'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.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Structure and Language of The Rugmaker

Najaf's story unfolds through two interlinking narratives: the first is about Najaf's Australian experience and the second is his recount of his life from boy to adult in Afghanistan.

The chapters set in Australia are narrated in the present tense, the chapters set in Afghanistan use the past tense.

Australia - 2001-2006, Afghanistan 1977-2001

The chapters alternate throughout the text, a chapter set in Australia is followed by a chapter set in Afghanistan. This is a narrative strategy to demonstrate the ways in which Najaf's past impacts on his present.

The language used to write this text is simple. This deliberate choice by the authors achieves several things:
- highlights that English is Najaf's second language. Short sentences and straightforward language.
- reads like a spoken language, true to how Najaf might have told his story to Hillman.
- It is Najaf's voice telling the story, not Hillman's
- The simplicity of the language outlines Najaf's outlook on life. Humble and sincere.


  1. I'm studying the rugmaker this year for year 12,
    this blog is helping a lot! and i just discovered it
    i hope you continue to post throughout this year :)

    1. We are just commencing our study of 'The Rugmaker' for 2012. I hope the year is going well for you. Not much longer till exams!