The ferocity of the desert complex No more
Explain the prison to the polar bear
Contaminate the polar bear with Rothschild virtue
Affix all desire
To the polar bear
Hoist him to Afghanistan
Let him chastise the propane tank
Gift him the candle
As you have gifted him greed
Watch him play golf in the storage unit
The novel Picnic at Hanging Rock By Joan Lindsay is about a group of female students at an Australian Boarding school. they vanish at Hanging Rock while on a Valentines Day picnic. Their disappearance has intense effects on the on the school and the local community. Two things that stood out to me was how Lindsay presents the ideas of freedom and control in different manners, exploring the motivation behind control, and its consequences. Control is portrayed as futile, as the strict regime at Appleyard college and societal pressure at the Fizhubert manor only exacerbates the character’s desire for freedom and exploration, rather than repress it. Freedom is presented as an inevitability. The more a character is controlled and made to conform to a certain set of behaviours, the stronger their desire to escape said control becomes.
One way Lindsay presents ideas of freedom and control is through the portrayed futility of control, ultimately resulting in freedom. This notion is depicted through the change of behaviour in Micheal and the three girls, and the consequent disappearance of the girls – excessive control and restriction being being the catalyst for this. Mrs Appleyard’s instructions to the girls before the picnic depicts the stern control the girls faced daily.
I have instructed Mademoiselle that as the day is likely to be warm, you may remove your gloves… Once again let me remind you that the Rock itself is extremely dangerous and you are therefore forbidden to engage in any tomboy foolishness in the matter of exploration
This furthers the idea that control is futile, because the girls ignore Mrs Appleyard’s warnings and proceed to explore the rock, leading to their disappearance. Mrs Appleyards meticulous control backfires, as it only exacerbates the curiosity of the curiosity of the girls, from a very traditional, very wealthy English family.
Some call it the wasteland, others the apocalypse, but to me, its just home. Its all I’ve ever known home to be. As I feel my consciousness ebbing away at night, my head is strained from the violent sight of bloodshed as the gunshots continually replay in my mind. Drifting off to sleep, all things begin to fade to silence at last. Screaming, my chest immediately lifts to ninety degrees, and my eyes widen with fear. Sweating profusely, shallow rapid breathing and my heart pounding frantically against its cage of ribs.
Two twenty two am. Letting out a deep and steady breath, I relax my eyes shrunk back into my own skin and attempt to regain my sanity. Exhausted by it all. I fall back onto my rigid mattress and lay my head down against my cold pillow. ” Think of anything”, I mutter under my breath. Anything to relieve myself from the disturbing images that are fused into my brain. But it was something about the brutal and perilous sound of cannons in the distance that compelled me to envision the complete opposite. I visualised a meadow on a quiet spring day full of vivid and unique flowers that glimmered against the beaming sunlight and caught the smooth brush of wind every now and then. Tranquil and serene, peace flowed through the meadow like an effortless ribbon of water that streams through a river. I had never experienced this before, but the idea of it lay so close to my heart.
Eight thirteen a.m. I awaken to the normality of gunshots and the nauseating smell of death that was just another everyday occurrence. The feeling of my brain shifting gears between unconscious and fully aware is draining. It consumes every ounce of right and wrong and leaves my soul feeling empty. Standing on two feet I begin to circle around my room pointlessly while trying to ignore the outside surroundings. Eventually, I give in as my curiosity takes over. Tenderly drawing the curtains aside, the sight of war is unveiled infront of my eyes. Chaos and ferocity is staring at me. The wailing sirens struck fear into the struggling crowd of panicking civilians. Children crying. Buildings collapsing. Corpeses rotting. Bullets were not moving through the air, they were simply atmosphere. The screams outside were silenced for longer than normal. A chilling sensation runs through to me bones but before I had time to take another breath, a deafening bang caused the city to rapidly warp into flames. Explosions. Speechless I stood my heart dropped. Struggling to gather myself I took notice of a young child. He lay on the rubble helpless and restricted. Apprehensive, I needed to see him. My mother clutching onto my wrists, desperate for me to get him. I stopped instantly when I saw it. Two bullets to the heart, the little boy lay in his fate. I turned away, shaking my head in disbelief. Trembling, I took a step closer, my lips began to quiver as I quietly whimpered. Hesitantly turning back, a single teardrop rippled down my cheek. For moments earlier a child had walked the street but now there was only blood, crumbling walls and a sense that all that was good in the universe had cried out in pain.
He was too young. Too innocent. Kneeling down, I caught a glimpse of his deep, green eyes. I gazed intently at them as they reminded me of something familiar. Tilting my head, I paused to think. My face lit up and I half smiled. My visions of the peaceful meadow came back to me. Butterflies filled the air with new changed and beginnings. Nature gave animals a habitat to be able to live and survive. Flowers blossomed gracefully as they brought a sweet fragrance to the atmosphere. Something about these visions gave me hope. A hope that maybe one day I can experience it. A hope that maybe one day I can call it home.
One similarity of Soldiers Home and All Quiet On The Western Front is their fundamental challenge of the Romantic image build on the war. When Krebs returns to his town. He is forced to address their liking to hear ” heroic war exploits” He is left to deal with the truth all alone. War essentially changed him into a person where the future is overshadowed by the conditions of a war-time past. Likewise, Pauls attitude towards the ” heroic exploits of war” is much the same. Paul holds resentment and bitterness towards the teachers and adults that praised the war to younger people, disfavouring their minds and sending them off to an early death. For Paul he sees his generation, motivated by the romantic construction of war as one that is “weary, broken burnt out, rootless and without hope”. The desire to “fit” what others wanted has caused both soldiers to feel “utterly alone” in the world.
I enjoyed reading the book All quiet on the Western Front to a large extent as it has depicted the verisimilitude and reality of the war. To go into more depth the true trauma is exhibited highly in the book as Eric Maria Remarque quotes “We are so completely played out that spite of our great hunger we do not think of the provisions. Then gradually we become something like men again.” The effective use of a short sentence at the end conveys the reality that the soldiers weren’t just affected physically but mentally aswell. They are so tired of the fear that somehow that distracts them from the wounds of their long and ever lasting pain of their trauma.
I also admired the picture the novel paints of the inhumane reality of the war as it reflected the experience of millions of soldiers. I believe this makes the reader visualise and empathise with the soldiers in the war especially when the author states “The man gurgles…every gasping breath is like a cry… but it is not only my heart pounding. I want to stop his mouth, stuff it with earth, stab him again, he must be quiet…” This demonstrates and proves to the reader that the soldier in any other situation would help this man regardless of what side they are on, but needs to put himself first as the mans screams are giving him away. In my opinion I believe that the orders the soldiers were given at war was going completely against humanity especially as Paul and his friends were so young.
- Introduce yourself: Where are you from? What do you like to do?
- What are your hopes and expectations for English this year?
My name is Nicky and I am half British and half Mexican. I like to play tennis and watch movies. In english I hope to broaden my vocabulary and to read more books.