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Listed under:  Language  >  Language modes  >  Creating texts  >  Literary devices
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Heywire: Cows, crops and bulbous lumps

How do you convince people that studying agriculture was the highlight of your school career? Good writers will consciously shape their text to suit their audience and purpose. Listen to Alexandra Neill's Heywire audio story to explore her successful range of strategies. Could you write or record a story about yourself ...

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First Tuesday Book Club: The story behind 'Jasper Jones'

'Jasper Jones' is a novel that recently featured on a list of '10 Aussie books to read before you die'. Does it belong on the list? Many texts make connections to other texts but is this novel too close a retelling of the classic American novel 'To Kill a Mockingbird'? Explore the concept of 'intertextuality' in this clip.

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First Tuesday Book Club: Navigating 'The Secret River'

Kate Grenville's multiple-award-winning novel 'The Secret River' explores an earlier period of Australian history. What is it that makes this novel so compelling and troubling for its many Australian readers? As you watch this clip, consider how this book encourages readers to re-evaluate their beliefs and values.

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Radio National: 'The Great Gatsby': dream or nightmare?

Often the impact of a novel lies in its ability to comment on society. In this audio clip, discover how American writer F Scott Fitzgerald challenges readers to reconsider the society in which they live. This clip from 'Books and arts daily' on Radio National is one in a series of eight.

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Heywire: Running towards mental health

Would you accept someone's argument if you didn't think the person presenting it was credible? Explore Nakita Sobczyk's Heywire audio story and reflect on what makes her an ideal person to educate others about mental illness. As you do, consider the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle's discussion of how 'ethos' can be ...

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First Tuesday Book Club: The voice of Albert Facey

Albert Facey's 'A Fortunate Life' is one of Australia's best-loved autobiographies. Could it be Facey's 'voice' in his writing that touches the hearts of so many readers? Explore this clip to learn more about how the written word can capture the personality of a writer.

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The Book Club: Class and gender roles in 'Wuthering Heights'

'Wuthering Heights' is considered by many to be a great romance novel. Jeanette Winterson, however, thinks it is anything but. What does she think the book is about? Do you agree?

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Representing Sydney's suburbs, 1965

In this clip from the mid-60s, explore how words and images can be combined to encourage particular interpretations and influence audience response. Explore how some of the inner suburbs of Sydney have been represented in history.

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Writing wild places

How do you write about a place that is disobedient?' Four of Britain's prominent writers consider the emotions that wild places evoke. In this clip, Robert Macfarlane, Simon Armitage, Sara Maitland and Owen Sheers consider the qualities of wildness: silence; escape; beauty; threat; and a sense of being both lost and found.

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Characters in Woolf's 'Mrs Dalloway'

Virginia Woolf's 'Mrs Dalloway' is set in London over a period of a single day in June 1923. What other novel, mentioned in this video, is set over a period of a single day? What might be the consequences of setting a novel over such a short period of time? Other than Mrs Dalloway, name an important character in the novel. ...

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Researching with Gary Crew

When authors write stories involving historical events, they often spend time doing research. Why do you think they might do this? What are some of the primary source documents Gary Crew used to inform his book, Strange Objects?

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Jane Eyre: The role of women

What does Jane Eyre tell us about the role of women in 19th century England? Charlotte Bronte's best-known character is, according to Professor John Bowen, an 'assertive heroine ... who speaks the truth'. How does this distinguish her from other women of her time, especially those who serve as governesses? This clip from ...

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Jane Eyre: Who is Bertha Mason?

What do Jane Eyre and Bertha Mason have in common? In what ways are they different? How do you react to Bertha's character? Listen carefully as Professor John Bowen shares his thoughts about the significance of Bertha in Charlotte Bronte's classic novel. This clip is one in a series of four.

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Wuthering Heights: Violence and cruelty

Why might Emily Bronte have included numerous instances of cruelty in Wuthering Heights? Listen as John Bowen, Professor of Nineteeth-century Literature, considers the reasons behind the brutality in the novel. This clip is one in a series of four from the British Library.

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Powerful words: Gough Whitlam's dismissal

Gough Whitlam is the only Australian prime minister to have been sacked from office - along with his entire government. After learning of his dismissal, Mr Whitlam addressed the Australian public and uttered a line that has resonated throughout Australian politics since 1975. Words can be immensely powerful and, as you ...

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Journey to the west - part 1

This is the first part of a Chinese folk story called Journey to the west: the adventures of Monkey, which dates back 1,300 years. The story is about a monkey that gets magical powers. In the second part of the story the monkey becomes a companion of a monk on a dangerous journey. The resource is 15 web pages in length ...

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Lady Wenji and the lament of the nomad flute

This is a Chinese folk story called Lady Wenji and the lament of the nomad flute; it dates back almost 2,000 years. The story is about longing for something that cannot be: lamenting. The resource is 16 web pages in length and includes text, illustrations, arrows at the top of the resource to turn the pages forward and ...

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The Mahabharata

This is the story of The Mahabharata, one of the world’s longest poems that was composed over 2,500 years ago in India. It is a story of family and friends and embodies Hindu mythology and philosophy. The message of the story is that rivalry leads to destruction. The story is 21 web pages long and includes text, illustrations, ...

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Journey to the west - part 2

This is the second part of a Chinese folk story dating back 1,300 years called the Journey to the west: preparing for the great journey. The story is about finding three magical companions - a monkey, a pig and a strongman - for a monk who is going on a dangerous journey. The resource is 15 web pages and includes text, ...

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First Tuesday Book Club: Navigating 'Cloud Atlas'

Some authors like to take readers on a journey, none more so than David Mitchell, the author of 'Cloud Atlas'. His novel is a complex tale that attempts to weave together six different narratives over a period of hundreds of years. Join in this discussion and find out if he succeeds. This clip is the second in a series of two.