Blog 3 Week 5

CREATIVE- Write a paragraph describing your own city or suburb using some of the literary language techniques that we have seen working in Charles Dickens.


I stare at the city as I take a sip of my now lukewarm coffee. This city that I have called home for the past 17 years seems so new and exhilarating like a stranger that I am meeting for the first time. The stresses of life have caused me to absentmindedly forget or maybe block out the beauty that surrounds me.

Images of the storm from the day prior fill my mind. In a matter of 24 hours, it rained, it hailed, and it shone… but maybe not in that exact order. The air crisp and clean still with a hint of moisture rustles through my hair. The scent of eucalyptus, bark, wet leaves and a trace of smoke fills the air, a scent unique and somewhat intoxicating. I always thought that there was something so internally satisfying about the smell of the air after a day of rain. I look down at my converses which are now brown, covered with evidence of yesterday’s storm. I marvel at the incredible architecture, some buildings, an homage to the Victorian Era through the aged brick and intricate designs and some buildings or shall I say skyscrapers stand tall with thousands of windows celebrating Sydney as a modern metropolis. The city, a perfect contrast of the old with the new. Behind the thick fog, I can faintly see the harbour bridge, an Australian icon and wonder how many people have come to this city and marvelled at this famous arch. As I sit on this stone bench, I can hear police sirens wailing in the distance, drilling and hammering at a nearby construction sight and the sound of people cursing as they sit in their car crawling along in the traffic, a somewhat rite of passage in this city, one that I know too well.

Away from the architecture, the weather and the traffic. I find myself thinking about the city dwellers that crowd the street. A corporate CEO with his eyes locked on his mobile screen walks alongside the family of tourists that are click, click, clicking away at their cameras. Today thousands of people will walk the streets, people from all walks of life, people of all ages and people from all around the world, each person viewing the city from a different perspective.


Peer Review 2 Week 5

Link to blog post:

Hi Jessica,

I thought your blog post this week showed a real passion for gender issues. I, too agree with your comment about Emma giving in to the expectations of this period and how this juxtaposes with our modern society. It was fascinating to understand Emma’s character from your perspective. Overall, I enjoyed reading your blog post and I’m very excited to read more from you in the coming week.

Blog 2 Week 4

CRITICAL: Write a letter that responds to this early criticism of Jane Austen’s Emma when it was first published: 


“A soppy romance with totally unrealistic characters set in an isolated village that has got no relevance to wider human society. I can’t recommend this book to anyone!”

To whom it may concern,

I write this letter in response to your criticism of Jane Austen’s revolutionary novel Emma. I would like to tackle four of the claims that you have made in your criticism.

Firstly, on the surface, the novel may seem like a ‘soppy romance’ as you describe it based on upper-class societies of the late eighteenth, early nineteenth century. However, beneath the surface, the novel critiques the social and political values of the time. After Emma discovers the truth about her inability to allow fate to take its course and the effect that it has on those that she cares about, she is able to acknowledge her feelings for Mr Knightly leading to a romance between the pair.

Secondly, In the novel, Emma attempts to mould reality into the narrative she has concocted in her mind by creating relationships between those around her. In your criticism, you claim that the novel is about ‘totally unrealistic characters’, however, you cannot say that at one point in your life you have not been trapped in your ego, thinking that you know what is best for those around you and trying to mould reality into the narrative that you have formed in your mind.

Harriet is a young girl with unknown parentage trying to fit into a higher social class, Mr Knightly is a kind gentleman who becomes the catalyst for Emma’s journey of realisation and Mrs Elton is an upper-class snob with an elitist mindset and an inability to truly understand anyone who does not fit the mould of a superficial noble. So tell me now, are there no similarities between those around you, your family, friends and co-workers and the characters in the novel.

The novel explores challenging issues such as the effect of human vanity, the damaging effect of one’s imagination, marriage and gender expectations. Therefore, while the novel is based on upper-class societies, the issues and themes explored transcend all social hierarchies and apply to all human beings in society.

Finally, I would have to disagree with you again as I would recommend this novel to anyone with an interest in literature. In fact, I would recommend this novel to everyone as it is brilliant in its exploration of one’s inner psyche while being highly entertaining.

Furthermore, I am hopeful that in due time you are able to re-read the novel with an appreciation of its brilliance.

Yours truly, Alina Goro

Peer Review 1 Week 4

Link to blog post:

Your blog post was clearly written and very thorough in its exploration of the Romantic period. Although there is a lot of information available on the Romantic period, I found your blog post, in particular, helped to clarify some of my own misconceptions on this literary period. Your analysis of the techniques used in both poems accentuates the significance of nature, thus, allowing you to arrive at your conclusion.
Aside from a couple of grammatical errors, your blog post was very well written and I am excited to read more from you in the future.

Blog 1 Week 3

 Creative- In either prose or verse write a passage that tells Matthew why there is more to life than books. You can look at ‘The Tables Turned’ for some of your ideas.

Own Image taken at Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada 2014

Growing up I was always told to read books. I was told that within the pages of short stories, novels and poetry I would find knowledge and the answer to all my questions. But as I get older, I learn that there is so much more to life than what is explored in books.

A few years ago, I was holidaying in the United States with my family, last minute we decided to drive to Canada for a few days to end our trip. The first place we visited when we got to Canada was Niagara Falls (I know, very touristy) but as I stood in wonder staring at these beautiful waterfalls, I felt a sense of peace and serenity. I could have gazed at this beautiful work of nature for days. Looking back at this experience, I realised that no poem, no novel, no short story would have given me that same feeling.

There is a kind of beauty in nature that no book can recreate and it can only be captured if we allow nature to become a part of us. Thus, if we bury ourselves in books we allow ourselves to become removed. In nature, we can find beauty and gain the answers and understanding that we are searching for. Books dissect every small detail of objects, situations and events to create meaning but in the process destroy their beauty. Sometimes life becomes tough and books can offer an escape from our chaotic lives. But it is always important to remember that we can often find knowledge and learn life’s biggest lessons through nature.

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