Category Archives: 20th Century Literature

Under this heading you will find all the posts relevant to my studies of 20th Century Literature, undertaken in Semester 2, 2015

Peer review Ben’s literary blog

Link to original piece here

https://benliteracyblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/12/describe-briefly-your-sense-of-how-racism-operates-in-our-own-culture-and-what-you-see-as-the-most-effective-way-forward-for-dealing-with-this-situation/comment-page-1/#comment-42

Well Written. I wish the discrimination were not a part of our make up. I was inspired by this post to write one of my own with regards to labeling. All labels placed on people are detrimental and lead to discrimination, whether subconsciously or consciously.

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20th Century Literature Week 10. Speaking Strine.

The poems we read in the lecture and tutes this week which incorporated words from dialects from immigrants home towns reminded me of a story I wrote a while ago. It used Strine, or Strayan, as a local dialect incorporated into the English language for use by Australians. I did some minor edits to include it here.

I have noticed that Strine, which has its origins in the cockney dialect of England has changed somewhat over the time to make it uniquely our own. No longer do we refer to kids as “the billy lids” of the wife as “The trouble and strife” or even a pie with  tomato sauce as a pie with “dead ‘orse (horse)”. We dont call our friends “china plates” or even “china” for short… we just all them our mates. Maybe thats a little P.C creeping in… OH NO!!

I also found this new national anthem contender a hoot.

I hope you enjoy both

Dave

G’day, when we got up this morning, it was a beaut day for a dip in the sea. So I woke the missus and kids and told em we would go. I chucked on me blue singlet and me boardies, with budgie smugglers underneath, told the kids to put their togs on and said “Get the lead out, lets go!”

We jumped in the ute, click clacked front and back, ( I got a dual cab), and off we trotted to the coast. Of course, in the back I always kept the spare bottle and the barbie. Before we left home, I filled the esky with some tinnies, snags, couple of rumps (for the missus and me), and my wife made some healthy green stuff (rabbit food).

When we got out of the car, the asphalt was so hot you could fry and egg on it, so i shouted to the kids to make sure they put their thongs on. We did the trek across the sand and set up at our spot. We slip, slop, slapped then the little tykes went for a dip. The missus set up a beach shelter and shut the peepers to have a kip. I looked around and saw me mate Trev. “Oi”, I said, “Trev, over ere!”

“Oh G’day” said Trev, “After seeing you pull an all-nighter at the pub last night, I didn’t expect you to see daylight today. How did you pull up?”

” Not too shabby,” I said ” I don’t think we will see Davo for a week though, he did the techno yawn into the porcelain after the 3am kebab. He was really under the weather. You here with Shaz?”

“Nah, she’s gone to see er mum, but I got the youngens ere somewhere, better go back to me spot in case they chuck a wobbly when they can’t find me. Come over later and I’ll shout you one.”

” Ok,” I replied ” Did ya bring a trannie? Forgot mine and its the second day of the test today.”

… and so it goes on.

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Adopted words in Language and cultural shifts

In tutorials for 20th Century Literature this morning, we looked at the life and poetry of Grace Nichols. She was born in British Guiana and later moved to London where she pursued a career in journalism and literature. The poems showed how hard it was for a person from another culture to adapt to a culture so different from her native one. This is a lesson we as Australians should remember when welcoming people into our own culture who have come from a war torn land as refugees.

https://students.acu.edu.au/student_life/competitions_and_events/acu4refugees

As students of ACU, we can do our bit to help.

i have also become aware of ‘The House of Welcome’, an organisation that assists refugees and persons seeking asylum on all levels. I am going to see if I can volunteer there as part of my community service for HUMA 247.

With regards to the poetry and language of Grace Nichols; it is great to see the way she can incorporate aspects of her language and culture into her writings in England.

Of course we, who speak English as a first language, have been borrowing from languages for centuries. Most of our words have roots in other European languages such as Latin, Greek French and German. I am reminded of the English tourist in Italy who when ordering a coffee from a cafe, received the following reply from the cafe owner…

“Cappuccino? OK”

“At last!” he exclaimed, “someone who speaks English!”

Medical terminology and Botany are two areas where the Latin is used world wide. When referring to a plant, numerous plants could be called a bottlebrush for instance, but only one can be called a Melaleuca viminalis. This is the weepeing bottle brush. It is part of the major group Callistemon which derives its name from the greek… Calli (Beautiful) and Stamen (the part of the flower with the pollen).

I have listened to conversations between people of various languages. It is common when they cant find a word in their native tongue for something, to revert to the English word as a default.

Anyway, these are my thoughts after today’s tutorials.

Dave

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Peer review: Linda; Interahamwe Part II

This is a good informative post regarding what is happening in the region today. For 20th century literature it would have been good to make a connection back to the book. Perhaps tell us to which tribe or section of people are mentioned in heart of darkness as followers of Kurtz. Perhaps link the genocide back to the indiscriminate killing of the natives by the French. .. recalling that section in the book that the French boat fired unto the bushes at unseen ghosts.
I look forward to reading further blogs as you move on to 1st world war poets and modernists. I know it’s your passion but maybe for blog posts you needn’t do so much research but rather comment on the text. Blessings Dave

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Peer review, johannapower. Week 7

The link to the original post is here

https://johannapower.wordpress.com/2015/09/13/20th-century-literature-week-7-blog-post/

This is so well written. I question whether you would ask your mum and dad to sit down first; thus preparing them for some bad news just by that request. I am wondering also if this is creative non-fiction; that is, did it really happen? The start of a long and painful journey. I myself recently had a scare but was just last week given the all clear. You might want to read Helen Garner’s novel “The Spare Room”. I have a copy if you would like to read.

Image result for young woman and mum  bad news
Dave

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Political correctness

http://newsweekly.com.au/article.php?id=3462

The link posted here is parts of a speech given by Senator Cory Bernardi in May 2008 at Adelaide University. He talks about the dangers of Political Correctness. Things have gotten out of hand, he says. We cant identify that there are 2 different genders because doing so would imply that we think one is inferior to the other. For example; all people in the acting profession are now actors. There are no actresses. Another would be the use of the word ‘chairperson’ instead of chairman, or chairwoman.

While there are many issues which Senator Bernardi and I disagree on, I do agree with his stance on political correctness speak.

In  the George Orwell novel, 1984, the size of the dictionary is reduced with each edition. Words become unwords, not to be spoken. A friend boasts to Winston that the size of the next edition of the dictionary would be even smaller. Later Ampleforth is found in the same prison cell as Winston. His crime? Refusing to obliterate the word God from one of his poems.

Winston’s job at the Ministry of Truth was to alter newspapers to include only acceptable words and phrases. Being negative is not accepted in Oceania, so a reduction of chocolate rations from 30g to 25g is changed in the papers to an increase from 20g to 25g.

In his speech, Senator Bernardi makes reference to a letter to the editor of The Australian newspaper.

“There are three kinds of people in our society: a small and driven group that seek to pull down and destroy, the complacent majority who are disengaged, and another small group who protect and build.” (Ken Blakers, The Australian, May 9, 2008).

It is the silent majority that we need to mobilise. They seem to be content to just “go with the flow” (Bernardi) and accept whatever is offered to them. We, as academics need to ensure that we continue to think critically and to speak out against any attempt to make us accept things that are just unacceptable.

I know I harp on about this issue, but it is dear to my heart. The treatment of asylum seekers is one issue which we need to speak out about. The political speak for people who are seeking asylum is illegal immigrants. The actual truth is that someone who is seeking asylum is not an illegal immigrant. There is nothing illegal about their attempt to become residents of our nation.

The Miriam Webster dictionary defines asylum as protection given by a government to someone who has left another country in order to escape being harmed. These people can not “go back to where they come from”, as the politicians would wish they did. The media is used by the politicians to create an ‘us and them’ mentality with regards to people seeking asylum in our country. As global citizens, it is our duty to defend and protect people under threat of hard or death.

The fact that Australia has agreed to accept 12,000 people from Syria is laughable. There are over 9 million refugees seeking asylum or protection and a new home. That equates to just over 63,000 for each signatory nation of the 1951 convention pertaining to refugees, Australia is in a better position than many other nations to accept refugees.

we, as the masses need to change our attitude with regard to those seeking asylum. We need to not just accept what the politicans tell us. The politicians imply “look how good we are to let 12,000 people in”; where in fact they are reducing the chocolate ration.

Does that make sense?

Dave

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Week 9 blog post. Politicspeak

Q.1 Find a short passage spoken by one of our politicians in the last week and subject it to a brief Orwellian deconstructive analysis. (Remember Orwell’s comments on the English professor’s defense of Russian totalitarianism: “A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outlines and covering up all the details).

“Mr Abbott hinted the apparent betrayal by Mr Morrison, who had served as his social services minister and friend, was still a sore point.

He confirmed Mr Morrison had spoken to his chief of staff Peta Credlin three days before he was ousted in a party room ballot.

“He’s obviously put one construction on the conversation, my office put a different construction on the conversation,” he said, referring to Mr Morrison’s claim he warned Mr Abbott’s office of a “febrile” atmosphere among Liberal MPs.

“It’s probably a bit counter-productive to revisit all of this now.”

The above is quoted from an interview that Ray Hadley from 2GB had with Mr Tony Abbott this morning, 29th September 2015.

It is clear that Mr Abbott and Mr Morrison had a difference of opinion and saw the conversation in 2 different ways. Short of calling Mr Morrison a liar, Mr Abbott uses the term “different construction” on the conversation. He goes on to state that it is counter-productive to revisit it. This actually means it does not good to cry over spilt milk, or to regret what has past.

“I always knew that politics was a brutal bruising business. It is a game of snakes and ladders and I’ve got a snake at the moment.” (bold italics mine). Does this mean that Mr Abbott has not rued out a leadership challenge in the future?

“57-years-old is still young,” he said of his age.

“I’m not ready to retire and I still have a lot to contribute to public life.”

“We’ve had five prime ministers in five years. We are worse than Italy and only just better than Greece”.

“But it would be even worse if we end up with the sixth prime minister in six years.”

Perhaps Mr Abbott will put the best interests of the country before his own political and financial advancement. we shall have to wait and see.

Dave

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Peer review : Do Not Go into that Good Night – Wk 7 Rachel Barrett

Rachel

I think also Dylan Thomas is saying do not give in. “Rage, rage against the dying light” encourages me as a survivor of a suicide attempt, to grasp hold of life and don’t let go. Sometimes life is difficult and we cant see it getting any better. Dylan Thomas is telling us not to give up, to not take death lying down. The end of life is not predictable. We could die tomorrow, we could go on for years to come. When we are faced with death or fear of damage, fight, fight with all your strength until your final breath. This is one fighter who will not tap out.

Dave

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Peer review, Ben Carroll Shooting an Elephant.

Ben, when a person is given power over people, he also inherits responsibility for their well being. He can choose to mistreat those under him, or to care for them. If the leader is like the tyrannical oppressors of India, as the English were, the institution of government as a whole did not really care for the individuals under their care. This particular policeman, however, had some concerns not only to save the face of the colonialists, but for the well being of the elephant owner. He then had a burden, or was “trapped” in his freedom; under moral obligation to care for those he was oppressing.
Ok, in the end I admit, he killed the elephant to save face and to keep the oppressors in their position of power, but I think it unwise to assume that just because a regime is oppressive, that those who work for the regime are also oppressive in nature.
Dave

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To thine own self be true.

In 20th Century Literature, we looked at the Orwell short story called “Shooting and Elephant”. The policeman in the story was under obligation to shoot the elephant to appease the masses even though he himself didn’t want to shoot it.

It was expected of him to kill the elephant that had rampaged the village. The villagers demanded it. The imperialist force which the policeman worked was to be respected by the people. To not shoot the elephant would bring disrespect to the ruling imperialists. “They might laugh”. Is this a reason to compromise your beliefs? To go against what you believe?

The policeman had a war raging within himself. Does he save the imperialist government face, does he enforce his power over the people by taking away the livelihood of one man for the sake of the masses. By giving in to the wishes of the people and doing what his employer demanded, he was going against what he truly believed. This is often the cause of mental anguish.

I want to explore the issue of Christians who are same sex attracted. They are conflicted because to be accepted within the society in which they wish to engage, whether that be by choice or family commitment, they need to deny themselves their feelings, suppressing the natural urge within themselves to be same sex attracted. Even now, after the closure of conversion camps, churches are still telling young men and women that the feelings they have for the same sex are wrong. They are confusing feelings with thinking here.

As Orwell expressed in 1984, They can change the way you think but not what you feel. Big Brother expected you to think the same as everyone else and in line with party thinking. To not do so was considered a deviation, even a crime. It was considered un-natural to want individuality.

“To thine own self be true”. Shakespeare says in Hamlet. Orwell is warning against becoming a puppet to the will of others, putting aside what you know is right.

Within the last government, it was decided by the Liberal party not to give the conscience vote to its MP’s on marriage equality. If a person wanted to keep his job, he had to toe the party line. So there is a cost of conviction.

With the change of leader of the Liberal Party, and thereby of our country what has changed? Nothing really. The policies of the party are still being followed. The conscience vote for same sex marriage is still not available. The only thing to change was the language being used. Mr Turnbull is more skilled in the use of his vocabulary and language, that he is able to fool us, the voters, into believing things will be different under his leadership. Will this be the truth? Or is it just double speak. Double plus good.

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