'The pen is mightier than the sword.' Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1839


- Who/what would humans be without conflict?
- How does conflict shape who we are?
- Freedom, peace, justice, equality, love. What do these ideals
mean? In what ways can they be achieved?

Encountering conflict can be difficult. However, it is ultimately worthwhile. Bearing witness, acknowledging conflict, is how humanity can work to grow and evolve in a positive way. This is why your Yr 12 English study of the Context 'Encountering Conflict' is so exciting. You have the opportunity to go on a journey where you can consider the world from many different viewpoints and through many different mediums. You can inspire and be inspired, you can have your say, you can affect change in the world - locally, nationally and globally.

This blog is intended to be a portal that will transport you into a place where you can consider the Context in a way that allows you to share your thinking and ideas. It is designed to let you:

- learn about the set texts; The Secret River by Kate Grenville and The Rugmaker of Mazar-E-Sharif by Najaf Mazari and Robert Hamilton

- go beyond the set texts to develop your thoughts about the Context

- study language features that occur in the set texts

- practise different forms of writing in a forum where you can recieve feedback from teachers, experts and peers.

There are a number of areas for you to access and contribute to in this blog. They are:

- Conflict Concerns: is the blogging space on this home page for general discusssion about the context and set texts. Exploration and challenging discussion about 'Encountering Conflict' is the aim. Also, questions about the course and what you are meant to be doing can be shared here.

- Music Matters: a space to share and comment on music that is relevant to the Context. You can also discuss how the songs might relate to the set context in ideas, themes, values and language features.

- Text Tremors: discuss how written texts have moved and shaped your ideas in regards to the Context.

- Film Flogging: inspire others by sharing your thoughts on how films, documentaries and t.v. shows you have viewed encounter conflict in their narratives. Comment on parallels that may arise between films and the set texts.

- Picture Panic: share images that make you think about the context and the world you live in. Explain how the pictures you encounter represent the idea of 'encountering conflict' and how they impact on your view of life and how it should be lived.

- Prompt Response: respond to prompts that you have been given and that appear in this space to practise writing 'Creating and Presenting' responses. Upload them here for conferencing that will help you hone your skills to meet the criteria for this area of study to the best of your ability in SACs and the exam.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The most prominent type of conflict present in the secret river is that of cultural/racial conflict. A memorable instance of this type of conflict occurs when the 'blacks' are stealing crops from Thornhills paddocks. William Thornhill doesn't take too kindly to the lack of respect shown and he replies through the use of force. He grabs one woman by the hair, savagely elbows another and kicks the knee of another older lady. He also encourages the others to "be off" by parading around with a shotgun in hand and calling them "thieving black whores". In my opinion racial/cultural conflict is the usually the worst as its the least understood. Different cultures and races have differing views on what is right and what is wrong which is the intigation of many of these racial/cultural conflicts. These differing views are why this type of conflict is usually the worst, as people have so little understanding about other cultures, races and their values.
Cultural conflict, is a conflict present in many peoples lives, and it has been like that for many years.

The Secret River is based on a true story, and has many aspects of cultural conflict. This demonstrates that cultural conflict is an issue that has been around for centuries.

In "The Secret River" the english settlers judge the black people by standards and attitudes based on english life. Many of the english settlers - including Thornhill - thought that the aboriginal people didn't care about the land because they didn't have fence and houses etc. showing that they possess the land. Some of the settlers treated the 'blacks' no better than animals. Smasher treated the blacks horribly when he hung the 'theif' as though it was an animal. Also the way he treatesd the black woman was worse than how you would treat any animal, he tied a woman up for his own sexual fantasies.

For some people, including Thornhill, the racism toward the aboriginals may be because of fear. Blackwood gives advice to thornhill, but fear causes him to abandon all nagotiations he had in place with the 'blacks', and causes him to loose his son.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Hello MSC Yr 12 English stars, and welcome to the world of learning through blogging.

To begin your blogging journey for the Creating and Presenting Area of Study I want to you to write a post that discusses what you think is one of the predominant types of conflict presented in The Secret River. In your post, use an example from the text to demonstrate where you see this conflict being encountered in the novel. Some types of conflict you might like to choose from are:

- Class conflict
- Social conflict
- Cultural conflict
- Physical conflict
- Internal conflict
- Interpersonal conflict
- Avoiding conflict

Once you have identified the conflict occurring in the text, present some general thoughts you hold about that type of conflict. Explain why you think the way you do. Use a hyperlink to showcase an example of media that also adresses these conflict issues in some way.

When you have finished composing your post spend some time viewing and adding comments to others' perspectives.