Tag Archives: 20th century literature

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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“Greed has poisoned mens souls”

Write a brief response to Charlie Chaplin’s plea for peace in world gone mad.

The speech written and made by Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator, is an incredibly insightful speech that was relevant then, and is relevant today.

“Greed has poisoned men’s souls…”. CC

Isn’t this so true. Those who have, want more, while those who have not only desire enough. It is because of this greed that men want to possess other lands. Wars are started because countries want the resources that another country possesses, and it doesn’t want to pay a fair price for it.

“In this world there is room for everyone, and this good earth can provide for everyone”. CC

in a similar train of thought; Mahatma Gandhi said “The world provides enough to satisfy every man’s need not every man’s greed”.

“…has barricaded the world with hate…” CC.  Is it greed that is now the catalyst for war, or is it hate? Hate that has been stirred in the hearts of religious people by fanatics and extremists.

It is greed that keeps up from accepting so many asylum seekers and allows them to be locked up in detention centres. We want to keep our way of life, with its abundance while we turn our backs on the persecuted, hungry and pleading people. We in Australia complain about our 2000 people arriving by boat every year, while Italy received over 2000 people by boat today! IN ONE DAY!

We do need to stop the bloodshed in Syria at the hands of the extremist group who is taking over land and driving peace loving people out. We need to be in alliance with countries who want to return the homeland to the people who have been exiled from it by these war loving, hate filled blood thirsty people.

There is talk now of Australia joining with USA and others in a legal airstrike against the forces of evil. As long as the motivations of the alliance are pure, I have to agree with such a move.

“Soldiers, don’t fight for slavery, fight for liberty… let us fight for a new world, a decent world… to do away with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason… where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness… in the name of democracy, let us all unite!” CC


What a powerful and motivating speech. It needs to be played in parliaments around the world every couple of years just to make sure we are on track, united for the common good of the whole world.

  • CC = direct quote from the speech in The great Dictator by Charlie Chaplin.


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