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America is a nation of paradoxes

America is a nation of paradoxes. Nothing else needs to be said, America is a nation of paradoxes, even if the paradoxes take time to form. America, throughout history has been known to be plagued with racial issues, with such groups like the KKK forming. Despite the declaration saying that all men are created equal, the American’s until recent times, have accepted that all men, regardless of race are equal. 

My knowledge of America is rather limited, as I know more about America’s military history rather than its civil history. Despite this, I believe that America is a nation of paradoxes. After the Americans declared independence, with the Declaration of Independence being published on July 4th, 1776, however slavery itself was officially ended in December 1865. This was almost a full decade where slaves lived ‘equally’ with the Americans. Despite this, the southern states did not accept it. They chose to show their frustration with violence, resulting in groups such as the KKK or Ku Klux Klan forming. Even during World War I, the heroics of the ‘Harlem Hellfighters’ were unrecognised by the American military, yet they were recognised by the French, who had their own ‘French Foreign Legion’. 

Funnily enough, it was Eleanor Roosevelt who was the chairwoman of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Drafting Committee that drafted the Declaration of Human Rights. However, America itself allowed for the KKK relative freedom despite the UDHR. It should also be noted that, despite America being fairly civilised in war time, it has not completely signed or ratified the Geneva Convention. 

America itself is a nation of many paradoxes.


“The Declaration of Independence: Full Text.”, Independence Hall Association,

Peer Review 4

Jessica Aramini

The blog was very enjoyable to read, it analysed the paintings well and took into account the historical contexts of each painter. Being able to read into the paintings and spot the themes is very insightful, despite the themes being quite broad. The themes themselves are intriguing and the method in which the paintings chose to portray them were well regarded. Overall, it was a wonderful blog to read.

Ezra Pound’s list of Don’ts

Ezra Pound’s list of “Don’ts” is quite comprehensive but extensive. He does go over a wide range of notions and include such things as language and rhythm and rhyme. Several Don’ts for language already mentioned by Ezra Pound are:

  • Don’t believe that poetry is simple enough to master, it still takes a sufficient amount of trial and error
  • Don’t be influenced in a way where it is seen that you are plagiarizing words 

Whereas rhythm and rhyme he mentions:

  • A poem doesn’t necessarily have to rely on its own rhymes and rhythm 
  • Don’t believe words will fit in the verse due to it being too dull
  • Don’t be too descriptive as painters can often describe landscapes better than you can.

I’d like to add two new don’ts to Ezra Pound’s list, one for each section and mention another one in its own section. The first don’t is related to language:

  • Don’t always look for a better word, it may be simpler to stick with the simple adjective or description.

The other is related to rhyme and rhythm:

  • You may not need to use rhyme or rhythm, it can often be simpler and more effective to have neither of those.

The final one is related to the structure of a poem:

  • Poems may have a structure, but it is not a defining trait of the genre, sometimes, using an unconventional structure is better than being conventional.


Pound, Ezra. “A Few Don’ts by an Imagiste by Ezra Pound.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation,

Peer Review 3

Victoria Martin

The short story that was in this blog was great. The poem ‘Myrtle’ by John Ashbury and its reference here are well written. The poem itself as said, is about the meaninglessness of life and technology. The way that the meaninglessness is portrayed here is well written, as the persona and ‘Myrtle’ were about to discuss how terrible the candy sounds when the children came out of the store with said candy. Furthermore, the inclusion of mentioning that a Children’s Dentist opening across the street added to the meaninglessness. Overall, it was a great read.


“The problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat.”

This statement is by William Faulkner, part of his speech for the Nobel Prize. 

As someone who writes or just simply plots out stories in their spare time, this statement is surprisingly true. Being able to express my own internal conflict, whether through a character’s external or using them to represent my own internal conflict is incredibly relaxing but it is, for me at least, fun to write about. I guess it helps that it allows me to express my own opinions and thoughts but since some of the characters I use are rather similar to myself, I use the stories kind of like scenarios. The stories then become “what ifs” for me, though I mostly draw a rough outline and picture most of it. 

A character’s internal conflict is also a lot easier to write if one has experienced it or something similar to it before. It is also great for character development in stories and is often what I find some of the best moments in novels and reading materials. 

The statement by William Faulkner is something I find surprisingly true as someone who writes in their own time.


“The Nobel Prize in Literature 1949.”,

Australia is not a finished product

Australia is not a finished product, as Governor General David Hurley says “Australia is still revealing itself to us.” I agree with this statement, Australia is an unfinished product. Australia is still an unfinished story, with many pages unwritten. Even though Australia has its fair share of its own history, such people like Ned Kelly who is notorious for his criminal exploits or events such as the Garma Festival, which opens up discussion about the Australian indigenous population, Australia is still unfinished.

Australia has had its fair share of great writers, such as Patrick White or Lousia Anne Meredith which defined the time that they were writing in. For Patrick White, my personal favourite was his short story, “Miss Slattery and Her Demon Lover” which is a very good story, good enough to write twice about it. Lousia Anne Meredith was an Australian writer in the 19th century, who wrote about the Australian landscape. Unfortunately I didn’t write about her but the way she describes the landscape is still mesmerising and leaves little to the imagination. Despite Meredith writing a century before, her writing still conveys the message that Australia is beautiful.

I’ve mentioned that art and literature also interact with a person’s experience. It is often that such an interaction can influence a person to do further research. As I used myself as an example, reading about the USS Nevada led to me researching Operation Crossroads. Artists as well, such as Sidney Nolan and his painting of Ned Kelly can also influence people. I personally already knew some history about Ned Kelly, and the painting to me, gave the impression that Ned Kelly was someone to be feared, as his armour was painted in all black and his fingers were unnatural. Such paintings which depict people in a certain way, can affect how people view things, as with my understanding of Ned Kelly being an outlaw and bandit, I interpreted Sidney’s view of Ned Kelly to be a negative one.

Australia is like an unfinished book, despite the early pages being written, the middle and ending have yet to be written.

Peer Review 4

Erika Tan

This was written well and was a very good blog. The blog is very insightful and the poem struck me in a similar fashion. Our current lives can be very stressful if not miserable at times, and we often forget to take time to ourselves, whether we choose to relax by surrounding ourselves in nature or simply choosing to accept what has happened and letting ourselves be overwhelmed. To be able to enjoy nature itself now is quite hard as there is very little time to do so. I found this post to be insightful and enjoyable to read.

Letter to Patrick White

Dear Mr White

Your short story, “Miss Slattery and Her Demon Lover” is a fantastic story that was well worth reading. 

The interactions between Miss Slattery and Szabo were quite entertaining, especially towards the end of the short story in the party. The slow but eventual success of Slattery in winning over Szabo only for her to break off and find someone else. The way she rejects all of the offers he gives her just to make her stay with him was also well done. Her tone was rather hostile and despite being offered what may have been a substantial amount of money, she rejected his offer, effectively showing that she is a better person. Her rejection of Szabo also seemed to be out of spite for what he put her through. 

Overall, the short story was fantastic and it was well worth reading.

With Appreciation,


Cabrogal People and Cabramatta

As someone who grew up and is currently living in the area of Cabramatta, or more specifically the border of Cabramatta and Canley Heights, I’ve always been curious about the Aboriginal history of the area. It should also be noted that while the area of Cabramatta is predominantly Vietnamese, most of the highlighted or the more commonly known history of the area from the Vietnam War onward. For example, the area was notorious for its gang violence which was even noted in the documentary by SBS, ‘Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta’.

During both primary and secondary schools, we learned about the overall history of Aboriginal people and the important figures during the time of colonisation such as Pemulwuy or Bennelong. The only mention of the Aboriginal group was during the assemblies where they paid their respects to the land and the respective group, in this case being the Dharug people. However, the Dharug people inhabited a large area, and the people that inhabited the area of Fairfield to Liverpool were the Cabrogal people. The Cabrogal people had sustained themselves on the land for thirty thousand years as it was a source of freshwater and food due to the local waterways [1]. It can also be assumed that as with other groups, they occupied the land seasonally as they lived on the land from Cabramatta to Liverpool. The area itself is also Aboriginal in name, as the name Cabramatta means ‘freshwater grub place’ as ‘Cabra’ is the name for an edible ‘freshwater grub’ and ‘matta’ is ‘place’. Some also believe the name is derived from the Cabrogal people as it is also spelled as ‘Cabragal’. The word ‘cabrogal’ can also be translated into ‘freshwater grub’ and ‘man’.

The history of the Cabrogal people is not well recorded when compared to other Aboriginal groups yet there is still some history. The people were discovered by George Bass and Mathew Flinders during their exploration of the George River in 1795 [2]. However, as is common with discovering new people, the onset of disease, specifically a smallpox epidemic almost destroyed the group and the surviving warriors then joined Pemulwuy’s resistance and died in ensuing skirmishes and battles as they removed from their land [3]. The Cabrogal people had been mostly assimilated by the time of the 1830s, however, the culture did manage to survive with a notable example being Lucy Leane [3]. Lucy Leane was a cabrogal woman who married William Leane in 1865 and in 1893 petitions for a boat and essentially declares that she is only Cabrogal woman living on the Georges River in the Liverpool district since her birth [4]


The petition of your humble Petitioner Lucy Leane showeth that She is the only surviving Native Woman of the Georges River and Liverpool District, residing here ever since her birth, Fifty Three years ago, as the undersigned witnesses can attest.

Being a bona fide Original Native of Australia and of this District, your Petitioner requests of you the supply of a boat as granted by the Government in all such cases, for the purpose of carrying on trade on the Georges River, and your Petitioner will ever pray.

Holdsworthy, Liverpool, 31 May 1893” [5]

 During the 1920s, when the racial policies were in full effect, many of the already ‘assimilated’ people were ‘unassimilated’ and thus had to adopt non-aboriginal identities [3]

The Aboriginal history of the Cabramatta area has been overshadowed by the history of the area during the 20th century once it became a hotspot for gang violence and became the home of vietnamese refugees. Despite being vietnamese myself, I am saddened at the lack of knowledge of the Aboriginal history of the area, however it is still great to see that the culture has still somewhat survived and the descendants are rather proud of their heritage.

[1] – Movizio, Vicki, St Johns Park, Dictionary of Sydney, 2011

[2] – Brouw, Glen, LIVERPOOL’S FIRST NATION To Honour Our Cabrogal, Liverpool Champion

[3] – Neurodrooling, Cabrogal, WordPress, 2014,

[4] – Goodall, Heather, Cadzow, Allison, Aboriginal People on Sydney’s Georges River from 1820

[5] – Mrs Lucy Leane, petition to Colonial Secretary, 31 May 1893


Movizio, Vicki, St Johns Park, Dictionary of Sydney, 2011,, viewed 19 Sep 2019

Goodall, Heather, Cadzow, Allison, Aboriginal People on Sydney’s Georges River from 1820, Dictionary of Sydney, 2014,, viewed 19 Sep 2019

Neurodrooling, Cabrogal, WordPress, 2014,, viewed 19 Sep 2019

Brouw, Glen, LIVERPOOL’S FIRST NATION To Honour Our Cabrogal, Liverpool Champion, 2019,, viewed 19 Sep 2019

Signed by numerous witnesses including the Mayor of Liverpool, numerous aldermen and the local school teacher. Mrs Lucy Leane, petition to Colonial Secretary, 31 May 1893, Colonial Secretary Main Series, letters received, 1826–1982, NRS 905, container 5/6135 [93/7210] State Records of New South Wales