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Re: English Work Examples Directory
« Reply #75 on: November 15, 2013, 01:08:52 pm »
Hey everyone, since the exams are all over now, I guess this marks the period where I'll probably be giving back to the community more than I will be taking from it. I decided to throw out all my SACs for English, but I did keep my oral presentation, and since there's only one other example available, I thought it might be of use for those new Year 12s who will be preparing for this outcome shortly.

Background information

The topic that was assigned to our English cohort was "Should the advertising of gambling be banned in Australia?" and I agreed with the prompt. We were asked to implicitly take on the persona of a key stakeholder in the issue as well, and I chose to talk from the perspective of anti-gambling campaigner Tim Costello. No props, visuals or any other additions were allowed to be used during the presentation. It roughly goes for seven minutes, as required by the criteria that we were given.

This oral presentation received full marks. I hope that you find it helpful in structuring your own oral presentation.

Let's not punt on our future

Good morning/afternoon distinguished guests from Australia’s great sporting codes. The Federal Government estimates that 25% of Australians will be affected by problem gambling each year by 2020. That’s one quarter of our children, our future, knowing no better but to throw away their lives in hope of scoring a quick buck or two. In spite of this, both Australian sport and the High Court had the audacity in March 2008 to promote the rapid expansion of gambling advertisements in our society. As a keen campaigner against gambling promotion for over 30 years, it is outrageous to see our capable country move backwards such that problem gambling, economic difficulty and match fixing needlessly inflict irreparable damage upon us. Gambling advertisements have the potential to threaten our nation’s integrity and we must stop adding more fuel to the fire immediately.

Don’t you think it is just a tad ironic that a child cannot walk into a local TAB, but can be regularly exposed to gambling at sporting venues, on television or even on public display boards? We can all agree that gambling is a service that should only be available to the adult market, yet the youngest and most vulnerable members of our community already suffer a dangerous level of exposure through their involvement in our sports. It is unfair to suggest that it is the responsibility of parents to monitor their children’s exposure when betting agencies drown out their cries of concern using all facets of the media, constituting more than 130,000 persistent advertisements each year. It is disgusting that over half of these are strategically planted to exploit naïve and accepting youngsters. Whilst writing my book about the effects of gambling, I have collaborated closely with Dr Samantha Thomas of Monash University, who in December 2011 discovered the days of studying sports statistics are long gone as children increasingly turn to gambling odds in their quest to become ‘true’ sports fans. The University of Sydney has supported this evidence, finding that the number of young people just above the age of consent presenting to their Gambling Treatment Clinic has increased from below 5% to 20% in the past five years, as they begin to gamble without any critical understanding of the risks involved. We know that sporting companies can do the right thing, as they have regulated the promotion of alcohol in sport so well. Our increasing gambling epidemic is jeopardising the Australian spirit as families turn their backs on sport, protecting their young from misunderstanding the hypocritical ‘responsible gambling’ messages promoted by gambling advertisements.

Moreover, our welfare system will be placed under additional stress than ever as international organisations dominate Australia’s betting environment and ‘normalise’ betting amongst our youth. Before the High Court’s decision was made, it was a certainty the vast majority of revenue was generated by Australian businesses, which could be taxed by the State Governments and hence redirected back into the local community. However, this possibility is currently under extreme threat as international companies hijack our television screens and billboards, raid our marketing environment and divert our wagered money to fatten the hip pockets of global juggernauts. In its 2010 Productivity Report, the Federal Government found that Australians had lost over $800 million to international gambling syndicates, of which none could be reclaimed under our current Australian Taxation Legislation. How could we have gone so wrong? As a regular commuter on public transport, I could not have helped but notice the two major gateways to Melbourne’s largest sporting venues – Southern Cross and Richmond Railway Stations – have been inundated by advertisements supporting bet365, one of the UK’s largest betting agencies run by millionaire Peter Coates. Innocent spectators and children passively absorb their invasive messages while the gambling giant selfishly increases its likelihood of obtaining a larger market share and suffocates their local counterparts. As a result of these rapacious global advertising crusades, gambling culture is usurping Australian culture like an insidious cancer preying on the vulnerable. We must not threaten our pride for preserving our national sporting integrity by letting these international organisations rob our opportunity to actively take part in family-based sporting programs.

Despite the best of intentions of Australia’s major sporting codes, the wider expansion of gambling advertisements within the sporting scene is endangering the supposedly ‘indestructible’ integrity of the national sports we love. These misleading agreements between sporting companies and betting agencies increase access to vast amounts of funding and exotic betting information, encouraging the steady establishment of match fixing in our sports. Sporting companies say that holding their businesses liable to external gambling promotions protects the game’s honour, but how can such a claim be made when they make it more tempting than ever for those working in the sports industry to manipulate the result? Corruption inflicted its initial blow on Australian sport in 2010 when NRL Canterbury player Ryan Tandy deliberately attempted to force a penalty goal on the opposing North Queensland Cowboys, after 95% of bets for the first scoring play were placed on this occurrence. The AFL was its next victim, when it revealed in 2011 that Collingwood’s Heath Shaw had placed a bet on teammate Nick Maxwell to kick the opening goal in their match against Adelaide. Later in the year, Essendon assistant coach Dean Wallis was found to have wagered $400 on AFL matches – including one involving his own team. We know a serious problem is thriving when even commentators become nothing more than breathing gambling promoters during match coverage. Pathetic bans on sporting employees placing bets have demonstrated their inadequacy when the temptation provided by gambling advertisements still lingers. We must ensure the maintenance of Australia’s sporting candour and not advance corruption’s impending domination of our competitive landscape.

Gambling advertisements are a danger to our society and must be ceased at once. Four years have passed before we have finally comprehended the deceitful illusions and debilitating implications of these betting agencies, and we must not allow such companies to continue undermining the very heart of the Australian way. A petty television ploy is not enough. I urge you all to carefully reconsider your current support for gambling advertisements, for the sake of our sports and our families, before it is too late. Thank you.

If you want some help with your oral presentation or with English in general, I'm no English freak, and you might be able to get better input from some of the others here, but I'd be able to lend a hand if you specifically want me to. Good luck. :)
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2014-2016: Bachelor of Biomedicine - The University of Melbourne


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Re: English Work Examples Directory
« Reply #76 on: December 07, 2013, 02:25:07 pm »
The war is not the only concern in Owen’s poetry

In his anthology, The War Poems, Wilfred Owen uses war as a metaphor or medium to express the suffering of society in the World War One period. Specifically, he conveys his disgust for the state of the human condition at this time, where his reference to life in the trenches and “the pity war distils”, have double meanings. The sensory imagery and figurative language employed by Owen both engulf and captivate readers in the horrors of war, and enables various ‘enemies’ to be identified. At the broadest level, Owen identifies how a society bereft of greed and pride is indicative of progression, particularly in the poem “Strange Meeting”. However, he also urges readers against being whimsically swallowed by societal constructs, where the gender imbalance between women and men, denoted in “Insensibility”, apparently leads to the deconstruction of a community. “Futility”, then, serves to illustrate the extent of human corruption, such that the potency of what is real, natural and pure is undermined.

Whilst Owen uses his poetry to condemn previous poets, who falsely exacerbated romantic notions about war, with their “tearful fooling”, he also contends that violence is not the answer to earn mutual respect. In the poem, “Insensibility”, Owen praises “[what] lies calm, in braided hair”, which symbolises his adulation for the harmony, sweetness and calmness exuded by women. He suggests that countries and world leaders should interact peacefully with each other. When this reasoning is applied to our contemporary society, it holds a greater meaning – power should not be abused, and arrogance should be cautioned against. Owen leaves readers to derive the irony from this poem; that is, peace is being attained by the massacre involved in combat. According to Owen, men should then be more like women, as opposed to parading their masculinity “in kilts” to “please the giddy jilts”, as is observed in the poem “Disabled”. Similarly, the power that men desire though the expression of a macho attitude is alluded to in the poem “Strange Meeting”, where “none” wanted to “break ranks” and “vain citadels” were also referred to. Owen suggests that humans have also been corrupted to the extent where they are always “discontent” or greedy. Tying in with the desire for power, World Leaders are specifically characterised and deemed culpable for having these traits. The allegory, “The Parable of the Old Man and the Young” insinuated the perdition or damnation that is inevitable for society, if “Abraham” is not controlled.

Being characterized in a vulnerable and helpless manner, as is symbolised by “Isaac” in “The Parable of the Old Man and the Young”, Owen intends to arouse pity for soldiers. On a bigger scale, these soldiers are representatives of the sacrificial “lambs” in an indoctrinated society, whose roles are synonymous to pawns on a chessboard. Through employing emotive language and graphic imagery in “Dulce Et Decorum Est”, as is observed through the descriptions of soldiers as “guttering, choking and drowning”, readers are left to conceive the gruesome and horrific notion of humans gasping for air. This ‘under-the-sea’ imagery not only renders soldiers as being out of place in the endless expanse of the Ocean, but also suffocated readers and makes them feel uncomfortable. Owen represents the extent to which humans can be psychologically consumed in the poem, “The Dead-Beat”, where a hapless man is unaware of the clouds of dust and “Five-Nines” surrounding him. Instead, he is drowning in his own internal conflicts, thinking about his “wife getting her fun” back home. Owen, then, uses this poem to encourage readers to be compassionate towards the bitter state of the soldiers, as well as suggesting that our minds might be our own enemies. Para-rhyme or half-rhyme is used in “Strange Meeting” to a similar effect, where readers are left feeling disconcerted or dissatisfied on reading ‘Hall” and “hell”, or “moan” and “mourn”, paired consecutively. Full rhyme gives a poem a sense of wholesomeness and completeness, of which Owen’s poetry is deliberately devoid. He wants the readers to feel as the soldiers felt, and tap into the elegiac tone or despondent mood of reality in this time, where the truth was subverted, as is symbolised by the use of half-rhyme.

Even though readers are embroiled within the horrors of war through the extensive imagery in his poetry, Owen uses war as a context to protest or remonstrate against the tendency of humans to uncritically accept misconceptions in society. For instance, the poem “Strange Meeting” suggested that war is “the wildest beauty” that is worth “hunting” for. Through the distaste Owen asserts for war, particularly through the regret expressed by the alter-ego in this poem, it can be inferred that one should not simply follow or conform to society. According to Owen, war is not something that should be glorified – a notion that is propagated by myth. Humans are “blind” to the fact that war is a means of a perilous and bloody death, as is observed by the sanguine mood of the civilians who throw “white” flowers on the conscripted soldiers in “The Send-Off”. As a result, Owen suggests that it is our parochially-minded and ignorant personality that should be castigated, for we, as a society, are not vigilant or circumspect enough the question the morality and righteousness of the maxim. Holistically, this could also mean that the “toil”, pain, self-deprivation and harm endured by people in society, as alluded to in “Futility”, for magnanimous concepts, such as loyalty and patriotism, is unwarranted.

Wilfred Owen uses war as a means to elaborate on the dehumanising nature of reality, where power may be abused to the extent where nought is gained. Suffering then becomes an excuse to parade ownership of a community; the desire for power being a superficial and butter truth of human existence.

« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 02:45:39 pm by SugarMinted »
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Re: English Work Examples Directory
« Reply #77 on: December 07, 2013, 02:33:48 pm »
Reality is beyond the understanding of mere humans
I remember growing up as a child, struggling to understand why the world circulated as it did. Questioning those simple things, which I take for granted today, was a daily ritual that was zealously carried out. “Is it true that Hercules spins the Earth on his finger?” or, “Why does my shadow never leave me alone?” were some of the things I had asked my mother in the pursuit of truth and the satisfaction that comes from knowing these simple things. Society operates in a similar manner, albeit at a more complex level. As we age and mature, we seek to scientifically, or philosophically, further our understanding of certain phenomena in order to aid the progression of modernity. In the exciting chase for reality, however, we realise that “we don’t know what matter is any more than we know what mind is” according to The Paradox of Consciousness, which essentially means that our perspectives on reality are falsities as of now. As humans, we are therefore victimised by our own naivety and reality remains forever beyond the scope of our comprehension.

The complexity of reality stems from our inherent tendency as humans to use the past as a means of making sense of the present, where we ultimately discover that this is impossible, since the past can never be repeated, as alluded to in The Great Gatsby. This is observed in Michael Frayn’s Spies, where memory may be revived by the stimulation of our senses, but this does not mean that the past can be relived. As humans, we feel we can make sense of our own history through memory and we believe that our perceptions of the world and who we are, our reality, are shaped accordingly. We are, for these reasons, falsely lead to assume that the past is tangible, and thus, can be experienced identically once again. In the text, Stephen’s memory is triggered by the “harsh and course” scent of privet and is later activated by the “sounds of the passing train”. In spite of this, Stephen realises that his reminiscence does not trigger the same feelings for him now compared to when he was a child. Stephen’s ruminations are similar to that of other migrants. Those who grew up in during the war-time period and decided to visit their homeland after the war-time period to relive their past may find that their birthplace is very different to what it originally was. Apart from the physically changed features that the person may encounter, such as increasing architecture or stronger economy, it should be acknowledged that the person himself would have aged and matured and so reinterpretation of the past is greatly influenced by these intervening factors. Hence, one’s desire to repeat the past for what it was becomes a virtual reality. On returning to Privet Drive in London 50 years after leaving it, Stephen does not try to relive his past, but he tries to understand it and come to terms with the traumatic experience of Uncle Peter’s death. The fact that Stephen only tries to understand his past, as opposed to reliving it, shows that the past cannot be relived. Some may argue that our understanding of reality may thus be inhibited, because we cannot view things from the perspective we viewed them from when we were younger; we are not able to empathise with the same degree of emotions. Others may argue that this omniscient perspective works to our favour, because we can observe reality in an unbiased and mature way.

On the other hand, humans may have a very sophisticated understanding of reality due to the sanity of the majority of people in society today. The fact that we are able to remain lucid underscores the notion of doublethink appealed to in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, where it is referred to as the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. The Party intellectual, for instance, knows in which direction his memories must be altered; he therefore knows that he is playing tricks with reality; but by the exercise of doublethink, he also satisfies himself that reality is not violated. The process has to be conscious, or it would not be carried out with sufficient precision, but it also has to be unconscious, or it would bring with it a feeling of falsity and hence of guilt. As humans, we know that doublethink is indispensably necessary, as we recognize that we are telling deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them and we are forgetting facts that have become inconvenient, purposely detracting from the objectiveness of reality. Furthermore, once we recognise that we are tampering with reality in this manner, we use a fresh act of doublethink to erase this knowledge, keeping the lie one leap ahead of the truth for “the greater good” according to John Green. The thought of us exercising doublethink in this manner shows the extent to which society has evolved; we prefer to conform instead of speak out. Similarly, Michael Frayn’s Spies acknowledges that an alternative aspect of reality cannot always be acknowledged, as it brings one back to a complex veracity in which discomfort is experienced, observed through Stephen Wheatley’s conscious denial of the man in the Barns who was “entirely English”. Stephen preferred to stay in his fictitious world and believe that the man was German. In this case, Stephen is the intellectual who knows in which direction his memories must be altered, he therefore knows that he is playing tricks with reality, but by the exercise of doublethink he also satisfies himself that reality is not violated.

It is the very depth or intricacy of the supposedly unattainable ‘reality’ that makes the chase all the more enjoyable. Philosophers such as Sigmund Freud attempt to psychologically and metaphysically define reality in terms of the id, ego and superego, suggesting that the mind plays a potent and prominent role in understanding human behaviour, which in turn is a determinant of reality. This suggests that as humans, we create our own individual realities, since every mind functions in a different way. On the contrary, scientists such as Marie Curie and Albert Einstein have attempted to logically define why things in society work in a specific manner, by establishing and reaffirming hypotheses, and making new inferences. It is in this way that attitudes are shaped and formed, according to the Tri-component Model. Whether the attitude is implicit or explicit determines behaviour, which then determines reality. In our attempt to philosophically and logically fill in the blanks of reality, we may realise that there is too much we are uncertain about, such as who was actually responsible for a crime or what was actually happening in an adrenaline-triggered event – something which is alluded to in Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. Therefore, we must come to terms with the fact that reality is inevitably out of our grasp. The younger Stephen Wheatley, in Frayn’s Spies, was not altogether aware of Mrs Hayward’s affair with her sister’s husband. Whilst part of him suspected mischievous activity, he did not openly bring it into the light and question it. Nevertheless, the younger Stephen does arguably have some handle over reality. As the consequences of his and Keith’s espionage become more and more real, he comes to dimly understand that things are not as they seem and “the very things that seemed so simple and straightforward then are not simple and straightforward at all, but infinitely more complex and painful”.

While our understandings of reality may be misconceptions or distorted in some way, it can be confidently asserted that our grappling with reality as a society can push us forward. In hindsight, I had initially wrongly understood my mother’s answer to the reason for my persevering shadow: I thought my shadow would not stop following me as I was cursed by Cinderella’s Stepmother. Similarly, I stubbornly refused to believe that Santa Clause did not exist, and to this very day, I harbour suspicions about him hiding in an Igloo in the North Pole. Who knows? Perhaps he does.

« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 10:17:14 am by SugarMinted »
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Re: English Work Examples Directory
« Reply #78 on: December 07, 2013, 02:39:21 pm »
Please Note: This speech had a time limit of 4 minutes. Our English cohort was not allowed to exceed this time limit.

That euthanasia should be legalised in Australia
 We are all going to die. When, how and whether or not we will ask to have our life cut short by euthanasia is uncertain. Naturally, we would like to pass away peacefully, whilst asleep. However, if one faces reality then one will realize that not everyone will be lucky enough to have this fate.  Hence, euthanasia should be legalised in Australia.

Good morning Mr -, Mr - and class.
Today I will persuade you that it is human right to legalize euthanasia – particularly in a democratic country, where the majority of Australians vouch for euthanasia in 2013.

Despite this, I would like to reaffirm that the complexity of this issue enables opposing arguments to arise, from the standpoint that euthanasia should not be legalised.

A prominent one is that God determines when an individual should die, which can be extended to suggest that by committing euthanasia, people are essentially playing God. However, these religious values that bring a source of comfort to several church-goers and priests should not be an imposition or infiltration on the mentality of other people.

It can also be argued that euthanasia victims do not know where to draw the line, when it comes to determining how sick they are; when it comes to making the life-ending decision. For example, a paraplegic may have to deal with a change in lifestyle, but because of this undesirable change, should they choose to end their life?

This grey area leads me into my first argument – that choosing the time of death is a human right, as suggested likewise by The Independent newspaper in March 2002. Specifically, doing so depends on following a set of official criteria. These criteria should be in line with strict Australian laws and mean that the person is less reliant on their mental faculties. Such criteria is absent, as of now, in Australian society. If a checklist consisting of requirements, such as being mentally stable and that the condition must be life-threatening, was to be established before going through with euthanasia, the insecurity associated with committing this taboo act would be eased somewhat. Being a democratic society, furthermore, we’ve never told people not to smoke, even though we’ve banned smoking in certain buildings and restaurants – so why do we ban people from taking their own lives? Simply because euthanasia is an ethically complex issue, many of its concerns would be null after establishing a solid set of criteria as powerful as the Hippocratic Oath.

Secondly, voluntary euthanasia is supported by over 70% of Australians, according to campaigner Cath Morrison. Just because the majority of people, as advertised through Fairfax media, think something, it does not mean that it is right. In the middle ages, people believed it to be fact that the Earth was flat. Our understanding of euthanasia, on the other hand, is a product of subjective consideration. Deep thought has been associated with this topic in the 21st century, from the input of World famous philosopher Peter Singer to the input of the Australian Medical Student Journal. Because I have full trust in the public intellectuals of today, I can confidently say that I side with this majority, as they clearly have reasons for advocating euthanasia.

In summary, we should move with the waves of our secular society and look at euthanasia from a practical viewpoint. We have the right to determine how we would like to end our lives.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 02:44:53 pm by SugarMinted »
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Re: English Work Examples Directory
« Reply #79 on: March 07, 2014, 01:27:50 pm »
Topic “We can enjoy Falstaff, but we can’t admire him” 

    In response to Falstaff’s inquiry regarding the time of day, in Shakespeare’s 1 Henry IV, Prince Halresponds, “I see no reason why thou should be as superfluous to demand the time of day.” Prince Hal’s description of Falstaff as “so fat-witted with drinking of old sack and unbuttoning thee after supper, and sleeping upon benches afternoon.”, is a wholly accurate description of his tavern companion. Yet Falstaff is so much more than the words contained in Hal’s description of him. Falstaff’s nature is unified of paradoxical opposites which is the primary source of his amusing nature in the play. At times it is difficult to admire Falstaff when he assumes the role of a parasite, yet we cannot resist the enjoyment provided by Falstaff’s vast salutary criticisms of the world of war and policy. We can enjoy Falstaff’s self depreciating remarks, and may indeed despise his hedonistic nature, yet at the same time how can we not admire Falstaff’s ability to behave with the gaiety of youth, intellectual legerity, and latent agility in the play. Whether or not we admire o rcondemn, enjoy or dislike Falstaff depends upon the time at which we make an assessment on his character, as in every scene the audience is treated with a glimpse of Shakespeare’s greatest creation in 1Henry IV, who at times threatens to almost run away with the play.  
   Shakespeare’s use of doubling primes the audience to contrast Falstaff with King Henry IV , who areboth the main paternal role models for the young Prince Hal. In this sense Falstaff plays a much greater role than just being a tavern jester, as he is instrumental in the construction of a complex web of political views expressed by the playwright in his play. Shakespeare utilises both King Henry IV and Falstaff as instruments to criticise various political approaches, beliefs ideals and values. Both King Henry and Falstaff, struggle throughout the play. King Henry struggles to silence civil disobedience, whilst Falstaff struggles to maintain the corporation of Sir John. Further parallels can be seen between King Henry IV and Falstaff in the sense that, both fight no longer than they see reason. Falstaff just like King Henry is neither brave nor cowardly, neither truthful nor a liars such moral distinctions are not pertinent to these characters. Wit is Falstaff’s primary instruments a closely allied form of intellectual ingenuity, craft is Henry’s. Furthermore Falstaff’s banishment ofhonour from his scale of values is no less than Henry’s oblivion of it to his. When we admire or enjoy Falstaff, we must be aware of the various roles he serves in the play because due to theconglomerate composition of his character, an assessment of his character can only easily be based on a particular event or scene in the play.  
    There are many reasons and numerous attributes that lead the audience to scorn the character of Falstaff, and to even despise him at times. Falstaff can be viewed as a “Vice figure”, an Elizabethan audience would recognise in Falstaff the familiar vice qualities of gluttony, idleness and lechery. Throughout Shakespeare’s history Falstaff is referred to in morality-idioms as a “great iniquity”, “father ruffian”, “vanity in years”, the “abominable villainous misleaoder of youth” , and the “old white bearded satan.” Additionally Falstaff is a thief, coward, boaster, he is always ready to cheat the weak, to prey upon the poor, to terrify the timorous and insult the defenceless. Falstaff’sparticipation in the Gads Hill robbery, leaves no doubt for the audience concerning his status as thief, furthermore Falstaff claims to have lost a “seal ring of my grandfathers worth forty marks”, in an attempt to receive payment from the hostess of the tavern, Mistress Quickly. Falstaff views robbery as his “vocation”, and attempts to justify his criminal activity describing himself as a “gentleman of the shade”, “minion of the moon” and one of “Diana’s foresters.” Falstaff’s thieving isalmost as prevalent as his corpulence which the audience is constantly reminded of. Poins one of the tavern cohort members refers to Falstaff as “Sir John Sack and Sugar”, Prince Hal also refers to Falstaff as “that cloaked bag of guts.” Although spoken during the play extempore Hal’s evaluation of Falstaff, “Wherein crafty, but in villainy? Wherein villainous but in all things, wherein worthy but in nothing”, describes a character who it would be impossible to admire. Hal’s remark shortly after in the play extempore, “Banish plump Jack and banish all the world”, is consequently foreshadowing Hal’s ultimate rejection of Falstaff. Despite the fact that there are many events that cause the audience to dislike Falstaff, there are just as many instances in the play where Falstaff provides comic relief from the often serious nature of the main plot.  
   The main reason that we enjoy Falstaff, can be attributed to the paradoxical nature of the components of his character. Falstaff not only fascinated audiences, but also entertained them, as a result of his possession of wit, a much prized quality during the Elizabethan era. As a consequence of Falstaff’s wit the audience in the play will often overlook his unfavourable characteristics and at times tolerate them. In the midst of the Gads Hill robbery, Prince Hal and Poins rob Falstaff and the other thieves. Falstaff remarks, “Ah whoreson caterpillars! Bacon fed knaves! They hate us youth! Down with them fleece them! Despite the fact that Falstaff’s hypocritical and humorous remarks don’t alter his status as a thief, it prevents the audience from ever viewing him as a formidable villain , contrary to what Falstaff suggests on numerous occasions. It is apparent that some of the characters were aware of the incongruence between Falstaff’s distorted self-perception and the reality of Falstaff being a “coward on principle.” Poins one of the tavern cohort, is aware of thehumorous nature of Falstaff’s conduct when he remarks, “The virtue of this jest will be”, in relation to the “incomprehensible lies.” Falstaff will tell which include the fact that “at least thirty he fought with” and the “wards, blows and extremities that he endured.” It is apparent to Prince Hal that Falstaff is lying when he suggests “Eleven buckram men grown out of two”, from his remark “these lies are like their father that begets them gross as a mountain open, palpable” Another source ofhumour in relation to Falstaff is that he is supposedly a knight as implied by the addition of  “Sir” to his name. Falstaff’s incompatibility with horses is suggested by Prince Hal’s insulting description of Falstaff as “horse-back breaker” Horsemanship is a symbol of chivalric prowess, a key theme in the play. During the Gad’s Hill robbery Falstaff robs without a horse as a rascal hath removed my horseand tied him I not know where." Falstaff's consequent "charge of foot" during the robbery marks hissignificantly unchivalric status, as well as being Hal and the audiences joke at expense. We can sometimes neither admire, scorn, enjoy or dislike Falstaff, as he is symbolic of freedom within the play, which cannot simply be admired or enjoyed.  Falstaff embodies freedom in the play which provides comic relief from the various manifestations of rebellion associated with King Henry IV. King Henry IV's situation of civil disobedience is described by him as a result of "some displeasing service I have done", namely his usurpation of the throne. King Henry IV also attributes Hal's dissolunce to his usurpation of the throne," the hot vengeance and rod of heaven to punish my mistreadings." Falstaff is oblivious to time, and his timing is often inappropriate, he is active by night, "gentlemen of the shade" and dormant by day, "sleeping uponbenches afternoon." In the midst of the Battle of Shrewsbury Falstaff is criticised for his inappropriate behaviour, the Prince remarks, "Is now a time to jest and dally" Although Falstaff embodies freedom, a stark contrast to the rebellion associations with King Henry IV, it isunsustainable freedom characterised by the "drinking of sack" and preoccupation with "bawdy houses" Falstaff's advanced age, "withered like an old apple john," and "vanity in years", just like Falstaff and his years are limited so too is the nature of freedom which is ephemeral. Prince Hal may appear to strike an appropriate balance between freedom and responsibility, in between Falstaff and King Henry IV. Although we enjoy freedom, and admire statesmanship, Shakespeare suggests it is essential that the right balance is achieved between the two concepts, which can both be enjoyedand admired as the audience experiences with Prince Hal.  
   In Shakespeare's history 1Henry IV,  the audience enjoys dislikes and admires or scorns Falstaff at different times during the play. At times Falstaff assumes the role of the Vice figure, whilst at other times he is entertainingly harmless. Falstaff's witty remarks are irresistibly entertaining, yet at the same time his thieving is ugly and his lying and preying upon others nothing but despicable. Falstaff is much more than a character who is simply admired or scorned, adored or disliked, as he is an essential component in Shakespeare's intricate web of parallels, contrasts and comparisons facilitated by the creation of numerous multifaceted, overwhelmingly captivating yet periodically entertaining characters. Falstaff arguably Shakespeare's greatest dramatic creation, who is symbolic of life itself, the great comedy of life is embodied in him, through his indispensable spirit of fun, the consistency of his character lies not in the congruence of one action with another, but in the wholefunction of providing mirth and merriment and a liberating irreverence. The success ofShakespeare's history can be attributed to the presence of Falstaff , the "white bearded satan," and"cloaked bag of guts" who is so much more than a comic jester permitted entrance into Shakespeare's history tetraology. 
2012 Psychology [44]
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literally lauren

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~*Context External Examples Guide*~
« Reply #80 on: June 11, 2014, 10:49:33 am »

In a context piece, the sky's the limit. Seriously I wrote essays on everything from Masterchef to subterranean tectonic shifts. Nothing's off limits. Except Hitler. Refer to this for reasons.

This list will apply primarily to those writing in an expository format, but hopefully these ideas can help form the basis of a creative piece too. Certain examples will have more relevance for certain contexts as well so...
              C= Conflict
              Id&b= Identity and Belonging
              WR= Whose Reality
              IL= Imaginative Landscape

That said, most of these are general enough to be applicable to all contexts (and most prompts, for that matter) with some clever twisting and turning.

For anyone who is totally stuck with what to write about, if these ideas don't spark anything for you, try this search engine: Stumbleupon
Basically you can select any number of subjects and interests, and it will collect an assortment of websites pertaining to your chosen field. This can be bad for procrastination though, so try to keep 'interests' limited to things you could potentially write about in an exam, not cat videos etc :)

The secret strength of most context essays is in linking, if you're making sophisticated connections between solid examples and well thought out ideas, then there's little to stop you from getting full marks. So this is a repository of random things that I've used myself, ideas that have come to me since, and hopefully some of your suggestions as well.

OBVIOUS DISCLAIMER: This is by no means conclusive, and these concepts alone won't guarantee you good marks. Also, the fact that I'm posting these publicly means these ideas are available to anyone who looks, and you too will have to go beyond these if you're aiming for high marks.

Feel free to add, this is a work in progress, comment below and I'll turn this into a mega-post as the year goes by. Some of these will be more 'fleshed out' that others, but feel free to unpack them either here or on your own.

And please don't refrain from posting out of fear someone might steal your ideas. We had a lot of this stupid competitive nature at my school; yes of course you're ultimately competing against your peers, but the likelihood of you getting the same examiner is incredibly low, and you'll gain more from mutually beneficial discussion than you will hoarding away your thoughts and never sharing, articulating, or developing them. And obviously two people can go in a totally different direction with the same example. AND how you write is equally as important as what you're writing. There's no pressure to post, but please view this as a communal effort and not a list of other people's examples to 'steal'.

I've grouped these under a few general categories, but if you have something that doesn't fit under any of these umbrellas, let me know and we can expand the list.


C,Id&b,WR,IL: Dystopian Fiction
I absolutely love this stuff, it's one of my favourite genres. I'll just make a list here with a brief summary, check them out if any pique your interest:
  • Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut: set in the year 2081, everyone is finally equal. No one is smarter, stronger, or more attractive than anyone else; the world is controlled by 'handicaps' eg. weights for the strong, masks for the beautiful. Harrison revolts against this society as the exception to the accepted. Great short story, and if you like it, Vonnegut's other works are equally fantastic.
    See also a film adaptation, only half an hour for those who don't have time to read the book.
  • 1984 by George Orwell: for those of us who haven't studied it, this is a great read. There's heaps of stuff online too so check it out if you haven't already.
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley: often touted as the alternate future dystopia to 1984, Brave New World focuses more on 'infinite distraction rather than government oppression.' There's some neat little infographics here and here that contrast them both, but it's an excellent standalone story in its own right, and probably my favourite of the two.
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury: a brilliant story about a fireman who lights fires and the power of books. Debatably much darker than the others, Bradbury liked to make his characters suffer. While this novel is often mentioned in terms of the dangers of censorship, it was originally written as a critique on a culture that thrives on quick access to partial knowledge as opposed to one that rewards those who dig for deeper meanings. There's also a rather amusing movie from the 60s, trailer found here.
  • We by Yevgeny Zamyatin: this one's originally written in Russian, but English translations are available. Slightly more sci-fi, but it looks at the socialist 'One State' who control a scary new reality, dealing with a lot of issues in post-revolution Russia, so this text would work well with some historical background.
  • There are some others like Uglies by Scott Westerfeld and Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow that are more stereotypically Young Adult, but still bring up some interesting ideas about body image and digital piracy/media dominance respectively.

C,Id&b,WR,IL: Game of Thrones
Just watch this, it explains it all (spoilers up to and including season 3, I believe)
There's also some quotes below the video that might make for interesting discussion.

C,Id&b,WR,IL: The Regeneration Trilogy by Pat Barker.
This text would really compliment a discussion of war and its victims; it centres on the WWI poets both during and after the war as they come to terms with the toll the carnage has taken on their psyche. For anyone studying War Poems for Section A, this would also make for some good contextualisation, even if it is a fictional representation.

C,WR: Pat Barker also wrote a novel called Border Crossing about child's psychology and the grey areas between guilt and innocence. I haven't read this one myself, but the wikipedia page has a good synopsis and some quotes that have palpable ties to Whose Reality.

C,WR,IL: Utopia (tv series) You all should watch this. I won't lie, it's graphic. Even if you get through the first episode, it gets darker, and yet retains this vivid lighting throughout, which somehow makes it all the more harrowing. I can't do this series justice, nor can I adequately convey just how good the season 1 twist is. I'm eagerly awaiting series 2 at the moment, but this is still one of the best adaptations I've seen. You could read the comic book versions if you're into that, but I haven't found them anywhere. It's a British series, and definitely a hard R by our standards. It's a masterpiece in storytelling, provided you don't mind a bit of gore.

C,Id&b,WR,IL: Black Mirror (tv series) Series 2 Episode 2: White Bear is probably the best starting point. Each episode is a self-contained story about the dangers of technology. Even the title is an interesting motif; the idea of powered off tv/computer/phone screens being literal 'black mirrors' for humanity to see ourselves in. White Bear has a great twist; this one's dark in a very morally twisted way. Fifteen Million Merits (s1e2) is another good episode but the rest are pretty average.

C,Id&b,WR,IL: The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. And yes, the film is a fairly faithful adaptation so you can just watch that and then double check some quotes.
I'd recommend referring to the book rather than the film though, since English teachers are kinda partial towards "real" literature. This is quite a popular one though, so be careful not to just retell the plot in the hopes of letting the example speak for itself. Some insight into the characters' motivations and inner workings might compliment discussion.

C,Id&b,WR,IL: Superheroes.
Quite a well-tred area for context pieces, but you could do interesting things with some lesser-known figures, or at least a slightly more in depth look at the famous ones. I won't embarrass myself by listing any since this isn't my are of expertise. Suffice it to say anyone who uses the "With great power comes great responsibility" quote: I will hunt you down. As will your assessors. Pls don't.

C,Id&b,WR: The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong-Kingston - the most widely taught text in the United States, is basically all about migrant identity, but also the identity of a girl whose ancestors' come to define her notion of self in the present.  Definitely look into it if you want an alternate text (and there are a gazillion resources out there on this).

C,Id&b,WR: The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas is a brilliant Australian novel about identity being formed in Melbourne suburbs.  Explores notions of migrant identity, identity for white Australians in an age of "multiculturalism", and also gendered and queer identities, particularly for youths.  All sorts of stuff on the reality and absence of belonging here.

Id&b,IL: Carpentaria by Alexis Wright explores the relationship between the self and one's environment through the perspective of an Indigenous Australian.

Historical Events

C,Id&b,WR,IL: I'll get the obvious ones out of the way: WWI, WWII, Vietnam War, Cold War, Revolutions (any and all, but be aware that America, France, Russia and China are currently on the VCE History: Revolutions curriculum, so there'll be many students familiar with these) Within each example there will be individuals worth exploring, from world leaders to innocent people caught in the crossfire, and everyone in between. All of the conflict texts have clear links with certain wars, but this is still relevant to the other contexts too. Don't be afraid to look at this through different lenses too, ie. causes, responses, consequences, resolutions.

C,Id&b: The Ancient World.
Again, this will be a strength for History students, but this can work well alongside a discussion of contemporary society (eg. I once wrote a paragraph comparing the 'backstabbing' of Rudd by Gillard with the literal stabbing of Caesar by Brutus, linking that to the idea of conflicts born out of power struggles.) From Ancient Egypt to Mesopotamia, if this is something that interests you I guarantee there will be stories to tell here.

C,Id&b: The Arab Spring.
A timeline will probably be of the most help to you, even if you're writing a POV or detailed account of one person's struggle, knowing when and where things happened is always good. You could incorperate the role of the media and social media here too.

C,Id&b,IL: Mythology
Greek and Roman are good starting points for the classics. If you're luck you might even get a text that brings up certain legends or cultures, so you could investigate African, Nordic, Indian, Aztec, or even Indigenous Australian mythos. In fact there's a cute little picture story book called 'How the birds got their colours' by Pamela Lofts that has some good metaphor potential.
Here's a list of possibilities. Pick a culture or time period and go for it.

C,Id&b,IL: The Israel/Palestine Conflict 
Great example of a conflict that simply refuses to resolve itself.  A couple of factors play into this, including a tendency on both sides to use immoral/terrorist tactics, religious/ethnic/historical factors, the fact that both sides are internally divided (Israel uses a proportional voting system, which basically means that there are four different parties sharing parliament who disagree on everything - Palestine is governed by Hamas and Fatah, the former which is a terrorist organisation and the latter which is corrupt as hell, and both disagree with each other quite often too), etc.

C,IL: The Senkaku/Diaoyu Island Conflict
An example of conflict spurring out of seemingly nothing; basically, both China and Japan want these uninhabited islands (which are basically worthless), and most of the reason why there is a massive conflict about it is because both countries are nationalistic and want to exercise their "pride" (this is again a simplistic overview - read up more on it if you want).  A few years ago the Economist was talking about how this could potentially trigger World War III - nowadays that seems unlikely, but it's still ongoing and any misstep by either side would bring China and the US (who is obliged to defend Japan) into direct conflict.

Media Stories (relevant for '14, will update throughout the year)

C,Id&b,WR,IL: The issue of Asylum Seekers and Gay Marriage are extremely popular, so while they may have a lot of good essay fodder, unless you've got something new and interesting to say, best not to say anything at all; English teachers have heard both these topics done to death.

C,Id&b,IL: Gender in the Media and The Gun Debate (US)
Though at first these seem to have nothing to do with one another, they've actually been quite closely linked this year in the media.
The USCB shootings, if you can stomach it, is one in a line of many MANY massacres in the US that saw a sickening amount of attention on the shooter. The gun debate is a story in and of itself, but here we also saw the revival of a debate over whether women saying no makes them responsible for... well, whatever follows. The twitter hastags #YesAllWomen and #NotAllMen were the respective counter-movements and counter-counter movements following the debate. I suppose this is ideal for persuasive pieces since it's a pretty divisive issue.
See also: John Oliver's superb mini-docu-segment-thing. Granted it's a comedy show, but there are some very well-made points nonetheless. It's a three-part series, ~15 minutes in total, and given the Australian gun laws were introduced in 1996, it gives us young'uns some info on a story as old as we are :)

C,Id&b,IL: Ukraine/Crimea & Russia. This could technically be counted under the Historical Events section depending on when you're writing, but you could also look at the media's coverage of this conflict.

C,Id&b,WR,IL: The Media Overseas, or How The Media Covers Itself... Media-ception 8)
There are notable differences between Australian media and that of other countries. News corps would be ideal for comparison here, but you could also look at how culture informs what we see and interpret. Our media also go to great lengths to keep to certain narratives, and even use phrases like "tension is mounting" or "speculation is growing" in order to keep reporting on a story when it fact, they're the ones mounting tension and feeding speculation.
If you're interested in journalism there are a couple of good movies exploring the behind-the-scenes vs. in front of the camera elements. Network and Good Night and Good Luck spring to mind as some well-told stories.

C,Id&b: Edward Snowden, Julian Assange/wikileaks, and the NSA
Lots to talk about here in relation to privacy and the right to free speech. These might have been bigger stories last year, but they're still relevant. Plenty of information out there if you're unfamiliar with this.

C,Id&b,WR,IL: Advertising.
Just watch The Gruen Transfer, that should cover all bases :)

C,Id&b,WR:  Jade Goody may not be a well-known name in Australia, but I guess our equivalent would be any one of those standard reality tv celebrity types that everyone knows but no one really likes. As was the case for Jade until in 2009 she was diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer, and suddenly the media felt obliged to stop treating her like a stupid/bigotted/'hot mess' and re-humanise her as a 'beloved national treasure.'
This video does an excellent job of summing up the whole sorry saga, with some added commentary towards the end about the public's reaction and trolling commenters. Speaking of:

C,Id&b: Trolls.
A BBC Radio presenter put together a documentary called The Anti-Social Network in which he explores the mind of an internet troll following a particularly nasty slight against him and his family. There are quite a few interesting anecdotes throughout, both from perpetrators and victims, and actually succeeded in finding some rationale behind this mentality. Plenty of stories to link this to, not least of which: Charlotte Dawson's suicide earlier this year. Plenty of examples online, depressingly.

Cultural Commentary

Id&b,WR,IL: The teenager/adult dichotomy.
Is an eighteen year old really more mature and qualified to drive a car, consume alcohol, or watch an R rated film than someone who is 17 and 11 months. Aren't there some 15 year olds who are more mature and level-headed than 25 year olds? Of course our society has to draw the line somewhere, but perhaps this arbitrary divide can have an effect on youth culture. Out 18th is supposedly our 'coming of age,' but a lot of us will still be going to school, living at home and continuing with our lives as normal. Compare this to ye olde days when us girls were wed by the age of 14 and probably would have had 3 kids by now, while the guys were out hunting and fighting and... doing manly things.
You could also look at the process of growing up in the modern age, and how such rapid changes in pretty much everything over the past decade has radically redefined education and parenting. Kids have ipads in primary school, and cybersafety is now taught to grade 1s. Meanwhile a generation of parents have to try to monitor the use of technology many of them can't keep up with and don't understand. Some definite dystopian potential here for anyone writing creatively, otherwise a normal expository link would work nicely too.

Id&b,WR,IL: Judith Butler and Gender Roles in Society
This is very advanced continental philosophy, but there should be some simplified guides floating around.  The basic idea is that concepts such as "womanhood" exist only as a sort of performance, that society writes roles for individuals and that we "re-iterate" these roles and reinforce them through our performance of them.  The basic idea underlying all this is that identity therefore doesn't really exist per se, except within our performances of said identities.  Might not necessarily be super relevant to all prompts, but might be something worth thinking about.

Philosophical Ideas and Psychological Studies

WR,IL: Plato's Allegory of The Cave link
This was an allegory of Plato's to describe how we see the world.  The diagram does most of the explaining. For Plato, 'Forms' were the ideal world, and most people only ever see metaphorical 'Shadows of The Forms.' He also looks at the process of naming and categorisation (eg. we see the sun and call it the sun, but what does that mean?) In short: "we acquire concepts by our perceptual experience of physical objects. But we would be mistaken if we thought that the concepts that we grasp were on the same level as the things we perceive."
There are many other theories in Plato's writing that have had an effect on the way we think. The Republic is another good one, in which Plato examines what a perfect city would look like, how the administration would work, what ethics it would prioritise. In fact, though The Republic talks in terms of cities and government, Plato is actually using these as metaphors for our souls and our capacity to Reason. For all you budding lawyers and doctors out there, a lot of uni courses require a philosophy component to test your well-rounded thinking abilities, so acquainting yourself with these concepts now might be helpful in the future.
You could also look into illusions and delusions from a psychological or even medical perspective, just keep in mind most English markers will have BAs, not medical degrees, so use relatively common terminology and explain concepts logically. Probably best to mix this up with some historical/fictional examples of people prone to these conditions.

Id&b,WR: The idea of the mask wikipedia link
This is presumably covered quite extensively in the set texts, but the notion of masks or false identities can lead to any number of discussions.

C,Id&b: The Butterfly Effect wikipedia link
I'll put the link here, but this may not make sense to non-physics students since the explanation is quite convoluted. In simple terms: a butterfly flaps its wings and causes a hurricane somewhere around the world months later. Translation: from little things big things grow.

C,Id&b,WR,IL: Zimbardo's Prison Experiment, Milgram's Obedience Experiment, and Asch's Conformity Experiments are all covered in the Unit 1/2 Psych course, which is how I know of them. As with the historical examples, don't rely too heavily on stuff that's already in the curriculum, but these studies lend themselves well to discussion about the human psyche.

C: Conflict Theory
WR: Reality Theory
^Both of these have a great deal written about them; there's not really an equivalent for Id&b or IL that I know about, but correct me if I'm wrong.
Note: Reality Theory also has some bearing on the Imaginative Landscape Context anyway, but be careful not to get too bogged down in terminology.

C,Id&b: Friedrich Nietzsche 
A 20th century philosopher who gave rise to the expression "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger", and basically (this is a VERY reductionist explanation) advocates the idea that conflict is the essence of life itself, and that embracing it leads to growth and empowerment.

WR,IL: Iris Murdoch
Murdoch is a famous philosophical author who according to wikipedia ( :P) centred on notions of good and evil, sexual relationships, morality, and the power of the unconscious. See also: Martha Nussbaum who wrote about the ability of literature to help us develop moral empathy by reframing our world view to incorporate other people's realities.

WR,IL: Schopenhauer/Buddhism and The Illusion of Reality
This theory postulates that our subjective realities are created by our selfish desires, and that transcending reality and realising "truth" comes from us giving up on these desires and basically living ascetic lifestyles.

C,Id&b,WR,IL: Post structuralism and semiotics
No possible way I can sum up these incredibly dense theories here so... helpful links:
Poststructuralism: (1) (2)
Semiotics: (1) (2)

Political Stories (past and present)

C,Id&b,WR,IL: Rudd vs. Gillard vs. the 'real' Kevin vs. the 'real' Julia.
Another popular one, try to look at this from some worthwhile angles. There have been many feminist critiques of both PMs if that's your cup of tea, or you could always just tie these two back to their respective policies, or the conflicting factions of both parties.

C,Id&b,IL: American Politics is always entertaining. The Democrat/Republican divide is a lot more pronounced than our Labor/Liberal thing, and they have much more dynamic personalities. Basically America likes to turn it up to 11 until their "news coverage" of elections or even Question Time becomes a headache-inducing shoutfest with flashy visuals and incessant audience whooping.

C,Id&b,IL: The Budget
This seems to be a popular topic, but it can be tricky to tie in without some knowledge of the political system and the role of special interest campaign groups. Some research here is necessary if you're not politically inclined, since there's a lot of misreporting going on at the moment too.

C,Id&bWR,IL: Climate Change "Debate"
John Oliver's show pretty much summed up the current state of play: (with Bill Nye!)

C,Id&bWR: Pauline Hanson
Leader of the controversial and ever so slightly racist 'One Nation Party,' Hanson was one of Australia's most right-wing figures. They're largely ignored by the media and common sense nowadays, but a retrospective look at their popularity in the lat 90s raises some interesting questions (ie. do people believe there is an Australian "identity" to be protected?  Who should actually belong in Australia?  Are migrants challenging our sense of belonging and way of Australian life? etc.)

C,WR: North Korea
Basically a real world 1984, down to the whole "there are radios that play government propaganda that you can never turn off" thing.  Also, North Koreans believe they were the first to ever land on the moon. (Read Kim Jong Il's autobiography for more "historical facts" from his supernatural birth to that time he invented the hamburger or scored 38 under par on a golf course, smashing world records 25 times over.) Do look up also though how this is gradually changing, as more and more images of South Korean life are smuggled in via USBs etc. (ie. the government's control on "reality" is breaking)

Science and Technology

C,Id&b,IL: Social media incl. facebook, twitter, youtube, cyberbullying, web 2.0 in general. This links well with the idea of the mask mentioned in the Philosophy and Psychology section. You could also look at more specific instances, eg. the #nomakeupselfie which started as a cancer awareness fundraiser and became a sort of social comment about how it was some sort of spectacle for a girl to not be wearing makeup. Another avenue you might find interesting is the 'trending' section on twitter (based on the amount of activity surrounding certain hashtags.) Major world events and tragedies will skyrocket up the list, and then slowly fall back down until the Kardashians resume their 'rightful' place at the top of the world. <-- could be a good basis for a creative piece too; if someone were to look back on or forward at the list of 'trending topics,' what might they conclude about our society?

C,WR: The Vaccination "Debate"
Research these nutbags for more "information." They're of the opinion that vaccinations cause autism, cancer, blindness, plague, and death. (don't quote me on that)
This might also lend itself to looking at the notion of there being two sides to every story- is this always the case?

C,Id&bWR: Stem Cell Research
Similar to above, you'll find some crackpots, but there are a lot of other, more balanced arguments about "playing god" and the potential for science in the future. Many dystopian novels use this as a starting point, refer to the Literature/Film section for specifics.

C,Id&bWR,IL: Net Neutrality
From what I gather, it's like the SOPA Bill but 100x worse judging from America's reaction. It's been in the news quite a lot over the past few months so hopfully you'll be able to find some resources. Put simply, the government may soon deregulate the internet (?) so that sites will have to pay extra to be able to provide fast service. For companies that are already up and going, this fee won't set them back too much, but for newcomers, they may not be able to compete; thus the internet becomes dominated by those who can afford to do so.  There's also some speculation about them deliberately slowing down the speed of certain independent websites who refuse to pay, and other such shady, petty deals. As with most unfolding news stories there's quite a bit of misinformation, and be careful not to get to polemic about these ideas (even if you are writing a persuasive piece.)


C,Id&b,WR,IL: The Beatles are a good starting point, and a shortcut to the minds of stuffy old assessors. Jks I love The Beatles. Most of their lyrics lend themselves to discussion about humanity and our potential for good and bad, though you could also look at the lives of the famous four.
Be wary with the more modern pop though; most English teachers would pride themselves on not knowing who Ke$ha is, so you might have to do some explaining there.

C,Id&b,WR,IL: That said, there are some more recent songs you could look at. Mackelmore's Thrift Shop and One Love both have some interesting things to say about consumerist and homophobic culture respectively.
If you're into rap, this guy Hopsin had a series about societal values. Number 5 was a somewhat controversial examining of youth culture and the dangers of idolising hip hop, and by extension the 'yolo' attitude. For the record I don't endorse what he says about the women in this video, but he's introducing an interesting perspective to the debate at least. Number 6 was another good one looking at the consequences of drug addiction told through the perspective of someone watching their friend throw their life away.

C,Id&b,WR,IL: On a slightly more positive note, Rebecca Black's Friday might make for an interesting discussion, though I feel like I should be putting this in Media Stories instead of Music. Though the public's immediate reaction was one of outright rejection and collective contempt, since then many people have come to realise that there was a victim to all the hate, and suddenly the idea of a 13 year old girl being told to slit her wrists by millions of people didn't seem so harmless. For the other side to the story, Black did one of those 'Draw My Life' videos that explains just how unexpected this was, and just how deeply it affected her. Tying this in with a discussion about a culture of bullying might be beneficial.

C,Id&b,WR,IL: To raise the standards a bit, consider some classical musicians. Though you might not be able to integrate any lyrics, looking at their backstories and how their societal context informed their work could be good. Lots could be made out of the fact that Mozart was branded a child prodigy at such an early age, or the fact that Beethoven went deaf but still composed, even going so far as to crawl off his deathbed to the piano where his son had left a tune unfinished. You might then link this to a broader discussion about under-appreciated geniuses in the fields of art, music, literature, film, anything really; and how society treats people's memory as opposed to the person themselves. see also: Jade Goody (Media Stories)

C,Id&b,WR,IL:Not Giving In by Rudimental youtube link
This song follows two brothers as they journey down their respective paths, and looks at how one event can alter the course of a life dramatically.


WR,IL: heaps you could use here, Zdzisław Beksiński is amazing if you can remember how to spell his name in exam conditions  :P
For the art students among us, you can even get away with analysing some pieces like you would a literary text. On a more contemporary note: Marina Abramovic is a crazy lady "performance artist" who does... interesting things. There are many others though, like Karen Finley who did this  in which she stripped naked and bathed in honey while reciting a monologue about Winnie the Pooh doing bdsm. Not a word of a lie. Bet you're all regretting not picking VCE Art now, huh?

In fact the entire Dada movement is ripe for discussion. Beginning at the end of WWI, Dadaists cynically believed that any culture that could produce the horrible human bloodbath that was the first World War had no intrinsic value. Some would call their work misanthropic, others see it as more like 'anti-art' which aims to destroy all other art.

C,Id&b,WR: AFL Essendon Drug Allegations and ASADA probe
Football and lawyers and drugs, oh my!
Again from a sociological perspective, consider what the 'damage' to the AFL brand has been, and how this changes society's perception. This also takes its toll on the athletes who are presumably under pressure from teammates and coaches to take performance enhancing "supplements."

C,Id&b,WR: Wrestling
Similar to above, look at the difference between perception and reality. You might also comment on the outward performance (ie. when the cameras are rolling or the fans are watching, the wrestlers are aggressive alpha-male, steroid induced bulks of angry muscle, but after the fight they're a loving husband and father of three). On the flip side you do have some competitors who are aggressive through and through, and arguably their presence in the sport contributes more to the negative image most people have of boxing/wrestling/contact sport.

C,Id&b: Jeremy Lin
Basketball player who paved the way for his own identity (and that of other Asian Americans) to become an NBA professional.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2014, 09:43:35 pm by literally lauren »


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Re: ~*Context External Examples Guide*~
« Reply #81 on: June 11, 2014, 01:34:47 pm »
This is amazing! :D

A couple of others we studied in WR:
- Plato's Cave was an interesting philosophical concept we delved into
- Some medical jazz in terms of illusions vs hallucinations vs delusions


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Re: ~*Context External Examples Guide*~
« Reply #82 on: June 11, 2014, 10:04:33 pm »
Thanks Lauren. This is an amazing list.
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Re: ~*Context External Examples Guide*~
« Reply #83 on: June 12, 2014, 06:29:58 pm »
Cheers pi, I'll add that in
I actually love the Cave Allegory, I used it all the time for lit. Such relevance  :)


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Re: ~*Context External Examples Guide*~
« Reply #84 on: June 12, 2014, 06:44:03 pm »
I quite like using song lyrics in writing context pieces, depending on the prompt. My personal favourite was using "Imagine" by Lennon for a piece I wrote in preparation for the Whose Reality SAC.

My teacher's advice with song lyrics was to try to steer clear of more obscure songs.

We also looked at the Global Financial Crisis too  :)


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Re: ~*Context External Examples Guide*~
« Reply #85 on: June 12, 2014, 07:00:44 pm »
yeah song lyrics can be pretty useful because they're fairly malleable, and they don't need as much explanation as other resources like literature. you can spend more time discussing the context itself rather than explaining plots, etc. i referenced the line 'can you fix a hole in your heart with the swing of your fist?' from ball park music's 'cost of lifestyle' in my encountering conflict sac, which worked well.

a lot of the time mythology can be a good source of evidence for conflict (and possibly other contexts) - especially greek mythology, cos that shit is messed up. the myth of hera and hercules works well, especially as it's actually directly referenced in paradise road. and sisyphus is another interesting one re: consequences of conflict
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Re: ~*Context External Examples Guide*~
« Reply #86 on: June 12, 2014, 08:14:05 pm »
Thanks guys! :)
I'll add mythology to history because close enough, right? If it gets enough development I might split it later. Song lyrics can definitely be a new one though.

especially greek mythology, cos that shit is messed up.
Ahem. I see your greek mythology and raise you my Art:
... in which the artist stripped naked and bathed in honey while reciting a monologue about Winnie the Pooh doing bdsm.
Performance art is the greatest.


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Re: ~*Context External Examples Guide*~
« Reply #87 on: June 12, 2014, 08:36:50 pm »
Love your work Lauren!!!!!! I absolutely love Fahrenheit 451!
A great book we did in yr 11 was called Border Crossing, i really enjoyed it :P
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Re: ~*Context External Examples Guide*~
« Reply #88 on: June 12, 2014, 09:58:25 pm »
Awesome work! I was going to contribute my main concepts (I used to write speeches for Whose Reality?) but not surprisingly they were all there already! :D
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Re: ~*Context External Examples Guide*~
« Reply #89 on: June 12, 2014, 10:01:17 pm »
Border Crossing: Another book by Pat Barker apparently? Wonder why she isn't on the booklist for being so relevant?
Cheers mikehepro, I'm keen to seek this one out myself now.

And feel free to unpack stuff further Stick. I've never studied Whose Reality and a lot of these references are just basic starting points anyway, so input from people who've got more experience and wisdom here is more than welcome :)
« Last Edit: June 23, 2014, 01:15:23 pm by literally lauren »