'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.

Monday, June 6, 2011

THE RABBITS by John Marsden and Shaun Tan

Marsden and Tan put forward that Australia has been invaded. This comes through in the ise of the rabbit as a metaphor for European colonisers. Just as rabbits, an introduced species to Australia, are a pest and cause destruction of the environment, so too have the European colonisers. They caused destructive change by taking control, and dominating.

Connections with The Secret River:

Both show the European take over of Australia
They both outline changes to country and Aboriginal people - chopping down of trees, destruction of natural food sources, introduction of alcohol and disease.
Have a similar message - to put forward that invasion occured.
Grenville presents a sympathetic viewpoint that Marsden doesn't towards the Europeans who came, she considers the vicitm impact on those who were convicts or forced to escape persecution and poverty in Europe.

If Marsden and Tan had created The Rabbits for a SAC or Exam response addressing the promp that, 'Conflict creates a legacy of tragedy', it would work in all the ways required. It would have been an imaginative short story that considers themes present in The Secret River and aims to deliver a message to the reader about colonisation that is suportive of Grenville's perspective. At times in her text Grenville uses metaphor and so does Marsden. Also the naming of the characters is done for a purpose just like Grenvilee does. It would meet all the three requirements:

1. Consider the Context
2. Address the Prompt
3. Connect obviously with the set text

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