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ENG 12 - Extension 1: Worlds of Upheaval

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Elective 2: Worlds of upheaval

In this elective, students explore and evaluate textual representations of the experiences of individuals and communities seeking unity, certainty, solace, justice or restoration in periods of significant social and political change and upheaval. They analyse how texts represent the predicaments, aspirations, motivations and ideas of individuals and groups in periods of upheaval and reflect on the potential of texts to activate change in attitudes, perspectives and social circumstances. Students consider how texts representing worlds of social and political change may challenge literary conventions and traditional societal values. They critically evaluate how texts represent shifting values, contexts and attitudes, and reconsider their own values and assumptions in relation to these representations.

In their responding and composing, they explore, analyse, experiment with and critically evaluate their prescribed texts and other appropriate texts. They write their own imaginative compositions that represent the relationship between the individual and society in times of upheaval.

In this elective, students are required to study at least three of the prescribed texts (including at least two extended print texts) as well as other texts of their own choosing. At least two related texts must be studied. Texts can be drawn from a range of times, contexts and media and should explore the individual and society in times of upheaval.

eResources for English at the State Library of NSW

Prescribed texts

Prose Fiction - Frankenstein - Mary Shelley

In Frankenstein, students will explore the search for solace, redemption and the desire for connection and acceptance. The text’s historical and literary context provokes students to consider the tension between dominant ideologies such as scientific rationalism and Romanticism.

Drama - Waiting for Godot - Samuel Beckett

 In Waiting for Godot, students will explore the experience of the search for meaning and the failure to find certainty in an Absurdist text sparked by the context of the Cold War period. The text’s challenge of literary conventions activates the audience consideration of changing values and assumptions in an unstable socio-political climate.

Film - Metropolis - Fritz Lang

Produced in 1927 in Germany’s Weimar Republic, Metropolis is concerned with wider cultural and political issues, evidenced visually as well as thematically. The film’s social preoccupations have been described as a commentary on the political situation that existed in Germany at the time, but also served as a warning of where Germany was heading in the future.