Peer review 6

“Blog post Week 9”

Hi Sibel,
I like your approach to the topic. However, I feel it would be better to refer to Silas’s story as an actual experience in the set environment, rather than something from a book you read. This is a creative entry after all, so perhaps you could have put yourself as a character inside the same universe as Silas, and the letter would come to him as a result of you having heard about the experience. For example, instead of saying you had read about him, implying that another person wrote about him, you could have said that you were a bypasser that heard about what happened and was inspired and felt compelled to reach out to him. That is what I would have done to give the “letter” a more authentic feel. In addition, you might want to pay attention to a few errors, such as “you trusted her own”=”you trusted her” and “vis versa”=”vice/vise versa”. This was a nice read. Good job!

Blog 7 – Trés

In your own words explain what you sense is the real difference between the fictional worlds of George Eliot, Charles Dickens and Jane Austen.

What makes Jane Austen stood out from Dickens and Eliot is the fact that she did not follow the mold. “Emma” was written during the Romantic era but it broke the mold for Romanticism, therefore she became a pioneer of the genre. Emma achieved her happy ending, but it was a difficult road for her to get there. In addition, Austen never moved the spotlight away from Emma through the entire story. Even when it was about the other characters, there was still a glimpse of Emma. Such can be symbolic for how society viewed a person of her status at the time, always in the center, the talk of the town and gawked at with a magnifying lens. She was always under pressure from those around her, unlike Silas Marner and Sissy Jupe. Emma never had to endure prison or grow up in a dysfunctional foster family, but she walked her own winding road and ultimately reached the end.

Charles Dickens was more than just a great writer, he was a sensational storyteller that took his readers on a journey with him. Personally, it was hard for me to get through “Hard Times”, hence the title. However, that is not a stab at his style of writing, but to compliment Dickens’ commitment. Coketown was a bland monotonous suburb where everybody was a copy of each other, and there was nothing but fact. His use of long sentences and dull description of colors played along into giving readers an authentic experience of the town itself. Emma had a difficult journey but the readers were standing by observing, whereas they would need to follow Sissy till the very end to truly appreciate “Hard Times”. This is not a feel-good, light-hearted read but rather a representation of society in the past. It is not as intense as the rollercoaster that is Silas’s life, it feels more like swimming against a lazy river, and that is exactly the point.

Silas Marner had an eventful adventure throughout his life, with a surprise waiting at every corner. After enduring prison for 16 years, he had to have his gold stolen from him and lost everything in order to gain the only thing he ever needed. Eppie was the Gold that made the journey all worthwhile. Eliot also developed her characters and helped them develop into better versions of themselves. Silas has become a selfless father figure that was willing to let his daughter pursue her own happiness. Eppie matured to a wonderful lady with a clear outlook on life and towards her future goals. In the end, they rejected materials for dignity and affection. This is definitely a more light-hearted read compared to the other two stories.

Peer review 5

“Blog 6 – Does the education system weaken one’s creativity?”

Hi Suzanne,
This is a very good idea that you raised. This situation is very evident in the education system in my home country. From 10th grade, all artistic subjects are cut out of the curriculum and rarely do the schools give students with artistic talent a chance to strive. As a student that was interested in art, high school was very difficult for me. The only way I could get in touch with my artistic side was through doodling sketches and singing to myself because there was rarely any contest or after school club for me to join. Therefore this topic is also very important to me and I am glad you explained it so well. My only concern is that this entry does not seem to link with any of our lessons this week. It definitely has a scholar element which I guess can probably be connected to Arnold’s “Scholar Gypsy”, but even that is a far strech. Other than that, I enjoyed your blog.


Blog 6 – Nothing but freedom


You are the scholar gypsy. Explain to your friends why you have decided to run away from conventional education.


My fellow scholars,

I am sure my departure has left some of you puzzled. You may be asking yourself, “Why would he leave everything behind to become no one?”. Well, it’s true, I am not anyone anymore, but at the same time, I am everyone. I can no longer handle being trapped inside the box of academic achievement as it has restrained me from doing anything else. Ask yourself, “Why are you doing the things you are doing? What can these things do for you in the future? What are you waiting for? What are you hoping for?”. Do you have an answer? Because I do. Day and night you read those books, but they never take you anywhere. Moreover, they chain you to the ground, keeping you safe but you can never take flight. I have flown, and I have fell, but I fly again right afterwards. I did not mind the pain and I knew the risk. I didn’t really mind because I knew that it takes getting everything you ever wanted, and then losing it to know what true freedom is.

You may take offence to being called a gypsy, but I do not. In fact, I accept that compliment. I found my people, my fellow gypsies, out in the open. We have nothing to lose, nothing to gain, nothing we desire anymore, except to make our lives a work of art. Who are you? Are you in touch with all of your wildest dreams? Have you created a life for yourself where you can experience them? I have. You will probably call me crazy. I am crazy. But I am free.


Peer review 4

“Week 7 Blog Post: Art Gallery, creative”

Hey Victoria, I love this entry! You did a really great job describing the painting as well as allowing me, the reader, to step inside and experience the scenery. You also expressed the message behind it beautifully, which is to emphasize the beauty of nature as well as allowing humans to be mesmerized by it and find serenity. This inspired me a lot with my entry because I almost chose this painting as well, and I can really relate with what you have written. Keep up the great work!

Blog 5 – Lightning flow

Select any one painting explored today and describe it creatively in either prose or verse, bringing all its details into focus.
Eugene von Guérard, Waterfall, Strath Creek (1862)

During our visit at the Art Gallery of NSW, I was immediately captivated by Eugene von Guérard’s paintings of nature, not just by the unbelievable details but by the message behind them. My personal favorite was Waterfall, Strath Creek (pictured above). What captured my eyes from afar was the fact that the subject of the painting, the waterfall, interestingly resembles a ray of lightning. After a longer look, I also noticed how clean the water looked, unpolluted and free-flowing. It was a scenery made by the spontaneity of mother nature, without human interference; such a rare sight is hard to find today. Guérard included himself as well as his travelling companions at the top and the bottom of the waterfall as the tiniest figures which would be easily ignored without closer inspection. By doing so, he emphasized the grandness of the scenery as well as the insignificance of human, which was a common theme during the Romantic era. From beneath the waterfall looking up, it seemed as if the stream flows down from the sky, oozing out endlessly and vigorously from the white glowing clouds flowing through. We are but a tiny speck of dust next to a grand wonder, quite intimidatingly so but also humbling, as there is no other option but to admire such a stunning jewel. It is a great painting that focuses on the freedom of nature, unrestricted and unique, all complete opposites of the industrialism at the time, when all had to be monotonous and precise with little room for creativity. Creativity and individuality were hardly of use, and humans were disappearing into machines. In my opinion, besides the aesthetics aspect, this is a Romantic expression with a subtle message of protest against society in the past.

Peer review 3

“Blog 3 Week 6”

Hi Joseph,
This is quite an intense letter, and I would probably have the same tone if I were to write to someone as despicable as Mr. Gradgrind. However, your ending sentence does not seem as intense, which does seem like a suitable ending. Aside from that, I do notice that you tend to repeat phrases way too often, such as “your little girl”, and it made the paragraph a bit dull. Other than that, you had a nice idea and I like that you were passionate in response to his behavior towards his kids. This would have been so much better if you had taken a bit more time editing your ideas.