Summative Entry

What insights has your study of Australian Literature and Art given you into the importance of creativity as part of human experience?

Throughout this semester, the importance of creativity as part of the human experience has become clear to me through the important messages communicated through literature and art as well as the expression of one’s self and the significance of this.

Before studying this unit, literature and art seemed like two very different concepts to me however, our trip to the Art Gallery highlighted the importance of the two forms of expression working together to form a complete and meaningful message. Through combining art and literature, it has become very clear to me that a stronger message can be portrayed and the human experience can be more effectively communicated. Throughout the unit, I have come across so many different perspectives brought to life through language. One such example of this is the contrasting values that Harpur and Kendall hold and what they love about the Australian landscape. Through this, the importance of expressing your own perspective as well as learning about the perspectives of others through art and literature is highlighted.

Another important aspect of creativity as part of the human experience is its ability to give a voice to those who normally would not be heard. Authors such as Kevin Gilbert have displayed his throughout their works, giving me insight into Aboriginal spirituality and values. Through his poetry, I have been given insight into what it means to be a part of the environment rather than just observing it. This shows that creativity greatly shapes the human experience as it allows people to communicate ideas that are not easily accepted in society.

The part of the unit that had the most influence on my understanding of the importance of creativity to the human experience was when I had the opportunity to explore this personally by writing my own poem. Through this, I was truly able to communicate my own experiences in a way that I had not been able to in the past. The use of language in a variety of ways to communicate an effective idea is a skill that I have learnt to value so much more through the construction of this blog. I have also been able to engage with texts through the critical analysis and discussions that I have written for my blog. In this way, creativity allows us to synthesise and engage thoroughly with the world around us by expressing the way it affects us personally.

Through my studies this semester, my eyes have been opened to the importance of creativity to the human experience through the way that art and literature work together, the perspectives that are given to us, the voice that is given to individuals, and the importance of communicating my own human experiences creatively. Clearly, creativity is a vital part of the human experience as it allows for the sharing and understanding of the experiences of those around us.


Seventh Peer Review

Hi Brianna!
I have really enjoyed your blog over the past semester and especially liked your discussion of Les Murray’s poem this week. I completely agree with you that we have willingly given money control of our lives. Your discussion of this in the final paragraph was particularly interesting especially the statement that it has taken control of all aspects of our life whether it be religious, ideologically or creatively. A possible disagreement however, lies within the title of your post, the popular saying, “money is the root of all evil”. I feel that because, as you have stated, we so willingly give ourselves to money, that it is not to blame for our actions. Are we not more responsible for giving it the power to control us? This may be an interesting thought to further explore.
Best wishes, Tamara 🙂

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Dear Les Murray…

Write a letter to either Judith Beveridge, Les Murray or David Malouf telling them what you have found of greatest interest in their writing today.

Dear Mr Les Murray,

Let me first begin by saying, I completely understand your poem “The Cool Green” as I, like most other members of today’s society, am somewhat guilty of letting money control my lifestyle. While I agree with your sentiments whole-heartedly, it truly is a difficult feat to do otherwise especially as a young person in the world today.

What I found incredibly interesting about your poem is the way that money’s very purpose has been entirely subverted. Your poem highlights the idea that instead of us using money, money is using us and controlling our every move. Your line “but money is never seen nude” speaks to me particularly. In my interpretation, this means that we never see money at face value and the true repercussions of being enslaved by it. While we often see it as something to take lightly and spend freely, “millions eat garbage without it.” This quite literal statement really encouraged me to think about how I spend my own money. While I am often caught up in being able to buy things that I want, there are so may people who do not have enough to meet their very basic needs.

Your final stanza really reinforces your opinion on money and the way that we have let it control society. The fact that you dare to state that money diverts our attention from the beauty and meaning in the world, in this case “poetry, ideology, religion”, allows us for reflection on what we do value and what we should value. The final line “it didn’t want our souls” is particularly powerful as it suggests that we, as consumers, willingly gave up our souls to money. This powerful statement is the perfect way to end your poem as it leaves me (and the rest of your audience) questioning their own lives and values.

I thank you for your wonderful insight in this poem,

Kind regards, Tamara.



Sixth Peer Review

Hi there Riley!
Great work on your blog post this week, one thing I suggest would be to make sure you keep your correct persona the whole way through; I believe in your last paragraph you switched personas and wrote “the two of us” rather than “the two of you.”

I thoroughly enjoyed your analysis of the reasons people may get into relationships ie: being seen as the “lucky one” by their friends. I agree with you in that I think it’s upsetting that our society is so materialistic that it condones the using of other people in a way that enhances one’s own image. I do think however, that Szabo was naive and at fault in many ways and that it was not only Miss Slatterly’s fault. This is due to the fact that he somewhat allowed himself to be used, ignoring the reality that not all relationships are built on love and trust.

Keep up with the great thoughts and good luck 🙂


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Chose any one of the Patrick White texts mentioned above and say how you think it illustrates what White was saying in his essay “The Prodigal Son”.

In “The Prodigal Son”, White discusses the warped aspects of society that people tend to value and the “march of material ugliness” that is pursued. The character of Mrs Hogben in Down at the Dumps reflects this mindset through both the things that she values or rejects respectively. At her own sister’s funeral, Mrs Hogben is concerned about whether Ossie, Daise’s lover, will be there as he is a Roman Catholic and she disapproved of their relationship. Rather than reflecting on her sister’s life, before the funeral Mrs Hogben had “woken in the night, and lain there cold and stiff, as her mind’s eye focused on Ossie’s runny nose.” Due to wanting to uphold a certain reputation within society, she believed her family members actions would reflect upon her and cheapen her image.

Furthermore, her interaction with Meg and the contrast between their actions further highlights the materialism spoken about in White’s essay. Mrs Hogben is highly concerned about her daughters appearance, her pressed school uniform and polished shoes. This is once again due to the image she wants to be upheld and is a symbol for the materialism that she values so much. In contrast to this, Meg thinks about the memories and experiences she had with Daise over the course of her life hence, valuing a very different part of life.

Through the various characters in “Down at the Dumps” and the way they are compared and interact with each other, White’s statements about materialistic values in “The Prodigal Son” are reinforced. As a result, the short story becomes a social commentary of the way that we live our lives in a world based on material wealth rather than human experience.

Fifth Peer Review

Hi there Riley!
I enjoyed your post about this weeks poems and your analysis of the meaning behind them. I like the fact that you ventured to state that female authors and poets were a driving force behind women’s movements as influential women were in fact very empowering for other women at the time in many ways. I have to disagree however with your statement that there was not much change for women throughout the 20th century; this was the most rapid time for change for women as it includes all the years between 1901 and 2000 in which time so many changes occurred- in fact, women in Australia got the vote in the very early years of the 20th century! I also enjoyed your analysis of “The Orange Tree” as your insight into the poem contrasting the perspectives of Aboriginal and white people as I only thought about the different perspectives of individuals and society- loved your fresh take on it!
Keep up the awesome work 🙂

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Write a short creative or critical piece that is inspired by any of the works that we have looked at this week.

The free verse poem I have written for this weeks post is inspired by the emotions explored in John Shaw Neilson’s poem “The Orange Tree.” In this poem, the perspectives and meaning of the tree to a young girl and an older man are explored and shown in very different ways. The theme of differing perspectives is what influenced my poem as it describes an experience that has very different emotions attached to it for each individual.


Can’t move. Can’t breathe. Can’t think.
The sweat pours down my back
Joining with the sweat of others;
A shower of emotions emitted.
Every person glued into a makeshift community
Together and yet,
Some cry, some laugh, some scream.

My heart beats, my head hurts
I stumble but can’t fall,
It’s too tight, my body aches,
My head spins and my muscles defy me
The air my lungs can find is not enough but
I scream my throat raw for no one to hear
and the tears fall- the jewels of my very soul.

And yet
Every second is beautiful,
Every second I capture in my mind,
Every second I feel



The classic image portraying different perspectives- a rabbit or a duck?

Fourth Peer Review

Hi Daniel!
Enjoyed your post about Gilmore’s poem, especially the emphasis you have placed on the meaning and power that the imagery of white beds has in relation to the war. I thought your interpretation of the meaning of the closed doors and empty beds was interesting however I had a very different interpretation. While you felt that they symbolised peace, I think that they are a commentary on the tragic waste of human life and the emptiness left where people used to be. In this interpretation, the message of the poem would be a pacifist view rather than the view that peace was created through a loss of life.
Keep up the great blogging!

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