of how friendship helps to endure tragedy juxtaposes Owen’s depiction of anonymity, which lead soldiers to suffer the war alone. Finally, Malouf’s lasting message of optimism in the healing abilities of being connected to nature provides a sense of closure, as Jim reunites with the earth. Owen, however, suggests that even in death, the horrors of war do not cease, and the dead soldiers may never find peace. Irrespective of these differences, both writers affirm that war is not something we should aspire to but at least, in Malouf’s suggestions, something from which we can learn.
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S a r a h S t a n c o m b e , Ye a r 1 1 L i t e r a t u r e
Literary Perspectives Response - North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
lizabeth Gaskell’s North and South is often said to portray Victorian femininity as proto-feminism through the character of Margaret, who constantly breaks gender norms and serves as a bridge between extreme masculinity and femininity. However, the lack of knowledge about feminist values at the time allows for the argument that Margaret’s actions simply occur out of necessity. Anna Algotsson’s critique argues that Margaret both stays within her gender role and breaks outside of it simultaneously, creating the view of the bridge between the binary roles. Algotsson also makes a link to how Margaret’s masculine actions are more often out of necessity, which rings true as she attempts to make up for what those around her lack. Her Christian socialist morals also act as reasoning for her actions, especially during the union strike incident. Algotsson’s criticism argues that Margaret’s character functions as a middle ground between the extreme masculinity and femininity of the Victorian era. Margaret does not emulate the ‘fainting fits’ of Fanny nor the coldness of factory owner Mr. Thornton but acts as a confident mediator between the two poles, so that: ‘Where the other women go into hysterics, Margaret, although frightened, is able to stay composed’. It is in this way Margaret appears typically male, as her measured personality is able to calculate when a suitable moment emerges for her to faint, cry or remain strong, as when she waited for the flocks of men to leave before she ‘cried without restraint’ after being injured. This differs from the stereotype of Victorian women, who are often pictured to be indirect and lack independence, having to be escorted everywhere, and are often viewed by males as having uncontrollable emotions. Her interests in economics also appear stereotypically male for the Victorian era, thus ‘her desire to learn about business and economics’ comes across as breaking the gender norms greatly. However, it may be that Margaret has a genuine interest in these topics such as modern-day girls do, and thus she remains in a middle ground for Victorian times. Margaret is able to remain balanced between masculinity and femininity by retaining her feminine beauty and ‘marble’-like face and thus being desired by men such as Henry Lennox as well as Mr. Thornton. Even after the strike incident where she is knocked with a stone, Margaret is described attractively as having a ‘long entanglement of eyelashes’ and it is within her unconscious state that Mr. Thornton ‘inarticulately’ confesses his love for her. Thus, the middle ground is once again the place in which Margaret stands in North and South, the place where strength and beauty are able to meet within the body of a 19-year-old woman. Furthermore, her attractiveness is not diminished by her assertive mannerisms, as she remains within the unspoken social rules of how Victorian women should behave and does not act overly brusque. Thus, her self-assured graces simply add to her appeal to males. It is in this way that she bridges the gap between masculinity and femininity and allows readers to sympathise and relate to her. Furthermore, the divide between males and females is bridged strongly through the idea that Margaret and Mr. Thornton both “save”
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each other – the stereotypical so-called “damsel in distress” along with the “knight in shining armour” are not evident in North and South, as Margaret and Mr. Thornton take on both the roles. Margaret saves Mr. Thornton physically when she makes ‘her body into a shield’ for him, but also financially at the closing of the novel. Mr. Thornton returns her physical favour by ensuring ‘there will be no inquest’ that could unravel Margaret’s lie. Algotsson’s criticism prevails in its contention of a middle ground, as Margaret bridges the gap and stands between the extremes of the characteristics of Victorian males and females. Algotsson argues that Margaret’s taking on of an ‘unusual number of responsibilities’ is not necessarily an act of feminism, rather, by necessity. It could be argued that she is making up for what those around her lack. While many characters in other stories would also undertake tasks out of necessity, it is the sheer number of tasks that are uncharacteristically female that cause Margaret to appear masculine as she is forced to ‘take on many responsibilities that normally belong to “the man of the house”’. Influences that cause this include the emasculation in Mr. Hale’s portrayal in North and South along with Mrs. Hale’s declining health, leaving Margaret with few options – she must continue on ‘as head of the house’ in order to instruct Dixon and take up the position of leadership that the family comes to lack. Mrs. Hale’s illness prevents her from acting as a housewife, and after her death Margaret is still the one left to cope with the fallout of her passing, such as the burdening task of ‘who’s to manage the funeral’. Her brother does not take on a leadership position during his visit as he is struck down with grief. Margaret herself tries very hard not to ‘give way’ to grief in order to shoulder the responsibilities required of her. She is often made to make up for her father’s emasculation throughout the novel, declaring “I will go” when her father is seen to be unable to bear troubling news as he is “trembling from head to foot”, proving that Mr. Hale is unable to be the leader of the household and give instruction, especially at the time of his wife’s death, and Margaret is somewhat accustomed to taking charge. Dixon is driven towards Margaret to seek some sense of order, saying: ‘There is not another person in the house fit to give a direction of any kind’. Causing Margaret to appear even less likely to take on crucial responsibilities is her position in the family – the youngest, and a daughter, she does not appear on the surface to be the family member a servant would usually contact for instruction. However, she is forced to bear the duties, and thankfully, her upbringing and strong traits allow her to do so with some assurance. While it can be argued that Margaret’s action of protecting Mr. Thornton with her body was done out of a love and passion for him, it is still possible that, as she argues herself, ‘any woman would have done just the same’. However, it may be another typically masculine trait – a desire to get involved in largely dangerous situations more than women ordinarily would – that pushes her to go to Mr. Thornton’s aid.
A r t w o r k b y J a s m i n e H a r v e y a n d K a t h e r i n e M a , Ye a r 7 A r t
It could also be that she forgets in the moment that it is her sex that primarily protects him from the mob as she acts on her Christian socialist morals rather than the knowledge that her ‘sex [is] a high privilege when we see danger’, which she reflects on afterward. Relating to Margaret’s keen interest in ‘business and economics’ is her education. Having grown up with a priest and tutor, is likely to hold more knowledge on socialist issues and classic literature than many other women. Coupled with a woman’s natural empathy, her morals would be affected by this education more than a man’s would be. Thus, it is this that most likely causes Margaret’s interest in the economic state of the factories, her desire to get caught up in the social unrest and towards the end of the novel, her interest in her new found wealth and what to do with the finances.
Margaret is largely seen as a proto-feminist character, however due to the lack of understanding of what is nowadays seen as feminist ideals, there are many other arguments that could act as the motive for her seemingly feminist actions. Margaret’s education and Christian socialism allows for an interest in typically male subjects. Her retention of her own beauty and her calculated manner of speech allows her to remain feminine. This is despite it existing in a rather assertive form. She and continues to be desirable to men, thus allowing her to stand in a middle ground between masculinity and femininity as she embarks on ‘larger and grander discussions’ with to-be husband Mr. Thornton.
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A r t w o r k b y E v e l y n J o h n s t o n , Ye a r 1 0 A r t
Still Life (acrylic painting on canvas)
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S o p h i e F e l i c e , Ye a r 1 1 L i t e r a t u r e
Creative Response to text - My Father’s Daughter by Sheila Fitzpatrick
ophie. Her life, her story.
Prologue “The only thing I remembered for sure was that before the crash, people just called me Frank. But after it they reverted to using my full name - Franklyn. I lost a personality but gained a syllable; slim compensation indeed.” — Robert Glancy, Terms & Conditions Terms & Conditions is my favourite book of all time. Though I didn’t have to lose all my memories to experience Frank’s identity crisis of Frank and Franklyn, two people stuck inside the same mind, this obscure but wonderfully witty quote is the perfect start to my (rather messy) prologue. Upon rereading my own autobiography, I constantly seem to see myself in two wildly different lights. I think of myself in a way that you would almost see an immediate family member or an incredibly close friend. You love them dearly, but you also know them well enough to understand their flaws. When I look at Sophie, myself, this person whom I have quite literally spent my life with, I love her whole heartedly. I love her confidence, I value her intelligence, I see her as a leader, someone on a road to success and happiness. At the same time however, I have an incredibly conflicting image of myself, of Sophie. She’s nasty, critical, not quite smart enough, never quite good enough. These two paradoxical images coexist, but at any given moment, it can be hard to tell which one’s driving. These two lights, two lenses or two Sophies, have an important characteristic in common, which is: at the end of the day, they both want the very best for me. Which means, yes, I take care of myself (as much as any 16 year old can), but it also means that if my Mum fact checked my autobiography, she would most likely think I was being rather dramatic. As you read this, keep in mind that I will at times paint myself as the victim when I most definitely wasn’t; just as sometimes I will make myself out to be the villain, when in reality I was probably being a bit hard on myself. Maybe I should be able to take a step back, be realistic and balanced (sounds unlikely), but simply put, I don’t, I can’t or quite possibly both.
Eleanor Oliphant (a favourite character of mine) has never quite grasped social niceties, and she constantly seems to be baffled by her own emotions. I’m slowly becoming more and more comfortable with the idea that emotion does not equate to weakness, but critical Sophie is having a tough time understanding that. Throughout this autobiography, don’t be too surprised if I attempt to downplay how I really felt about certain events. I’ve tried to correct myself, I promise, but old habits die hard. I still want the best for myself, but I’m learning to be honest about how I feel, though critical Sophie may say otherwise. Wanting the best for myself often presents itself in the form of immense ambition (or immense fear of failure, depending on which Sophie you ask). My parents are very optimistic people, especially when it comes to me. They assume that I can do whatever I decide (or perhaps they’re just realistic, again this belief will vary depending on which Sophie is driving). They have built up a part of me that, like them, just understands I’ll succeed in whatever I choose, but the other Sophie (she’s really not very nice) thinks I might do rather average, if that. Regardless, it’s a weird way of staying motivated, a gladiator match between me and myself. “Me and him Him and me, We’re always close together as you can see. I wish he’d leave so I’d be free” — Shel Silverstein, Us I’m sure Shel Silverstein would be quite horrified by his cute, little children’s poem about two people literally attached to one another being referenced in the context of underlying self resentment (sorry Shel!), but I do genuinely relate to these lines of the poem, Us. Just like “me and him, him and me”, Sophie and Sophie sometimes don’t see eye to eye. So while you read this, don’t be too trusting of what Sophie may say, she’s prone to exaggeration at times. But please try not to be too hard on her, because take it from me (really, I should know), she’s hard enough on herself.
“I simply didn’t know how to make things better. I could not solve the puzzle of me.” — Gail Honeyman, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
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H i l l a r y H a l f o r d , Ye a r 1 1 L i t e r a t u r e
Literary Perspectives Essay - To what extent is North and South a proto-feminist novel?
any modern interpretations of Elizabeth Gaskell’s nineteenth century industrial novel North and South have identified its central concern to be the expression of proto-feminist views, being the anticipation and disclosure of modern feminist concepts and philosophical traditions before the term “feminist” was widely understood. In her paper ‘Transgression and Tradition: Redefining Gender Roles in Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South’, Anna Algotsson argues that through the heroine Margaret’s actions challenging traditional gender roles, Gaskell challenges “the current limited gender norms for women and calls for change.” However, one could argue that the supposed proto-feminist aspects are flawed by misinterpretation of the concept, and that although it may be one element of Gaskell’s message, it exists within a larger context of a focus on social justice, emanating from Gaskell’s Christian socialism. Additionally, one may question if Gaskell’s actual intent in writing the novel was to present a feminist view, and whether such intent, or lack thereof, should limit whether the novel should or should not be considered to be proto-feminist. In her paper, Algotsson interprets many of Margaret’s actions to be indicative of Gaskell’s central proto-feminist argument. Throughout the novel, Margaret directly challenges traditional gender roles by taking on an authoritative role in both the domestic and public spheres, as her strength of character is juxtaposed with her parents, and with the women of Helstone and Milton. Algotsson argues that while in the traditionally feminine domestic sphere, Margaret exists within a “safe zone” for her own expression of strength, and does so both out of her own inherent strength and out of necessity, as her “weak” father fails to fulfil his masculine role as head of the household. Furthermore, the paper suggests that while in the public sphere, Margaret is forced make conscious decisions to transcend these prescribed domains to challenge traditional gender roles, creating a conflict between her moral values and her position as a “virtuous lady”. One may argue that such a conclusion neglects to acknowledge both Gaskell’s and Margaret’s overt Christian socialism, in which social justice and virtuousness are not only essential, but conducive to the other. Throughout the novel, Margaret acts upon principle when advocating for herself and others. Her sense of the importance of societal equity extends not only to women, but also to the lower classes. This is particularly evident by Gaskell as Margaret “made her body into a shield” between Mr Thornton and rioters, in order to both protect her counterpart, for which she feels responsible in the situation, and to diffuse the situation for the good of the crowd below. It is only later when Thornton misinterprets Margaret’s reaction as an expression of her love for him, that Margaret considers how such an act might shape society’s perception of her not as a woman of charity and virtue, but as one overcome by her emotion and desire, and thus sexually immoral and “fallen”, which she both resents and
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regrets. It is clear that while Gaskell evokes elements of protofeminism, its function remains in the context of Margaret’s Christian socialism and broader commitment to social justice, which brings her to act upon principle and subsequently inadvertently challenge traditional gender roles and domains. Furthermore, the argument of the centrality of proto-feminism in North and South is challenged by misunderstandings of the concept, as while Margaret is free to transcend traditional gender roles, almost no other is allowed to do so. Through the novel’s narrator, Gaskell mocks women who have been conditioned to restrict themselves to traditionally feminine roles and attributes. As rioters approach the Thornton household, the women are mocked for their fear in the midst of an understandably confronting ordeal, as Fanny throws herself into “hysterical sobbing”, and even the capable Mrs Thornton is rendered ineffective with “trembling fingers”. In this situation, it is only Margaret who is commended for her courage, as “she had always dreaded lest her courage should fail her in any emergency…” but is able to remain level headed throughout the altercation. Algotsson poses that such criticism of the “frail woman ideal” enhances the feminist overtones of the novel, as Margaret is championed for her strength and fortitude. However, this argument may be undone by defining feminism as the social movement as the advocacy for equal opportunity of both sexes, rather than the necessity for women to remove themselves from their traditional role. Moreover, Algotsson advocates North and South as a feminist novel through the way in which Margaret is drawn to the “natural… objects of concern” of men. However, in this can be seen another inherent misunderstanding of feminism in that not only should women be valid in being drawn to traditionally male fields, so too should it be natural that men show interest in what lies in the traditionally female domain. Throughout her essay, Algotsson aims to “disprove Gaskell’s claimed “antifeminism”” by arguing that Margaret’s actions in rejecting and overcoming traditional gender norms aim to empower women. Algotsson states that while “Gaskell’s irony towards the ladies… might appear misogynist… it is her way of yet again criticising the limitations for women..”, positing that Gaskell intends to expand her audience’s view on the woman’s place in society by juxtaposing her heroine with her complicit female counterparts. However, one who considers the original audience of Gaskell’s novel may argue that the identification of Margaret as an outlier in her temperament and moral strength actually limits the extent to which the novel presents proto-feminist views. The fact that Margaret is an imperfect heroine, even unlikeable to some, furthers this point and may diminish the proto-feminist message of the novel. That being said, another may argue that the meaning and message of a text is not solely dependent on the intention and view of the author, but also upon what the work evokes in readers from different periods, and how that changed context alters the true meaning of the text over
A r t w o r k b y H a n n a h S m i t h , Ye a r 1 1 A r t
A Hero’s Journey (work on paper)
time. Thus, North and South may be considered a protofeminist novel based upon the interpretations of audiences, regardless of Gaskell’s initial supposed intent. While Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South certainly presents proto-feminist views, this is arguably not the central concern of the text. Rather, Gaskell tells the story of a Christian socialist heroine who advocates for social justice and equity, of which proto-feminist ideals are a part. The argument that
proto-feminism is Gaskell’s main concern, for which Algotsson advocates, is flawed by a misinterpretation of the movement as solely focussed on the advancement of women, rather than societal equity. However, although Gaskell’s authorial intent should be considered, the meaning of the text should not solely be limited to this, but rather allow for audiences from various periods to draw meaning based upon their own experiences and views.
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Ta m s y n L o v a s s , Ye a r 1 2 E n g l i s h
Creative Response - Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window COSMOPOLITAN MAGAZINE
29th October 1954
ditorial: A Feminist Man
Imagine a world where women and men are considered equal. Whilst this idea may appear futuristic and improbable to many, Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window introduces viewers to a feminist interpretation never seen before. This film is not only an exploration of ethics and a subtle comment on the concerns Senator McCarthy has brought into our society, but a consideration of gender roles from a perspective not previously examined by a male, especially in media. Indeed, Rear Window is a film of progress. As viewers, we instantly connect with the women in this film. Whether aspiring to be as dominant as Lisa or in a situation of grief, similar to Miss Lonelyhearts, there is not a single one of us ladies who has never felt discriminated against, who has not become aware of the broad spread of misogynism in our modern culture. Thus, there is much we can learn from the outstanding women Hitchcock presents us with. Consider Lisa. A true woman of our time. She has embraced the freedom provided to us during the war period. She is a career woman. She is a strong, opinionated, stubborn figure. She is not afraid to be herself. Indeed, while many characters are observed to be partaking in unacceptable acts, Lisa retains her pride, with her actions being morally and logically accounted for. This advancement from a submissive housewife is not only recognised by, but exalted by Hitchcock.
Yet, dear readers, as we enter these new times of trying to create something for ourselves, we must remember men were put on this Earth for a reason. Whilst they may spend some time gallivanting around, running from bar to bar, a relationship with a more settled man is not detrimental, neither does Hitchcock portray it so. Both sexes may peacefully coexist, living independent lives while fulfilling the roles required of them. All viewers can claim Lisa and Jeﬀ embody this aspect of relationship ideal. Additionally, Hitchcock even allows some of the norms associated with one’s sex in our culture to be inverted. In presenting Jeﬀ as an injured and thus vulnerable man, he indicates through the progression of the film that women are indeed capable of fulfilling the same roles as our male counterparts. So, ladies, imagine a world where women and men are considered equal. Imagine a world presented by Hitchcock, and come face to face with our future. (Written by the editors of the Cosmopolitan Magazine, see page 46 for more information.) COSMOPOLITAN MAGAZINE 1st November 1954
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Letter to the Editor: A Call for a Second Wave of Emancipation Dear Editors, Imagine a world where women and men are considered equal. Do you really think imagining this ideal will achieve anything? Through my own investigations of the movie you so incorrectly praised, Hitchcock may present a situation of progress, but not the solution. The societal expectations surrounding us women and the corrupt behaviour of men presented in this apparently “feminist” film, lead one to truely question whether we want our future to lie in the hands of men who believe this is where we should be heading. Some of you reading this may currently be at your homes, walking around with a washing basket on one hip and a baby on the other. Now, I invite you to think back to when you were a little girl. We all had dreams, we all had goals, we all had wishes to make something of ourselves. Too often the cold, hard trap of society comes crunching down; sharp, steel teeth barring us from these lives for which we were destined. The pressure of becoming a simple housewife, a slave to a man and his momentary whims trumps all, enveloping us in an inescapable cage. Does watching Lisa, full to the brim with love for Jeﬀ and ready to drop everything to be with him, not alarm you? She is tied down, restricted from becoming her best due to the influence of this one tragic species, man. Therefore, if we are truely women pressing for a future, claiming we are feminists, we must not accept this feeble excuse of Hitchcock, to justify the comment that true equality is strived for by all. We must rid ourselves of the many men, who, like Jeﬀ, can simply not keep their eyes to themselves and give us the respect we deserve. We must remember the freedom handed to us in those war years, tragic as they were, and hold on to whatever remnants of that we have not given away. We must continue to be vocal in our fight and take a strong stand, build a fortress out of arguments, actions and words that no cannon can knock down. I am not only asking you, but begging you, as my kin, as fellow women, to take control of your lives. So, like the editors, I ask you to imagine a world where women and men are considered equal. I ask you to come to terms with the fact that each and everyone of you is integral in creating this future we yearn for. I ask you to recognise that there is a time for us to become independent, for a second wave of emancipation to occur. And I implore you to remember, that time is now. Yours in earnest, Betty Friedan.
A r t w o r k b y O l e n a W i l l i a m s , Ye a r 1 1 A r t
Dreams and Nightmares (acrylic paint on canvas)
Letter to the Editor: A Male Interpretation Dear Editors, Imagine a world where women and men are considered equal. Behind all your flowery language and earnest feminine pleas I cannot begin to comprehend, you have neglected a key point. The two sexes are not the same. Hitchcock’s movie is a murder mystery, with undertones of concern about voyeurism. Another interpretation is simply feminists desperately grasping at straws. Hitchcock presents a variety of situations in life, but none support the idea that women should reject social conventions and go to pick daisies with their friends. If you will entertain me, editors, it will soon become clear that Hitchcock is not, as you claim, a “feminist man”, but simply a man like all the rest. Consideration of Jeﬀ proves how this film is no diﬀerent from any other. He is the epitome of a male protagonist, with a job requiring bravery, further emphasised by the injury he received. Being a fashion model, a ballet dancer or an insurance nurse simply does not hold up when compared to Jeﬀ’s job as a photographer and the extent to which he goes to succeed. All around his apartment, shots can be observed of phenomena not previously captured by the digital device he wields with perfection. Indeed, Jeﬀ’s success is enhanced by how his role actually requires talent. Conversely, we are presented with Lisa, a supposed “feminine ideal” whose only success is due to her glamorous appearance. All logical viewers would keenly observe that this hobby is incomparable
to Jeﬀ’s job. Some may continue to argue on Lisa’s behalf, emphasising how Hitchcock shows his apparent feminism by allowing her to physically investigate the crime scene. Again, this argument falls to pieces when considering Hitchcock’s careful construction of the film. To achieve the eﬀect of viewing things from Jeﬀ’s perspective, out his apartment window, even if he was not physically inhibited, could not occur if he left the apartment. Thus, Lisa’s role play detective moment can be reduced to its true meaning, a plot device to allow the film to flow in its specific style. Additionally, Hitchcock does not present women as creatures able to live independently. Despite her clear reliance on Jeﬀ, many interpret Lisa as an independent woman. Rear Window is a film that presents being alone as a source of unhappiness for women. A simple glance into Miss Lonelyhearts’ dark, bleak room reveals her lack of a relationship to be the failure of her life, driving her to a point where she considers ending her existence. If Hitchcock were trying to present women as capable of independence, would he truely include this examination that reveals the opposite to be true? So, readers of this horrid “feminist” magazine, if you choose to imagine a world where women and men are considered equal, keep in mind that this scenario is truly just is in your imagination. Yours in frustration, Henry O’Keefe (businessman and husband).
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Ta y l o r D o s s e t o r , Ye a r 1 2 E n g l i s h
Presentation of a point of view - That the pursuit of happiness is making us more miserable than ever
re we thinking the right way about happiness?
So many of us say that it’s the most important thing that someone can have – that overall, what we really want most out of our lives is just to be happy. Yet, when it comes down to it – we don’t really know what happiness looks like. According to 2018 statistics, only 31% of Australian’s feel that they are ‘happy’ in their day to day lives. How can something that is seemingly this important to us, be so misunderstood? I believe our mistake is that we conflate happiness with a goal. Something that can be achieved and acquired instead of something that results as a by-product of overcoming one’s problems. If only I could get that car - then I’d be happy. If I get this ATAR - then I’ll be happy. If only I could be with that person, then I’d finally be happy – if only, if only, if only! The trouble with this style of thinking is that it turns our lives into a never-ending goose chase. We end up devoting ourselves to the pursuit of some idealistic end-point that, in reality, doesn’t exist. As soon as we achieve one goal we move right on to the next and ultimately, this leaves us dissatisfied without ever really understanding why. Of course, it doesn’t help that we live in a consumerist society that is constantly trying to get us to ‘buy more, do more, be more!’ It’s no wonder that with over a third of our days spent being subconsciously influenced by advertising, we feel that the answer to happiness lies in materialistic gain and ‘achieving one’s goals’. Now I know what you’re thinking. “Ah… great Taylor. Since it’s all pointless I guess I’ll just sit at home all day and do nothing.” No – don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing fundamentally bad about striving to achieve things. And buying a new pair of shoes genuinely can give you a short-term high. But the reality is that, as countless case studies show us: unless you are living below middle-class – more money isn’t going to do much to make you any happier. In fact, it can do the opposite by making you decide that there’s nothing left to strive for.
the easiest-going lifestyle in all of human history. And it’s this: happiness is not what happens when you have no problems. It’s what happens as a result of overcoming problems. The reason this mindset of no problems equals happiness doesn’t work is because, when you really think about it – it’s impossible to have no problems. Humans are hardwired to always create new problems once we overcome our old ones. Because we soon adjust to our new, more fortunate circumstances… and find even more things that can be improved. Now this inevitable mindset isn’t something to be ignored or suppressed, it’s something to be accepted. I’m not trying to pass off problems as being ‘some great thing’. By definition they are not, but they are necessary. We believe that it is actually possible – and not only is it possible, but that we are entitled to feel good all the time. Inescapable “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” and “Follow Your Bliss” mantras crop up at us at every corner. This leads us to see negative emotions as abnormal and evil – something to be avoided at all costs. And not only does this just enhance the negative emotion and stop us from properly learning from our experiences… but it makes us bottle it all up – forcing us to genuinely believe that everything’s fine. Until one day, everything is certainly not fine, and we snap. And no one wants to be around when that asteroid hits. This is definitely not helped by our social media feeds subconsciously telling us every day how much of a failure we are compared to other people. The idealistic nature of social media representation paints happiness as something that seemingly, just never ends for some people. Look! All your friends seem to be in relationships now. And some elevenyear-old just got a six-thousand dollar laptop for their birthday. And someone in Finland just made seven-million dollars from inventing an app that reminds you when to go to bed each night. Meanwhile… you’re stuck at home trying to unblock your shower drain.
Our crisis in the modern age is no longer a material one. It’s an existential one. For the vast majority of us, money is not the issue. What we lack is a sense of purpose within our lives. And it is this sense of meaning that will sustain us.
It’s okay to not be perfect. Trying to pretend that you are perfect is only going to destroy you from the inside out. So, don’t focus on ‘happiness’ – you’ll never reach it. It’s like trying to trap a bluebird by forcing your hands around it. That bird will always want to fly away.
And herein lies the biggest misunderstanding – I believe – of my generation. A generation that many would say has had
However, you might just find if you let it be and shift your focus, that bluebird will end up settling right down beside you.
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A r t w o r k b y L i l y G e m m e l l , Ye a r 1 2 A r t
Happiness (digital print)
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C a t e S m i t h , Ye a r 1 2 E n g l i s h
Analytical Response - Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
tation Eleven deals with the complex nature of what it means to survive. Discuss
In Emily St. John Mandel’s post-apocalyptic novel, Station Eleven, the harsh reality of survival is complemented with the elements of life that transcend reality and provide an ultimate reason to exist. Survival in the post-collapse world is initially depicted on as a traumatic, necessary part of adapting to the evolution of an epidemic. However, it is the beauty of the arts and literature that anchor characters, such as Kirsten, to the true purpose of existing: to create and preserve human expression. Mandel extrapolates on the vital importance of human connection as a notion that unifies communities and individuals while also intimating its key role in development and growth. While survival is a basic human instinct, it is human connection and emotion that ultimately allow individuals to pursue a fulfilled existence. In order to contextualise the necessity for survival in the initial outbreak of the flu, Mandel crafts a chaotic world where an existentialist mindset is all consuming. To introduce the severity of societal collapse, Jeevan is forced to deal with the trauma of waking up in a ravaged society and treks across the ‘silent landscape’ of Toronto. This journey demonstrates the ‘strange fragments’ of his identity that morph from his inner thoughts and how the overwhelming human instinct of ‘keep walking’ sustains him. This crafts an image of the immense trauma and loss of sanity in this bleak landscape. In comparison to the suppression of Jeevan’s sense of self, Kirsten blocks the initial trauma of the first year on the road as a coping mechanism to avoid the memory of the probable abuse at this time. By juxtaposing the ‘whimper’ of young Kirsten at the Elgin Theatre with the macabre tattoo of the knives, representing who she has killed, the reader can comprehend the transformation of a young girl faced with the looming concept of death. The tattoo of knives also intimate the inevitability of death in a lawless society. The physical debris and the ‘husk[s]’ left from the flu’s devastating loss of human life elucidate the horror of death in a previously civilised society. In the wake of an apocalyptic event, human instinct and preservation is inherent and all consuming. In the novel, readers see how the expression of human creativity provides a deeper meaning for survival and allows for character growth. Twenty years after the initial shock of the Georgia flu, artistic expression evolves in the form of the Travelling Symphony. By performing the timeless Shakespearean play, Midsummer Night’s Dream, they encourage enraptured audience members to dream and ‘cast
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A r t w o r k b y M a d e l e i n e M a r t i n , Ye a r 7 A r t
Nature Study (water-colour and mixed media on paper) a spell’ on them in order to transcend the bleak reality of the post collapse world. The power of theatre is established through Kirsten’s, and the other actors’, immense passion that emanates out to the audience. The reader can sense her ‘soul pulling upward in her chest’ as if she suspends reality when she performs. Additionally, by utilising art as an escape from reality, Miranda invests her time in the creation of the comic ‘Station Eleven’ to expound her struggle with being ‘marooned on a strange planet’ where ‘she’ll never belong’. By presenting this analogy of her pain, in a physical, tangible comic strip, the characters are able to relate their own growth and development to the fictional events. This can be shown through Kirsten and Tyler mutual appreciation of the comic. While these characters are intrinsically different, Kirsten’s ‘dog-eared’ copy and Tyler’s ‘page torn’ from his copy intimate that they have assimilated elements of the comic into their own lives. It is evident when Tyler is shot and the contents of the torn page is revealed, that he believes he must lead in the ‘absence’ of an ordered society, like Dr Eleven in the ‘absence’ of Captain Lonagan. Mandel does not discriminate between art forms, whether they are highly regarded or not. This is evident when August’s ‘stack of magazines’ is just as much a source of vitality as Shakespeare’s revered works. Mandel suggests that to lead a fulfilled, purposeful life, it is imperative that an individual has the ability to transcend reality through a form of human creativity. By creating an interwoven map of characters whose fates are intertwined with each other, the importance of human connection to survival becomes evident. After the widespread population reduction of the Georgia Flu, Mandel accentuates the notion that communities rearrange themselves in order
to support social needs. While the Travelling Symphony has many ‘simmering resentments’ it is the ‘transcendent beauty and joy’ of belonging to a group that fuels their desire to exist and grow. Arthur functions as a pivotal character, even after his death at the Elgin Theatre, as he becomes the link that tethers characters to the narrative of their respective fates. It is attempting to resuscitate Arthur that solidifies Jeevan’s decision to quit ‘stalking’ celebrities as a paparazzo and fulfil a more purposeful life as a paramedic. Mandel indicates the significance of this interaction through the use of the weather as a metaphor for the building tension. As the ‘snow fall[s]… faster’ the ‘clear air’ morphs into the turbulent onslaught of Jeevan’s emotion. Another marker for the evolution of human attachment is the talisman of the paperweight. The miniature microcosm of its ‘cloudy depths’ foreshadows the tumultuous nature of the post collapse world while uniting the characters through their possession of it. Its journey, originating from Clark, is multi-faceted as each character makes their own conclusion on its varying importance in their lives. Pure survival can appear as callous; however, with the addition of human interaction, it can evolve into a meaningful existence. Mandel paints a bleak society and outlines the unfeeling nature of death in a world peppered with violence. However, the novel demonstrates the power of time and how the notion of pure survival can be enriched by human connection and artistic expression. At the conclusion of the novel, the reader is left with Clark’s ‘beloved objects’ and developed community which ultimately speaks of the continual hope that survival is more than the avoidance of death.
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A l a n n a h F r a m p t o n , Ye a r 1 2 E n g l i s h
Presentation of Point of View - Feminism is still needed in the developed world
’m at work, my friend turns to me and asks me if I’ve heard about the Alabama abortion bill. “I’m not a feminist or anything,” she assures me, “but that’s pretty messed up.” I’ve heard this notion reiterated countless times in countless ways, this dissociation from the feminist movement. Why has it become a dirty word? Now, I am a feminist, and I can tell I’ve lost some of you just by saying that, but don’t worry — I’m not going to have a go at you for shaving your legs, or for shamelessly enjoying One Direction over Beyoncé… One Direction are clearly superior but, that’s a different speech. Although it seems obvious to me, there is debate among men and women alike as to whether we even still need feminism in the developed world in 2019. The short answer is, of course we do. So, what is feminism? First wave feminism included the women’s suffrage movement, fighting for women’s right to vote. Second wave feminism largely revolved around propelling women into the workforce post-WW2. Third and fourth wave feminism focus on sexual attitudes towards, and the direct treatment of, women, or as feminist scholar Prudence Chamberlain describes it, “the incredulity that certain issues can still exist.” This is largely what inspired my speech, this disbelief. How can people possibly think that the fight is over? Many believe that the goals of first and second wave feminism have been achieved in most developed countries, and therefore modern Western feminism is not as important as it once was, even being described as “simply hypocritical sexism” by one Queensland newspaper. I reject this wholeheartedly. I believe that not only is feminism still needed, but it is needed now perhaps more than ever. Virginia Woolf writes in feminist classic A Room Of One’s Own that there can’t possibly have been an age as “stridently sexconscious” as her own, citing the Suffragettes as the cause of this. It rings true some 90 years later. The more women who break their silence and stand up against the systematic oppression they face, the more men feel as though they need to be ‘defending themselves’ to ‘regain power.’ Following the State Government’s decision to launch a Royal Commission into Family Violence in 2015, the number of calls to the family violence hotline, had ‘shot up dramatically’ as had the severity of the abuse women were reporting; strangulation, stalking,
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threats to kill. Every three hours an Australian woman is hospitalised because of violence from a partner, carer or family-member, and every week one of these women dies as a result. Although each individual case doesn’t prove anything, there is a clear pattern that cannot go unacknowledged. Perhaps the reason governments are hindering more than they are helping is due to the lack of women in positions of power. Is this because women don’t want to be involved with politics? Are they not qualified enough? Or are they just too hysterical? The 2016 Presidential campaign unearthed a lot of underlying misogyny in the US, and in Western culture generally. The two candidates — one who has a was New York senator for eight years, Secretary of State for four, and has actively been involved in the highest level of American politics for nearly three decades; the other a TV personality who brags about sexually assaulting women and girls and is over $1 billion in debt. It seems that the email scandal was a welcome excuse for Republicans to hide their misogyny behind, an “actual” reason to distrust Hillary other than her hormones. But it’s not just these large scale issues that are important. We see the need for feminism is so many seemingly insignificant everyday things. I see it in the comments under AFLW youtube videos — “bunch of dirty lesbians,” “the best part is when it ends,” and “useless bitches” to name a few. I see it in the 18 year old boy at a school less than three kilometres away from here who has a list of girls on his phone, a rating accompanying each name. I see it in his friend who told me he’s terrified to tell his mates how depressed he’s been, for fear of being seen as weak. But they’re not insignificant. It’s when these small things go unaddressed that the bigger problems start to occur. I see it every day, everywhere that I go. There are so many issues and instances in which feminism is integral to fixing something, and I could stand here for hours and list what I think needs to be done. Instead, I’ll leave you with a quote from American poet Blythe Baird that I think epitomises the dangers of pretending sexism is dead. She writes “We accept this constant fear as part of being a girl…They beg us to be careful. To be safe. Then tell our brothers to go out and play.”
A r t w o r k b y L i l l y To o m e y , Ye a r 1 2 A r t
Reflections (sculptural installation from found objects)
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A r t w o r k b y T i a H a r a l a b a k o s , Ye a r 1 2 A r t
Pulse (mixed media print and embroidery on canvas)
S o p h i e L o d g e , Ye a r 1 2 L i t e r a t u r e
Critical Analysis of Virginia Woolf’s A Room on One’s Own
n A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf’s contention is to demonstrate the importance of creating a separate female literary tradition she discusses of the pre-existing relationship between women and fiction. In her essay, Woolf depicts a society and history where women’s experiences have been continually absent, and thus she advocates for more women to turn to writing, and dually for women to write using the ‘androgynous mind’. In her Marxist-feminist essay, Louise Jayakrishna claims that in attempting to combat the limitations placed on women, Woolf instead perpetuates these boundaries for working-class women. Elaine Showalter similarly critiques Woolf’s focus on the ‘androgynous mind’, claiming that the idealisation of it is “disembodied” and “deadly”. Woolf therefore both depicts these enforced limitations, and in many ways perpetuates them. First, Woolf’s inspiration for A Room of One’s Own stems from a discussion of the relationship that women have had with fiction, and thus she contends the importance of
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women becoming writers to create a new female literary tradition. The illustrious motif of “500 pounds a year and a room of one’s own” is utilised by Woolf as the means required for women to be able to write. Writing is the key to women’s liberation, as made evident throughout the text which examines the literary history of women and remarks that “nothing is known about women before the eighteenth century”. It is this recording of experiences and creation of art which Woolf argues will lead to the new female literary tradition. It is also this very motif of “500 pounds a year” that Jayakrishna bases her Marxist-feminist argument on in her paper ‘The Exclusion of Working-Class Women in Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own’ (2011). Jayakrishna argues that when Woolf stresses the “importance of financial independence in order to obtain liberation”, she truthfully is showing her “class bias” and excluding women of the working class. As Jayakrishna explains, the majority of women in Woolf’s time would be unable to afford this required sum of 500 pounds a year. Thus, the equation of
economic independence and women’s liberation caters only to “a small number of privileged women of society” and deliberately excludes the working class. Jayakrishna goes on to relate Woolf’s stance to her upbringing and her status in society as a middle-class woman. The middle-class lifestyle that Woolf was privy to often included domestic servants – women of the working class. Jayakrishna refers to Alison Light’s ‘Mrs Woolf and the Servants: The Hidden Heart of Domestic Service’ when claiming that “domestic service actually is the history of British women”, and despite this, Woolf makes little or no reference to this class of women. Instead, the text makes constant reference to “middle-class women”, which is supposedly Woolf’s target audience for this lecture – as shown in her references to women existing mainly in the “sitting room”. A key detail that Jayakrishna does not mention, however, is the passage in the text where Woolf quotes Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch’s ‘The Art of Writing’. It is here that Woolf explains the focus and stress placed upon “material things” throughout the text, including her repeated reference to the “500 pounds a year”. Quiller-Couch essentially analyses the connection that great literary figures have had to wealth, and later concludes that “the poor poet has not […] a dog’s chance”. Although it is a brutal conclusion, Woolf refers to Quiller-Couch’s words as an explanation as to why she places such a hefty focus on the middle-class and ignores the working classes. Essentially Woolf is insinuating that any member of the working class, regardless of gender, has little chance of becoming a writer, and although this does not excuse her continual disregard for working-class women, it does somewhat explain why this particular class does not fit into Woolf’s vision for a female literary tradition. Woolf’s writing intends to influence women to combat the limited choices placed on them by society, but in doing this she deliberately excludes the working-class and essentially further limits the choices that they are able to make. A key part of Woolf’s encouragement of women to write is the suggestion that writing with the ‘androgynous mind’ is superior to “sex-based” writings. In her essay ‘Virginia Woolf and the Flight into Androgyny’ (1977), Showalter discusses how Woolf’s idealisation of the androgynous mind is both unrealistic and dangerous. The androgynous mind, for Woolf, is a “great mind” that abandons its connections to a particular gender and instead is “resonant and porous”. Literary figures such as Shakespeare and Coleridge are said to write with this androgynous mind, and Woolf believes it to be the premium style of writing that women must achieve to create great literature. Showalter, however, argues that the idea of androgynous mind is merely a “utopian project” that is representative of “psychic withdrawal” and “repression”. In quoting the final chapter of ‘A Room of One’s Own’ where Woolf’s theories of androgyny are clearly outlined, Showalter points out that advocating for a writing style that is completely disconnected from personal experience and gender is essentially “advocating [for] a strategic retreat, and not a victory”. Woolf’s theory of the superior androgynous mind does not cater to feminist ideals of activist literature but instead can be seen as a form of “repression”
or “self-discipline” that Showalter believes stems from Woolf’s own deteriorating mental state. Both Jayakrishna and Showalter refer to Woolf’s biography and her various mental illnesses throughout their essays as there is a clear connection between Woolf’s own experiences and her beliefs of the importance of a female literary tradition. Showalter, however, goes one step further and stresses Woolf’s personal impediments in a way that essentially discredits her arguments and her genius. This is seen from the beginning of the essay where Showalter launches into an analysis of Woolf and the world she lived in before truly introducing and discussing the text, A Room of One’s Own that she later labels “defensive” and “impersonal”. Woolf’s text also follows a ‘stream of consciousness’ style that essentially ensures that the expressed thoughts and opinions within the text are organically written. This means that whilst Woolf does place an emphasis on the importance of the androgynous mind, she similarly stresses her main goal of creating a female literary tradition. This is seen in the final moments of the text, where Woolf states that “to work, even in poverty and obscurity, is worthwhile” because this ‘work’ will eventually allow a hypothetical female Shakespeare to write and find inspiration from the “lives of those who were her forerunners”. This idea of creating a female literary tradition where women can freely create literature is central to Woolf’s work, and though it is not completely separate from the androgynous mind theories, it is arguably more important. Showalter, however, using her feminist viewpoint, does not once refer to Woolf’s main contention, but rather myopically focuses on the idealisation of the androgynous mind that occurs in the final chapter of Woolf’s text. Showalter’s essay functions as a criticism of Woolf’s suggested ‘androgyny’ but does not further delve into the ideas and contention of the text in question. Her critique of the entirety of Woolf’s text seems to ignore the overwhelming patriarchal literary and academic world that Woolf was attempting to combat, and Woolf’s mention of the ‘androgynous mind’ is merely one singular literary ideal in a wider plan that was suggested to combat the limitations placed on women. The feminist perspective implemented by Showalter allows her to accuse Woolf’s ideals of androgyny of being “utopic” and “deadly”, but she fails to consider the broader future that Woolf is outlining for women to achieve. Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own attempts to outline both the importance of creating a female literary tradition, as well as the relationship that economic independence has to liberation. Taking place in a society where women are rarely writers, the patriarchal structures of the literary world are paralleled to those of the broader society in an effort to illustrate the importance of building a stronger understanding of female experiences. In their respective essays, both Jayakrishna and Showalter discuss how in attempting to combat the limitations forced upon women, Woolf instead both excludes the working-class, and creates an ideal of writing that is “unachievable”. In this way, Woolf paradoxically imposes or reinforces choice limitations when attempting to remove them.
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S a r a h P a t i e n c e , Ye a r 1 1 L i t e r a t u r e
Literature Criticism on North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
lizabeth Gaskell’s Victorian classic North and South portrays the nuance of gender and class between the two polar opposites of the 19th century, the North and South of England. Anna Algotsson’s work ‘Transgression and Tradition: Redefining Gender Roles in Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South’ however directly links the plights of Gaskell’s central character, Margaret, to proto-feminism in her breaking of gender roles, yet still challenging their presence in Margaret’s Victorian values. In concluding that Margaret’s actions in chapter 22 are directly inspired by the feminist plight, Algotsson supports the suggestion that Gaskell intentionally positioned Margaret to portray covert messages of female progression in a society where the notion of Feminism was rejected. However, one could view Margaret’s masculine duties and traditionally male interests in the light of Christian Socialism and Gaskell’s dislike for weakness in all genders, whilst observing how the clear regard Margaret has for Victorian ideals of women reflected in her values and morals, allow her to be a resolute and strong woman. In Algotssons’s critique is it evident that proto-feminism is classified as the progressive actions of women to intentionally break or challenge gender roles and stereotypes of the time before first wave or modern Feminism came into society’s usage and knowledge. For North and South these gender roles or ideas would be completely restricting a woman to interests and hobbies of the home and an expectation that they represent chastity and purity. From the outset Algotsson’s critique displays Margaret’s actions in a protofeminist light, claiming that Margaret’s ability to organise the family move from Helstone to Milton, perform duties such as cleaning and laundry and take on the role of the “man of the house” are a direct link to her and evidently Gaskell’s proto-feminist agenda. Algotsson states that due to the contrast between Margaret and her “weak father”, Margaret’s capabilities are “enhanced”. These capabilities are having the ability to assume the position as head of the house and dabble in the family’s affairs, a role typically taken up by the patriarch, not a young, unmarried daughter. However, one can argue that it is this precise emasculation of Mr Hale that forces Margaret to take control of the household and that Margaret does not perform these duties as a way to state dominance or authority as a female, but to purely support her family out of necessity and out of her own disdain for her Father’s incompetence. Her organisation of the move displays her keen womanly instinct to care and protect, especially in an uncomfortable situation like the one she is placed in by her father. Algotsson highlights Gaskell’s use of Mr Hale’s feminisation to express a dislike for weakness “in any person, no matter which gender”. Margaret finds Mr Hale’s lack of will power almost deplorable as seen when he weakly tells her of the family’s move: “[Mr Hale] speaking low words of selfreproach and humiliation, of which Margaret was thankful to hear but a few”. Therefore, Margaret’s action in taking up the role of “man of the house” can be attributed to her caring and protective manner as she is able to understand the need to fill
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the role as household leader, not because of a desire to prove a woman’s abilities, but to support the family unit. The ideal of men’s business and women’s business is highly discussed through North and South as a point of contention for Margaret as a strong woman in the Victorian era. Algottson argues that Margaret’s interest in subjects such as economics, business and social justice, areas typically associated with men’s business, conveys her underlying alignment with the proto-feminist ideal. Furthermore, Algotsson concludes that Margaret’s complete disdain for women’s “petty interests” and apparent scorn for their trivial affairs shows her rejection of gender norms for women of the time. However, one could argue that Margaret’s contempt for women’s affairs is truly contempt for feebleness and vulnerability, not just that of women’s talk. She rejects this norm not on a basis of supporting feminist ideals but because she admires strength and intelligence. It’s weakness that she deplores in both her cousin, Edith and her own father. Margaret is shy to admit her enthusiasm for men’s business; a choice Gaskell may have made to allow Margaret to appear unconventionally intelligent but not abrasive or combative, making her a perfect match for Mr Thornton, as the novel is first and foremost a romance. Margaret’s scorn for “those poor sickly women who like to lie on rose leaves and be fanned all day” directly contradicts a proto-feminist agenda, as Margaret criticises these woman’s inconsequential conversation and for their idleness and weakness but not for their constraining and discriminatory presumptions of women’s minds at the time. As a modern reader Algottson assumes that Margaret’s curiosity in masculine proceedings directly links her to proto-feminist goals, however this keen interest is motivated by not only Margaret’s intelligence and respect for strength but her desire to be involved in social justice as a Christian Socialist. Margaret’s primary aim of the novel is to influence for the better the unjust treatment of factory workers such as Bessy and Nicholas Higgins. As a minister’s daughter Margaret is compelled to use her position in society to benefit the lives of others, even if it means placing herself in improper situations such as shielding Mr Thornton during the riot scene and attempting to lessen the crowd’s anger. She feels forced to act in these situations not because of a desire to make a statement about a woman’s place in the public sphere but the importance and relevance of Christian Socialism in the industrial North. Despite Algotsson’s praise of Margaret’s progressive actions and Gaskell’s questioning of gender roles, she endorses Margret’s personal alignment with traditional values and morals of the Victorian woman, or as Algotsson coins it the “refined lady”. In North and South Margaret holds herself and her honour in the highest esteem and she is often described as “haughty”, however it is this strong sense of moral fibre and dedication to one’s reputation that so deeply roots Margaret to the classic Victorian ideal and role for a woman at the time. Despite not subscribing to the cowardly woman
M a r i o n C l e g g , Ye a r 1 2 A r t
Lilith (graphite and gouache on paper)
persona, Margaret still displays a strong sense of femininity and a devotion to the ideals of a chaste woman. Algotsson further conveys this sense of purity and tradition as it follows Margaret into the romantic aspect of the novel as she is “ashamed of having grown so much into a woman as to be thought of in marriage”. Margaret is genuinely upset in both instances in which she is proposed to on grounds she believed to be false or inappropriate specifically when she reproaches Mr Thornton claiming him to be acting not as a “gentleman” should. Her intense distress over Mr Thornton’s apparently impertinent ways of speaking to her solidify the strong and unwavering respect she holds for her purity, honesty and chasteness as a Victorian lady. One could argue it is this strong sense of self that Margaret has that allows Gaskell to push to distance her character from the typical sickly female of the time, without disconcerting a Victorian reader. It is Margaret’s intelligent personality and faith in tradition that allows her to benefit from both sides of extreme femininity and robust womanhood. Thus expressing Gaskell’s
desire not necessarily for a proto-feminist heroine but an evenly balanced female character. Algotsson’s work “Transgression and Tradition” regards Gaskell’s novel North and South as presenting a heroine that predominantly subscribes to the proto-feminist ideal in her ability to become the ‘man of the house’ and her inquisitiveness in men’s business, however these ‘masculine’ appearing actions of Margaret’s can be linked back to her desire to be active in practising Christian socialism and her disdain for weak and feeble minded characters. Algotsson highlights Margaret’s classically Victorian values which greatly tie her to the idea of the “refined lady”, but it is fundamentally this dedication to morals that allows Gaskell to create a character that is palatable yet able to express her unorthodox opinions and still be well received in a society were women’s voices and opinions were not only often disregarded but completely repressed.
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A r t w o r k b y S h i h u a ( C i n d y ) X u , Ye a r 1 0 A r t
Hold the Earth (ink on canvas)
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M i n g S i n ( H a y l i e ) C h e n g , Ye a r 1 2 E A L (English as an Additional Language)
In the name of God, The Most Beneficent. The Most Merciful. Honourable UN Secretary General António Guterres,
Respected President General Assembly María Fernanda Espinosa. Respected elders and my dear brothers and sisters; It is a privilege to speak on this occasion once again. It has been 7 years since the Taliban shot me. I have come a long way. However, I strongly believe we still have a long way to go until we reach equal rights for women and education for all children. In the past seven years, I’ve developed the Malala Fund. It is currently operating in 5 countries. To encourage underprivileged girls into going to school, I am planning to fund $150000 to the disadvantaged girls in Pakistan. I also aim to provide 12 years of free, safe and quality education for them. Because I want to give them back what poverty, discrimination and war has taken from them. In order to achieve this, I’d like to expand it to more countries and reach out to more girls. There are misconceptions that only developing countries experience oppression of women. But in reality, many women in western countries are still struggling and subjugated under the will of men. However, the #Metoo is a great example of female empowerment. It is a fantastic platform for women to speak up about their experience of abuse and survival, raising awareness of inequality. Most importantly, talking about these issues helps prevent more people from staying silent. It allows a group of brave and independent women to be united and support each other. It brings up the message that we women should not be harassed or abused in anyway. In my opinion, this movement in itself is an achievement. After my recovery, I’ve participated in many campaigns as an advocate and travelled all around the world to deliver speeches, but I still hope one day to go back to my country, to my beautiful Swat Valley. To be torn from the country that you love is not something to wish upon anyone. I miss everything in Pakistan, from the rivers and mountains, to my friends, teachers and our cultural celebrations. So, becoming a Prime Minister of Pakistan, just like Benazir Bhutto, is also one of my goals in life. She was a great leader,
an inspiration and a role model. People like her make me realize the importance of selflessness and determination. My country needs a leader, a strong leader who would advocate for equality and education. Especially making it possible for every girl in Pakistan to receive a high level of education. Even the founder of Pakistan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, once said that no struggle can succeed without women participating side by side with men. I want every woman to be treated as equal to men. Equal job opportunities and equal representation in parliament. I want every girl to have the opportunity to go to school. I want to change the future of Pakistan.
Investing in girls’ education means investing in the progress of the world. Around 130 million girls around the world don’t attend secondary school. If these girls are educated, they can change the world.
I believe education is a doorway to freedom. Without knowledge, we lose our power. Without knowledge, we lose our voice. Without knowledge, we lose our identity. Many people describe me as Malala, the fearless, brave and courageous girl. In fact, I’m just a normal 22-year-old girl, who still fights with her brothers. Before I was shot, I had this little bit of fear about what would happen to me or what would I feel if someone attacks me. But after I was shot, I realised that the fear didn’t just go away. It was my courage, my ambition, my hopes and my dreams that have conquered my weakness, my hopelessness and my fear. They shot my body not my dream.
No one should be forced into silence. No one should object to equality. No one should be denied an education. As Allah is with me and saved my life, I believe I will achieve these goals.
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A r t w o r k b y O l i v i a A n d e r s o n , Ye a r 8 A r t
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This page: Isabella Stambe, Year 8, 2D Art, calico design
A CHRISTIAN SCHOOL IN THE BAPTIST TRADITION
Early Learning Centre 34 Scott Street, Canterbury, VIC 3126
Junior Campus 173 Prospect Hill Road, Canterbury VIC 3126
Year 9 Campus 30 Yarra Street, Hawthorn VIC 3122
Middle & Senior Campus 34 Scott Street, Canterbury, VIC 3126
A collection of Strathcona Girls Grammar art and written prose