Peer Review 1 – Australian Literature

Peer review for Charlotte Alphonso’s creative blog https://charlottealphonso.wordpress.com/2018/08/26/bathurst/

Wow Charlotte I love this blog entry!

I really felt as though I was with you in Bathurst following along with your young childhood memories. You really capture your audience with your use of vivid language and imagery throughout. I particularly loved your use of imagery in the rocks as they seemed to each represent an individual memory which I quite liked. This really enhanced the entire reading experience and brought your story to life on the page.

My only critique is quite small but in your last paragraph you talk of how much you cherish these childhood memories and write “the tranquillity of the landscape filled the whole of my heart”. This is still a good sentence I just feel it would flow just a little better if you were to shorten it and say “the tranquillity of the landscape filled my heart”. Overall this is a great first blog and I can’t wait to read more from you 🙂

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Rhythmic composition in yellow green minor – Australian Literature

Which artwork did you find most meaningful and/or enjoyable?

Whilst on our trip to the Art Gallery of NSW, the piece that stood out to me most was “Rhythmic composition in yellow green minor” by Roy de Maistre. This modernist piece was painted in late 1918 and explores the relationship between art and music through the use of shape and colour. Blending colour and sound together on a canvas was a concept that I found very interesting. When discussing this piece it was mentioned that the artist had painted it to assist soldiers who had experienced shell shock during the war. This point really intrigued me and the artwork suddenly had an entirely new meaning to it. The vast array of colours make this artwork very appealing and enjoyable to look at from afar but when we start to take into consideration the musical element we can see that this painting tells a story. Knowing it was painted for the war soldiers, I believe this painting to be a representation of nature; a calm and tranquil field where anyone can roam to and be free, let their thoughts go and just be present.

For me personally this artwork shows me that the connection between music and art can be something beautiful when played correctly. Music has great meaning to me so I imagine this artwork to be a piano; the pianist’s notes being elongated and flowing beautifully with one another. It gives meaning to the notes being played. Individual notes don’t always make sense but when played simultaneously with another and given a shade of colour it can create a truly beautiful masterpiece and an explosion of unexpected colour on the page.

Charlie Chaplin: The Great Dictator Speech – 20th Century Literature

How effective do you think Charlie Chaplin was with his creative challenge to war?

In his dictator speech, Charlie Chaplin has created one of the most though-provoking and moving speeches in history. He mocks Hitler in his style of dress and his style of speaking but completely juxtaposes all of his ideals with his connective content. Chaplin starts his speech with a very calming and soft tone, however as he progresses we can see that he becomes more and more emotionally tangled with his words and his passion seeps through. In his speech, Chaplin claims that humanity has sacrificed their lives for the hatred and violence of war. Throughout his speech, Chaplin criticizes humanity with his use of fierce words:

“We think too much and feel too little: more than machinery, we need humanity; more that cleverness we need kindness and gentleness.”

In this statement, Chaplin compares humanity to machinery and how we have dehumanised ourselves by conforming to the wants of war. Despite his negative talk of human kind and how we have turned into machinery, he also provides us with optimism. He shows his audience that they can have a free life; one with no violence and war, one with peace. Chaplin ends his speech by taking his power and giving it to the people. He gives them all a voice; he gives them hope and a motivation to help create a better world:

“the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You the people have the power to make life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let’s use that power, let us all unite.”

In saying all this, Chaplin sums up the human connection we all have with one another. We have the power to change if we will it. Chaplin’s dictator speech was effective in challenging the morals of war. He called for action at a time when the world was crumbing before him. He evokes an emotional connection with his audience to stand against the injustice being spread and unite against the great dictator in the name of democracy.

“The Great Dictatorship: Charlie Chaplin’s Amazing Speech – Tomomi Chu”. Tomomi Chu, 2018, http://www.tomomichu.com/great-dictatorship-charlie-chaplins-amazin-speech/. Accessed 23 Aug 2018.

Cumberland State Forest – Australian Literature

Describe the landscape that you love best and say what it is about the landscape that really draws you to it. Can you maybe also suggest why you think (from your own history and background) this landscape above all others captures your imagination, your Whole Being?

Cumberland State Forest is a home away from home filled with endless childhood memories that never fail to bring a smile to my face. The soundscape of nature, the ring of whip-tails, the soothing hum of the breeze rustling through the leaves, fills my ears and my heart as I am brought back to simpler times. I am now sitting on what we would call ‘snake rock’ looking out at the vast open space before me. The base of the rock intertwined with vines full of little nooks and crannys all perfect for the creatures of the forest to curl up in for the night; the head of the rock pointed out to the path seemingly shaped like a snake’s head. I glance up at the sky, the bright blue and contrasting white bleeding through the greenery that shadows the ground below it. The sky was becoming a palette of vibrant colours mixing endlessly with one another.

As I look across the display of tall, short, wide and thin trees, shrubs and vines my eyes are drawn to one tree in particular; only a stump now, standing alone. I see it standing tall and I can hear the cheers of excited little children as they drag their grandfather to the base of it. Their little heads all lean back until their backs hurt as they try to take in the beauty of nature. They intertwine their fingers with one another as they wrap their bodies around the trunk, hugging close to the bark, breathing in the fresh air and laughing as they struggle to keep hold of each other and falling to the ground after they’ve reached too far. I am brought to tears by the beauty of innocence I once knew. Too young to worry about what destruction would bring the tree to fall; too young to think of the grief and despair that would come in the following years. Full of hope, full of life, able to just be in the moment.