Peer Review 5

Hi Annaliese,
I did the same question as you for this week. Unlike mine entry, I enjoyed that you did one of the earlier stanzas rather than when the key ideas and themes of materialism comes through. I agree with what you discuss about grammar and how this time period does use words properly; as nowadays the language as become shorter and less creative. The only negative feature of your post I could see was your opening paragraph. It is just a little repetitive for me but apart from that, this idea is clear and executed wonderfully. I look forward to reading more of your blogs.


Placement 5

This week at school, I went in with a different attitude as we had not been in for three weeks. I tried this week to be calmer and stronger within the classroom and it did help as some of the students started to listen to me with more cooperation.

I found that if I am stronger in my teaching, I will be able to teach the whole classroom rather than one or two individuals. The children were a lot calmer this week which was nice as they were engaged in their work rather than continuously asking to leave or go home. I feel that this week, that I am becoming more of teacher as I have been placed in a diverse environment and are being able to adapt to different children. One of the classes that we did this week was emotions. Some of the children did not know how to express their feelings so this teacher that came in showed them flash cards and they had to recreate the facial expressions.

Overall, I quite enjoyed this week and are looking forward to next week.

Blog 6, Week 8

Take one stanza from the Scholar Gypsy and carefully explicate its meaning saying how you think the language and form (stanza shape) contribute to the stanza’s power and effect.


The Scholar Gypsy written by Matthew Arnold explores the ideas of the ways of fulfilling life and how an individual show potentially live within a materialistic world. Arnold writes during the industrial revolution, meaning that his work is warning for his intended audience as he does not want his society to lose the essence of nature and reality. In particular, stanza nineteen it the most important part of the poem as it delves into the consequences of materialistic ideals and how their modern society is losing touch with the way of life.

The stanza itself, the turning point of the poem as the comparison between the gypsy and the persona highlights that the Scholar Gypsy is free from modernism and the effects of the industrial revolution. Unlike the persona whose tone is almost envious of the Scholar Gypsy as he seems to understand that he is trapped within this new structure and purpose of society. With the line:

“O life unlike to ours!”

It emphases the divide between the utilitarian society compared to rural, more traditional types of societies. With this line, it also changes the feel and concept of the poem. Moving it away from the Scholar Gypsy towards the downfall of a materialistic society that functions off the greed of wealth. The line divides the poem and conveys the difference between the two individuals in this poem.


Peer Review 4

Hi Josh,
Nice summary of the art gallery visit! I feel the same way as you as I think it is fundamental to literature to understand art as both go hand in hand. I too, found that the Victorian Hall was my favourite as well, might be due to studying in the middle ages and having the understanding of what it was leading up to. Most of all, I liked your critique of Briton Rivière’s “Requiescat” as it showed both your understanding and personal opinion of companions. The concept of loyalty was good but I feel that it could of been a bit stronger. I would of maybe added another sentence or two and go deeper in the concept of loyalty. Apart from that, great blog and I look forward to reading more of your blogs. Riley

Blog 5, Week 7

Write a paragraph explaining why you think it is worthwhile exploring art works even though you are a student of literature.
I believe that art and literature go hand in hand as both are creative outlets for an individual. Regardless of the content or context of a person’s work, I believe it is fundamental for a literature student to understand the real meanings of artworks like how they delve deeper into an author’s work or a character’s persona. In relation to works we have studied this semester, such as Hard Times by Charles Dickens and Emma by Jane Austen; as a student when you go to galleries and observe artworks that were created during both the Romanticism and the Victorianism; It does help in understanding both the context of both the artworks and the novels.


In particular, one of the works that I found helped me understand the background of the Romanticism was John Seymour Lucas’ “The Gordon Riots 1780” painted in 1879; it depicts the events that some of the poets we have studied this semester had to undergo to seek peace. Even though, the context of the riots was initially a protest about religion; it did turn into a divide between upper class and the lower class. As you can see through the facial expression of both the soldiers and the rebels, they have looks of determination and passion as both are fighting for their causes and beliefs. With knowing a general understanding of what occurred; as a student, I was able to gain a deeper level of knowledge of what occurred and what thoughts and ideals there were through both studying this artwork and thought the works by poet William Wordsworth and other Romantics. Though this work was created a hundred years after this took place, it does give as a viewer some indication of what was the atmosphere in London during that time.

Therefore, as a literature student, I believe it is extremely important to study all creative arts that do focus on the context of what you are studying as it allows you to gain a deeper understanding of particular thoughts and views of what was occurring during the context of what period you are studying. Because both literature and art are outlets for creative minds and delve deeper into the beliefs and ideals during certain periods of time.


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Peer Review 3

Hi Nicole,
I did the same topic as you this week and I do enjoy the way that you critic Mr Gradgrind’s parenting and teaching methods. I do like how you relate this back to your own experiences and feelings towards this forced marriage. The use of the rhetorical questions does highlight the injustice that Mr Gradgrind has done to Louisa. The only thing that I would of done would of been to related it back to context of the work and the particular chapter that the marriage proposal does happen. Though, I do understand how that can be difficult due to it being a creative piece. Apart from that, I do like your response to Mr Gradgrind and look forward to more of your blogs. Riley

Blog 4, Week 6

Write a letter to Mr Gradgrind telling him what you think about the way he treated his own daughter, particularly with reference to the marriage arrangements he has created.


Dear Mr Gradgrind,

I have become to realise that your teaching methods and ideals for your daughter, Louisa, are extremely inappropriate. Your obsession with work has made your daughter mechanical and unable to develop emotions. I’m not saying that your daughter is unhuman, but you have driven out the essence of her heart and identity.

The main reason why I’m writing to you currently is due to the fact that you have played match maker and are forcing her into this commitment of marriage with Mr Bounderby. I am aware of the fact that you gave her a “choice”, but her decision was based on your own happiness and ego. You want her to be married to a man that has become unnatural and lost the ability to even be sympathetic is any matter. As I heard from Louisa herself, that you were overjoyed by this news and that she had to keep herself grounded in order to follow your teaching. Are you not a hypocrite to your teachings in this situation? Are you not going against your own morals and beliefs?

Are you being your perfect model in this situation? The answer to this is no. You being the lawgiver are allowed to slide by while if another acted in this manner, you would be disgusted. I how I am with you. You want Cecilia to conform to your ideals while you fail to do so yourself. If you wish to continue your inhuman teachings, I believe it is your own undoing. And ultimately you will ruin the life of your own daughter by forcing her into this lifestyle with Mr Bounderby.

If I were you Mr Gradgrid, I would consider the things that are close to your heart and attempt to place yourself in the position that you have created for your daughter. I can see the outcome of this situation, and it does not end in a happy forever after.

Kind Regards,


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