#4 Peer Review

Hi Belle,
I could not believe my eyes when I saw that we had similar views on “Hard Times”. I’ve also always wanted to venture to a place of such wonder and beauty like England. I appreciate that you see Dicken’s writing as words which are purposefully placed to be analysed. For example when you mention, “give them a little more play”, you highlight that child-like innocence in adults wanting children to become workers instead truly having a necessary part of their development such as ‘play’. As well the idea of that the circus is linked to the imaginative part of an individual which needs to encompass both the serious and imaginative sides to a human being. I adore the fact that your image came from Pinterest, some people, i.e. myself really don’t know how to incorporate other forms of social media so it is really refreshing to see the media outlet you’ve chosen. All in all, you’ve done a fantastic job, I can’t fault it!




#5 Art Gallery Visit

Write a short summary of your gallery visit today. Mention 2 or 3 of the paintings that most appealed to you and why.

Exploring the art gallery of NSW has been the time of the semester I always wait for. It is one of the few places where I am truly taken back and amazed by the artwork and their backstories. The choice in colour, the meanings as well as the time frame all come together to host a fantastic collective piece of artwork, sculpture and or film.

As we ventured through the 19th century exhibit to find many artworks, which I was astounded by. One such as John Glover’s “Launceston and the River Tamar” which was created in 1832. This piece stood out to me, as it’s romantic themes bounced of the art by using colours of nature, the greens, and the browns, which are all earthy tones. When I glance at this piece I feel as though the trees are imposed, that nature, the scrubland has to enforce European quality, the essence of perfection. The major aspect, which is being admired in this artwork, is the abundance of land. I believe Glover has positioned the frame this way to recognise that there is so much beauty in nature that it could go on for miles. On the right side of the frame, Glover has placed a minuscule sized husband and wife, by doing this he has envisage what it would be like to reflect in nature and it amplifies how small the human race is compared to the environment around us.

Another incredible piece, which I cannot forget, is Eugene Von Guerard’s “Milford Sound”, (1877-1879). The reason why this piece is so unforgettable to me is that the image, which is created, has a balanced realistic and non-realistic feel. What I mean by this is that, the image created through the colouring of lilac and grey tones force the viewer to imagine him or herself in a world of such beauty that it almost seems fake. The artwork is made to show the relationship those human beings to nature, that it is almost insignificant when looking at the height of the mountains in the background. In all honesty when I look at this particular artwork I feel calm, it becomes like a ‘home’ environment, in the sense where it makes me feel comfortable and content like I am allowed to believe in the realistic and the imaginary.


Sir Luke Fildes 1875-1876 piece “The Widower”, was an artwork which I was truly glad to see on Wednesday ‘s trip. The image as a whole consist of a father caring for his children, the setting, which seems run down and a mother in the background cooking with what they have. The darkness, which the painting alludes to, refers to the troublesome times. Fildes focuses on the fact that they’re not rich by the costuming, he dresses each person with broken or dirty clothes to make it easier for the viewer to comprehend. It also references to the idea that this particular family are suffering and going through hardship but besides all that the importance of family is the strength that keeps them together.

Finally, an artwork, which I became extremely interested as soon as I laid eyes on it, was Frederic Lord Leighton’s piece “Cymon & Iphigenia” (1884). When being told that ‘Cymon’ refers to the beast, it quickly appeared to me that the character was a reckless persona. However, simultaneously was smitten with the main woman in the frame. Although Cymon is seen to be a womaniser, which is shown by the other female in the frame, the artwork can be seen as a seduction not just on Cymon’s part but also on Iphigenia’s. Her body language is seen as promiscuous through the way her garments only show parts of her body and the positioning of her body on the bed. In the background there is the sun, which is rising, it can be seen as a symbol of his conscience awakening.


#3 Peer Review

Hi Julena, I really like your approach to this creative question. When I read it, it almost reminded me of a television program in the 90’s called “Boy Meets World”, when you wrote, “How experiencing new things will lead us to emotions we’ve never felt before”. The way you have used short and sharp syntax pops out at someone who reads it. It isn’t boring nor too long that someone would get distracted, it is just the right amount. However, for next time maybe expressing or even elaborating on what you mean by “teach us the way of the world.”. If you do that it may open another underlying theme of the book such as lack of experience of the world surrounding young people. As well maybe a photo or a quote even, portraying someone’s disinterest to what Mr Gradgrind is teaching in the class. Overall you’ve done a great job! 🙂


#4 Themes in Hard Times

Take a passage from Hard Times (a paragraph long) and explain why and how this paragraph is important to the key themes of the novel.

I’ve taken a passage from Book the First: Chapter two, which I was engaged with when it was read in the lecture. This passage is broken up through the stage of three pages. It is one of the initial places that the audience introduced to one of the key themes which is the conflict with being able to attain imaginative freedom versus fact, fact, fact.

Dickens’ emerges this concept of Imaginative freedom when introducing a circus girl names Sissy Jupe. Her importance to this theme is that she is the symbol of everything that is allowed to be out of line and free. By introducing her in this paragraph Dickens’ also shows how harsh people can be when they think they are of a higher standard, as shown by Mr Gradgrind when he complains about the way she says her name.

“Girl number twenty”, said Gradgrind, squarely pointing with his square forefinger, “I don’t know that girl who is that girl?” “Sissy Jupe, sir,” explained number twenty, blushing, standing up, and curtseying.
“Sissy is not a name,” said Mr Gradgrind. “Don’t call yourself Sissy. Call yourself Cecilia.” … Page 8

“Girl number twenty is unable to define a horse!” said Mr Gradgrind, for the behoof of all the little pitchers. “Girl number twenty possessed of no facts, in reference to one of the commonest of animals! Some boy’s definition of a horse. Bitzer, yours.” …. Page 9

Another notion, which I find really interesting, is the underlying argument between imaginative freedom and fact. It is almost as if Mr Gradgrind is tagging in someone who he believes holds sufficient about of detail to embarrass someone who lacks the basics, someone who breathes their sentence and goes with the flow. Bitzer’s role isn’t just to answer the question it is to foreshadow the desperate lengths the idea of ‘fact’ goes to the life of the citizens in Coketown.

“Quadruped. Graminivorous. Forty teeth, namely twenty-four grinders, four eye-teeth, and twelve incisive. Shed coats in the spring; in marshy countries, sheds hoofs, too. Hoofs hard, but requiring to be shod with iron. Age known by marks in the mouth.” … Pages 9-10

This scene in the novel, at the school, reveals the constant concept which runs throughout the story. That Coketown is not just a town who judges those who are poor, though live with happiness in their lives rather than to those who live in an upper class or higher status and are despaired by how unhappy facts make them. However, it introduces ‘Imaginative Freedom’ and by having it allows the character and the reader become more open to the benefits of being ‘free’ within your mind and in this society.

Image: CokeTown https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8vq8RsksyLo/VUMTidv6luI/AAAAAAAAzdE/F_AYvzfffo0/s640/blogger-image-1743185939.jpg

Quotes: Dickens, Charles, and Fred Kaplan. Hard Times. 1st ed. Print.

#3 What a suburb!

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 wanted to reflect on the suburb I live in. The area where for the past 10 years has made up the person I am today, the people, the houses, the community centres.

Horsley, oh Horsley once was a beautiful piece of green land which could be paced back all the way to the Father himself. You couldn’t see much just land upon the land upon the land. The formation of houses, the local pub, the nearby grocery store which was only 5 minutes away were all pivotal industrial movements to make my area boom and current. This form of a ‘boom’ turned into a destruction of landscapes. A quiet place emerged as a suburb known for its late night hooligan led drives. Although due to the many changes, in a sense the community has grown closer. The many of the locals know each other by name and greet them with a sense of family. This is my suburb, this is my home.