Reading and Comparing

For VCE/ EAL students only, one text in each pair is nominated for achievement of Unit 3
Outcome 1: Reading and creating texts. This text is indicated by (EAL).

Pair 1

Non-fiction text

Multimodal text

Davidson, Robyn, Tracks (1) (A) (EAL)

Penn, Sean (director), Into the Wild (1)


Pair 2

Multimodal text – Film

Novel

Eastwood, Clint (director), Invictus (1) (EAL)

Malouf, David, Ransom (1) (A)


Pair 3

Non-fiction text

Novel

Funder, Anna, Stasiland (1) (A) (EAL)

Orwell, George, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1)


Pair 4

Non-fiction text

Novel

MacCarter, Kent and Lemer, Ali (eds), Joyful Strains: Making Australia Home (1) (A) (EAL)

Lahiri, Jhumpa, The Namesake (1)


Pair 5

Play

Novel

Miller, Arthur, The Crucible (1) (EAL)

Brooks, Geraldine, Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague (1) (A)


Pair 6

Play

Novel

Murray-Smith, Joanna, Bombshells (1) (A) (EAL)

Atwood, Margaret, The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus (1)


Pair 7

Play

Novel

Wright, Tom, Black Diggers (1) (A) (EAL)

D’Aguiar, Fred, The Longest Memory (1)


Pair 8

Non-fiction text

Multimodal text – Film

Yousafzai, Malala, with Lamb, Christina, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban (1) (EAL)

Cole, Nigel (director), Made in Dagenham (1)

 

List 2

Pair 1

Davidson, Robyn, Tracks, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013 (1) (A) (EAL)

Robyn Davidson’s 1700 mile trek from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean in 1977 with camels became famous due to a National Geographic article focused on the journey of a heroine driven to achieve a personal goal despite the patronising disbelief of those around her. Davidson’s 1980 memoir highlights an adventurer with a great affinity for the environment, empathy for Australia’s Indigenous people and a determination to achieve despite setbacks. Told with brutal honesty, this story of the internal and external battle against the sandhills, spinifex and interminable space presents the reader with an intriguing study of a woman who tests herself in the isolation of the wilderness.

Into the Wild, Director: Sean Penn, 2007 (1)

In 1992, the body of Christopher McCandless was found in an abandoned bus in a national park in Alaska. Into the Wild reconstructs the events of the two years leading up the death of McCandless. Risk-taker and idealist or dropout and loner, college graduate McCandless donates his entire life’s savings to charity and rejects conformity and materialism. He embarks on a search for adventure, a quest to find himself. Set against the backdrop of contrasting American landscapes, writer and director Sean Penn explores the journey of an individual through the edges of society, into isolation and eventually to the realisation that happiness is truly found with friends and family. (Rating: M)

Pair 2

Invictus, Director: Clint Eastwood, 2009 (1) (EAL)

As the newly elected president of South Africa after the fall of apartheid, Nelson Mandela faces
the challenge of leading a racially and economically divided country. He believes he can unite his country through the universal language of sport.
Invictus is about how Mandela joins forces with Francois Pienaar, captain of the national rugby team, to rally South Africans behind a bid to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup. The title, Invictus, means ‘undefeated’ or ‘unconquered’ in Latin. It is also the title of a poem by William Ernest Henley about the will to survive in the face of a severe test. (Rating: PG)

Malouf, David, Ransom, Vintage, 2010 (1) (A)

Malouf re-imagines the world of The Iliad through a little-known episode of the Trojan War. Maddened by Hector’s slaying of his dear friend Patroclus, Achilles takes revenge and subsequently violates Hector’s corpse. Priam – King of Troy and Hector’s father – journeys to Achilles’s camp seeking to ransom his son’s body. He travels in a donkey cart escorted only by a carter but aided by the god Hermes. The mission is a success and delivers to Priam enrichment in life and legendary status after death. Ransom reveals the powerful impact of love, leadership and paternal duty, and explores ideas of universal relevance,

Pair 3

Funder, Anna, Stasiland, The Text Publishing Company, 2014 (1) (A) (EAL)

An investigation into the rule of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the role of the secret police, the Stasi, Stasiland considers the human cost of state control. Revealing episodes of recent history previously hidden behind the Berlin Wall, Australian writer Anna Funder presents stories
of survival with compassion and humour. Funder recounts the personal stories of Stasi victims, from citizens to some Stasi officers themselves. The text illustrates not only the toll of such an oppressive regime at the time, but also considers the ongoing legacy of the Stasi long after the
fall of the GDR.

Orwell, George, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Penguin Books, 2013 (1)

George Orwell’s chilling vision of the future explores the consequences of totalitarian rule for the individual. Motivated by his love for Julia, protagonist Winston Smith engages in increasingly dangerous acts of dissent despite the ever-present gaze of Big Brother. As Winston learns more about the way in which the Party exercises control, the futility of his rebellion becomes apparent and he is ultimately forced to conform and admit his love for Big Brother. Orwell’s text explores the way in which conformity facilitates social control and considers how loyalty can be compromised by the desire for self-preservation.

Pair 4

MacCarter, Kent and Lemer, Ali (eds), Joyful Strains: Making Australia Home, Affirm Press, 2013 (1) (A) (EAL)

Joyful Strains is a collection of 27 short memoirs from writers of diverse ethnic backgrounds
who reflect on their experiences of migration to Australia. Despite the range of experiences represented, there are common threads that tie these stories together, such as a longing for the old country and its traditions and food, the importance of family and names, what it takes to feel at home in a new country, and the enormous relief and gratitude for a new-found sense of personal freedom and safety. This anthology shows what it means to tear away from bonds of family and home in order to start over in a new country, a feeling that resonates with so many of us who now call Australia home.

Lahiri, Jhumpa, The Namesake, Fourth Estate, 2011 (1)

For as long as he can remember, Gogol Ganguli has hated his name. Growing up in an Indian family in suburban America did not make it any easier for him to accept. So, on his 18th birthday, he changes his awkward moniker by deed poll in the hope of casting it off along with the inherited values it represents. Gogol soon discovers, however, that his identity is bound up in much more than what he is called. No matter how hard he tries, he struggles to reconcile the tension that exists between his Indian heritage and his American values. It is this clash of cultures that is at the heart of this narrative, as well as the ways in which the members of the Ganguli family are shaped by their homeland and changed by the American soil on which they live.

Pair 5

Miller, Arthur, The Crucible, Penguin Classics, 2000 (1) (EAL)

Set against the claustrophobic and dangerous times of the Salem witch trials in 1692,
The Crucible recreates the terrifying reality of a village in New England where a group of
young girls accused of witchcraft attempt to escape retribution by pointing the finger at others.
Of particular fascination is the flawed but ultimately heroic response of the protagonist, John Proctor. His battle with Puritan authorities, jealous neighbours and those bent on personal revenge, suggests that love, integrity and dignity can prevail.

Brooks, Geraldine, Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague, Fourth Estate, 2002 (1) (A)

Year of Wonders is set against the historical backdrop of the plague year of 1666, which brought fear, confusion and grief to a small village in Derbyshire. A maid, Anna Frith narrates her story and, in doing so, traces the anguish of her community as they endure the terrors of a deadly infectious disease and self-imposed isolation. The community seeks answers in religion and superstitions as the plague takes its toll physically, mentally and spiritually. The relationships of Anna, the idealistic but driven rector and his troubled wife are central to the unfolding tragedy in the village.

Pair 6

Murray-Smith, Joanna, Bombshells, Currency Press and Nick Hern Books, 2014
(1) (A) (EAL)

Written as a series of monologues, Bombshells examines the lives of six Western women:
a mother, a timid old woman, a starstruck teenager, a widow, a 20-something and an ageing cabaret performer. Challenging conventional stereotypes, the play contrasts accepted social
mores with the realities of these women’s lives. With a mixture of pathos and humour,
Murray-Smith examines the characters’ intimate thoughts and feelings, and the ways in which
they respond to the ‘bombshells’ in their lives.

Atwood, Margaret, The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus, The Text Publishing Company, 2007 (1)

In Homer’s The Iliad, Penelope, the wife of Odysseus and cousin to the beautiful Helen of Troy,
is celebrated for her wifely devotion and faithfulness. With Odysseus off fighting the Trojan War, Penelope governs his kingdom of Ithaca, raises their son and fends off over 100 suitors. When Odysseus returns, he kills the suitors and hangs Penelope’s maids. In this witty and vibrant retelling of Homer’s work, Penelope’s narrative is interspersed with the choral commentary of
the 12 maids. Reminiscent of classical Greek drama structure,
The Penelopiad uses a variety
of writing styles to give voice to the female characters.

Pair 7

Wright, Tom, Black Diggers, Playlab, 2015 (1) (A) (EAL)

Black Diggers is composed of a series of short scenes exploring the experiences of Indigenous Australians before, during and after World War I. The play builds a picture reflecting the real-life experiences of the men who signed up to go to war to fight for Australia at a time when Indigenous Australians were deprived of rights and citizenship in their own country. Based on research into the experiences of many different soldiers, the play explores racism, mateship, sacrifice, courage and the horrors of war.

D’Aguiar, Fred, The Longest Memory, Vintage, 1995 (1)

This concise novel explores the story of Whitechapel, the oldest and most respected slave on a plantation in Virginia in the 18th century. Reflecting back on his life, Whitechapel remembers his past as a valued slave and advisor to his master, central to the functioning of the plantation. The key event that changed and marred his life is revealed through his reflections as he considers his role in the events leading to the death of his son. The narrative moves between first, second and third person, and between reflection, verse, diary entry and newspaper report. The novel examines the nature of slavery, sacrifice, power and the insidious nature of racism.

Pair 8

Yousafzai, Malala, with Lamb, Christina, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2014 (1) (EAL)

In 2012, 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot on her way home from school in retaliation for
her refusal to be intimated by those who believe that girls should not receive an education, leading to greater international recognition for her cause. While the name Malala may now be well known, the story of how she came to be a leading voice in her own country and the strength that helped her to fight on is less known.
I Am Malala is not just a biographical account of her life, it tells the story of a generation of girls who still have to struggle for equal opportunities, of the love of parents
who valued and encouraged their talented daughter when others saw value only in sons, and of
a country that is caught between religious extremism and the rights of the individual.

Made in Dagenham, Director: Nigel Cole, 2010 (1)

Set in Dagenham, East London in 1968, Made in Dagenham tells the story of female workers at the Ford plant who take strike action in protest of their poor work conditions and for the right to equal pay. The film depicts a time when women’s rights were still hard won and large corporations, such as Ford, held power over governments by threatening to close down factories in response to pay demands. Made in Dagenham not only explores the struggle of women in the workplace, but also depicts attitudes towards the working classes in Britain and the plight of all of its blue-collar workers. (Rating: M)