Class Conflict: William Thornhill and Dan Oldfield
Class conflict has dominated society since the days of the early Egyptians. It has always been the way that one individual has the power to rule over another. “The ladder of society” or “the rat race” are two common names for this pattern in history. Quite often the individual seen as superior has greater wealth or class than the individual and this immediately puts them in a position of power.In ‘the Secret River’ Thornhill comes from a poor background where he is constantly at the demand of the superior individual, from his days as a child to rowing the upper-class across the river Thames as an apprentice Waterman, Thornhill was forever working for the “better man”. So it is strange that years later in Australia when Thornhill, now a free man, gains power over and individual of his own. Dan Oldfield is a convict the Thornhill’s knew back home in England and they take him in as a servant. Thornhill, a man treated as a borderline slave his entirely life, remarkably describes his knew position as a whole new kind of pleasure, and happily abuses the new convict brutally. It’s a shock because Thornhill was a man with no power, and once he got some he abused it straight away.
A modern day scenario that mirrors Thornhill’s lustful power surge is the story of ex Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s reign of terror in Iraq. He controlled the country and caused multiple issues in the country throughout his time as president. His journey from working class man to war destroying tyrant is a similar scenario, to that of William Thornhill and Dan Oldfield.Information on Hussein can be found at the following linkhttp://www.fact-index.com/s/sa/saddam_hussein.html
'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.