19th Century Literature, Summative, Uncategorized

Summative Entry

The human and artistic concerns of both the Romantic and Victorian Ages are similar to our own concerns; the response to those concerns- given by poets, novelists, dramatists and artists- can help us live fuller, more meaningful and creative lives in our own times.

Human and Artistic concerns of the Romantic and Victorian ages are similar to our own concerns in today’s world. The responses provided by writers, poets, playwrights and artists of the time help us to live fuller and more meaningful lives within our today’s society.

A key concern portrayed through texts of this time was the way in which individuals were presented and the status which they held. Three individuals who portray this idea are Mary Wollstonecraft, Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde.

In Mary Wollstonecraft’s “A Vindication to the Rights of Woman”, Wollstonecraft expresses her argument that women should have an equal right to education; a right which would allow them to pass knowledge down to their children and to grow wiser. She states that by not receiving an education, women will “stop the progress of knowledge and virtue”, implying that these are important skills and qualities to hold. While Wollstonecraft argues this, From Wollstonecraft’s ideas, we can see that she strongly believes that women hold an important place in the world. While Wollstonecraft is sharing these opinions, Austen uses marriage as a key theme within her novel in which she too comments on women moving up in society and making a name for themselves. Although Wollstonecraft does this through fighting for education and equal rights, Austen focused on the idea that women should show independence and a desire to move up in the world, but achieve this through marriage and/or wealth rather than education.

This suggestion of Austen’s starts to bring in materiality and focus on one’s possessions and wealth rather than their personal qualities such as knowledge, wisdom and virtue to name a few.

Oscar Wilde’s play “The Importance of Being Earnest” draws our attention to these materialistic ideas through the use of satire. Within the play, Lady Bracknell portrays an extremely exaggerated interest in these aspects such as one’s wealth and status in order to determine whether or not they measure up to society’s expectations. Ironically, Bracknell states ““We live, I regret to say, in an age of surfaces.” Not only is she commenting on this idea that people are judged by what is seen on the surface (wealth, status, etc.) rather than their true qualities such as character and virtue, she is also criticizing society for this idea without realising that she is portrayed to be the worst part of this society.

Although today’s world still values the ways in which they as individuals are presented, we are still very materialistic in terms of how much we earn, the size of the houses we buy, the types of cars we own, etc. At the same time though, we focus more on an individuals’ qualities and interests, and use our careers and educations to move ourselves up in the world rather than marriage. By writers, poets, playwrights and artists commenting on these concerns, we are able to judge the ridiculousness of the idea of favouring materialistic possessions over built-in human qualities such as love and emotion, and as a result, we are able to try to avoid doing this in order to allow ourselves to focus on qualities such as happiness and creativity instead in order to allow us to live our lives to the fullest.

19th Century Literature, Peer Reviews

Peer Review 7


I really liked reading your blog post this week! You took a simple prompt and you turned it into a well written creative piece. The imagery throughout made me feel as though I was there and I felt as if I was able to feel all the character felt. The use of rhetorical questions helped to keep me engaged and wonder more about the characters experiences than what I was seeing at face value.

The only slight issue I found within your post was a spelling error, but otherwise your post for the this week was extremely well done!


19th Century Literature

Blog Post, Week 11

“This play, while mocking deeply at the tribal customs of the late Victorians, has, at its heart, a wish to point the human race in the right direction: away from fraud, hypocrisy and such indecent preoccupation with material realities.”

1/ Write whether you agree or disagree with the last paragraph in this blog

I agree with the last paragraph in this blog as the satire used by Oscar Wilde within the play draws our attention to the ridiculousness of Lady Bracknell’s interests and expectations through the use of extensive exaggerations and humour.

Rather than focusing on love and emotion, Lady Bracknell shows us that what is most highly valued is how much money and status one has and whether or not they measure up to society’s standards and expectations.

Lady Bracknell states that “We live, I regret to say, in an age of surfaces“, an extremely ironic comment as she is not only referring to the society around her, but she is also unknowing criticizing herself as she is portrayed to be the worst part of this society that she is criticizing.

When reading this play, we today see the humour and exaggeration throughout as, although our world is still overly materialistic, we value character and love in people over their materials and possessions.

19th Century Literature, Peer Reviews

Peer Review 6


This weeks blog post was both well written and very analytical. You did a good job of analysing the poem and explaining both the face value perspectives and the deeper meanings behind it. 

I felt that all aspects of your post were well thought out and I like the way you mention that all interpretations are correct when backed up with evidence before following through with your understanding of the text and the evidence to back up your claims.

While I enjoyed your post, I feel as though you could have expanded on the final point about what the poem has taught you, as to me, it seemed as if it quickly came to an end even though you had more to say.

Keep up the good posts!





19th Century Literature, Peer Reviews

Peer Review 5


I really enjoyed your Week 5 blog post capturing our visit to the Art Gallery of NSW. I think the way you began summarised our visit overall in detail before talking about the two paintings specifically was a good start to your post! I also like that you included the paintings in the order of where they were during our Gallery tour/

I too loved the painting by Eugene Von Guerard; it truly was breathtaking! Each of the paintings have an extensive analysis with them and you have done well to include this in the summary along with why you liked that painting.

The only changes that I think could be made to your post would be creating a new paragraph separating your discussion of the first painting and the Victoria Hall.

Keep up the good posts!



20th Century Literature

Blog Post 6, Week 8

Write a letter to John Henry Cardinal Newman telling him how much you appreciate his take on what a university education should be about

John Henry Cardinal Newman,

I really appreciate your take on what university education should be about. As an education student, I too believe that university is a place where knowledge can be transmitted and that this type of knowledge should be different to that used within the marketplace.

The ability to attend university to gain an education and further our knowledge on all different levels is a privileged and an honour; it is not something accessible to everyone. It is a place where we can use our imagination and personal feelings and experiences in order to build on and understand areas such as literature, philosophy and the arts.

It is a place for us to grow and develop in our understandings of knowledge, the world around us, and also our inner lives and feelings.


Nicole Walsh