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									                              Ambarvale High School
                               Stage 5 Writing unit

                       Deadly Unna? worksheets index
Worksheet            Title
                     Introduction and Student outcomes
        1            Language worksheets
        2            Messages from the text
       3a            Identifying aspects of texts
       3b            „Reading‟ texts
                     Student work sample
        4            Cine-literacy: Australian Rules
                     Teacher sheet: Cine-literacy suggested responses for
                     Worksheet 4
        5            How to write a compare and contrast response
                     Model text
        6            Building an interpretation scaffold
        7            Character matrix: The construction of Gary Black‟s character
                     in Phillip Gwynne‟s Deadly Unna?
        8            Character matrix: The construction of Mr Black‟s character in
                     Phillip Gwynne‟s Deadly Unna?
        9            How to sound convincing
       10            A „sure thing, never fail, fool proof, formula‟ for simple
                     paragraph writing
       11            Assessing the author‟s point of view
       12            Representations in Deadly Unna?
       13            Character matrix: The construction of Dumby Red‟s film
       14            Character matrix: The construction of Clarence Red‟s film
       15            Vocabulary handout
       16            A critical response scaffold

English Stage 5                          January 2005                                Page 1 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
                Introduction and Student outcomes
By the end of this unit of work we want you to have written a formal response
to the novel Deadly Unna? by Phillip Gwynne. Your interpretation will be
based on your own „reading‟ of the novel, and supported by evidence (quotes
and references) from the text. To be able to do this, you will undertake a
close study of the novel so that you can make an analysis of what the text
means and how it achieves its purpose. Additionally, we want you to improve
your formal writing skills so that the quality of your ideas can be matched by
the quality of your expression.

Many times in English, you will be asked this question, “What is the text
(novel) really about?” By examining textual elements like plot,
characterisation, themes and language you will begin to see how you are able
to interpret meaning and apply it in a way that will increase your
understanding of textual significance as well as your love for reading.

As part of this process, you will also be studying how to make your written
expression more formal. At Stages 5 and 6, there is an expectation from the
education community that students should be able to write in a style that is
appropriate to senior school and tertiary education. One of the main ways in
which you will be assessed in this unit will be on our written expression. You
will be shown how to make your writing have the power and authority of an
academic register.

We want to stress that the reading and writing skills that you will learn in this
unit can be transferred to other subject areas that also have formal writing

English Stage 5                          January 2005                                Page 2 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
                                                                                Worksheet 1
                               Language worksheets

                                Chapter 1
Use your general knowledge about these words to write a definition or
meaning into your English workbooks under the heading:

Vocabulary activity
youse                                                           page 3
buggerise                                                       page 3
Nungas                                                          page 4
Goonyas                                                         page 5

Use a dictionary to write a definition of these words:
infuriate                                             page 5
cumbersome                                            page 5

Technical language: football terms:
As class members what do these terms mean?
flanks                                                          page 3
ruck                                                            page 6

Language features: figurative language
A simile is the comparison between two distinctly different things, indicated by
the use of „like‟ or „as‟.
Example: “O my love‟s like a red, red rose” by Robert Burns.

Explain the following examples of figurative language, writing your response
in your English workbook. What is meant by:

(a) glowing like a tail light                                   page 5
(b) news spreads like diesel on water                           page 6

                                   Chapter 2
Language features: colloquial language
Copy this definition into your English workbook.
Colloquial language is the deliberate use of conversational, informal and
often vulgar words to make communication. The selection and use of these
words can be described as „slang‟.

Explain the following examples of Colloquial Language, writing your
response in your English workbook. What is meant by:
(a) slack moll                                   page 9
(b) gutless wonder                               page 10

Use a dictionary to write a definition of this word:
momentum                                                        page 8

Technical language: football terms:
English Stage 5                          January 2005                                Page 3 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
“umpy” (on page 7) is a shortened form of what word?

Why do Australians shorten words and add an “ie”, “y”, “a” or an “o” to the
ends of colloquial words or people‟s names?

                                  Chapter 3
Cultural references
Specific references to places, people or things: research this reference
and what it may imply to the audience or say about the character:
the Amscol man                                     page 12
Brylcreem                                          page 12

Use a dictionary to write a definition of this word:
bandy                                                           page 11

Characterisation: Mr Robertson, aka “Arks”
   List all the attributes, habits, behaviours and attitudes mentioned about
     the character of Mr Robertson.
   Study the list and evaluate what this might imply about him.
     Remember, the inference made by the reader is just as important as
     what is mentioned by the composer.
   In one paragraph write what you think “Arks” is like.

                                         Chapter 4
Use a dictionary to write a definition of this word.
optimism                                                        page 16
revolutionised                                                  page 17

Explain the following examples of colloquial language, writing your response
in your English workbook. What is meant by:
(a) spewin‟ me guts out?                          page 15
(b) crikey                                        page 15

Technical language: football terms:
lace-out drop-punt                                              page 17

What do you think this pass would look like?

Humorous colloquial expressions and stereotyping
Most of the humour in the text comes from Gary Black‟s fascination with
language, especially the way Mr Robertson uses it. On page 18, Gary sets up
Mr Robertson by baiting for responses that might include the words “arksed”
and “anythink”, e.g.
   “What boots? He never arksed me anythink.” (page 18)
      1. Why does Gary think this is funny?
      2. What does it say about the Australian sense of humour?
      3. What stereotype is being used and why?

English Stage 5                          January 2005                                Page 4 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
This use of humour is called a malapropism. Copy the following definition
into your English workbooks.

A malapropism is the use of a word in mistake for one sounding similar and
used for comic effect, e.g.
      Kim: “Mum, I just want to be effluent”.
      Kath: “But you are effluent, Kim!”             Kath & Kim, ABCTV.

                                         Chapter 5
Language features
Explain the following examples of colloquial language and Indigenous
dialect, writing your response in your English workbook. What is meant by:
(a) “brudda                                         page 21
(b) “unna”                                          page 23
(c) “Nukkin ya”                                     page 25
(d) “servo”                                         page 26

Use a dictionary to write a definition of this word.
desirous                                                        page 27

Technical language: football terms
forward (position)                                              page 22
grubbered                                                       page 24

Question 1: Black‟s first impressions of Dumby Red are:







English Stage 5                          January 2005                                Page 5 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
                                                                                Worksheet 2
                              Messages from the text
In order to analyse the text it is important to consider the following questions.
Write your ideas or make notes beside the questions on this sheet.
    1. Who is the intended audience for the text?
    2. May another group read it? Who are they?
    3. What considerations must Phillip Gwynne make for this group?
    4. Are those considerations significant?
    5. What is the context which surrounds the
           a. writing of the text
           b. the publishing of this text?
    6. Why is context significant to a text?
    7. What do you think is Phillip Gwynne‟s purpose in writing this text?

In writing Deadly Unna? Phillip Gwynne had motivations beyond commercial
gain. Think about the motivation for writing a piece of prose fiction.

What messages does Gwynne try to communicate to his audience? Try to
identify four main messages from the text. If you can‟t think of any messages
try to think about it in another way: what is the author trying to teach you? Or
what does the main character, Gary Black, learn throughout his story?

A. __________________________________________________________

B. __________________________________________________________

C. __________________________________________________________

D. __________________________________________________________

English Stage 5                          January 2005                                Page 6 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             

Now that you have thought about the author‟s messages, place your ideas in
rank order of importance by labeling them 1-4 next to your notes above.

Hint: The most difficult aspect of converting your brilliant thinking into
academic writing is writing it „right‟. Practicing how you are going to express
your ideas is called drafting. If you have ever had feedback from your teacher
that says you are “padding”, “waffling” or “repetitive”, then you have made the
same point twice or more. This usually happens because you have been
experimenting with vocabulary and expression. To avoid this happening try
this next exercise.

Activity: Using the answers 1-4 above, identify the main idea for each of the
four messages. In the margins next to your answers, use one word, e.g.
„responsibility‟, „racism‟, „mateship‟, „maturity‟ etc, to summarise your main
idea for that message.

In your English workbook or folder, try to compose a sentence, which clearly
states your main idea.

You may need to do this several times as you improve your vocabulary and
expression. Repeat this process until you have four concise and precise

English Stage 5                          January 2005                                Page 7 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
                                                                              Worksheet 3a
                           Identifying aspects of texts

Identify the personal response and review styles of writing as well as
the interpretation sections of this text by underlining or circling in
different coloured pens or pencils.

Deadly Unna? is a novel about an individual overcoming the constraints of a
racist, ignorant community. It is set in a small Australian town, which is
divided into two areas, the Port and the Point. The story is both humorous
and tragic.

The main character, Gary Black, and his relationship with Dumby Red, raises
the primary concern of the novel, as Black endeavours to overcome the
stereotypes that underpin the attitudes of the vast majority of the community.

I loved reading this book, and following the action as Black grows and
develops as a character. He is inspirational, and certainly made me question
my own attitudes and actions.

Black, following the death of Dumby, decides to attend his funeral and has to
deal with many challenges in an attempt to be there. He must disobey his
father, disappoint his girlfriend and go behind his mother‟s back to achieve
his intended goal. This novel handles the age-old conflict of traditional and
accepted versus free and fresh in an innovative and effective way.

However, I would like to have seen Gary respond more publicly to the
situation and in turn, make a bigger difference in terms of changing public

Overall, the novel is interesting, original and successful in achieving its

English Stage 5                          January 2005                                Page 8 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
                                                                              Worksheet 3b
                                    „Reading‟ texts

One of the main skills required in English is to be able to relate the actions,
events, characters and language of the texts set for study to wider issues that
might concern society as a whole. In English you are expected to do a
„deeper‟, less obvious reading of the meaning of the text and as a result, you
must support your reading with references from the text, and often from wider

This is never an easy task because the „deeper reading‟ of the text is usually
not openly expressed. Therefore, one of the main skills in English is to
interpret the actions, events, characters and language of the text in terms of
these deeper readings. When you make one of these deeper readings, you
are making an interpretation of the text.

Read the following texts taken from actual reviews of Deadly Unna? and
underline the interpretations and annotate what is happening in the
paragraph. You will be led by your teacher in this activity.

Text 1
Deadly Unna? is set in Australia, and the plot largely involves fifteen-year old
Gary Black and his friends and family. Phillip Gwynne makes the characters
both convincing and realistic as they successfully put across the concerns of
the text. Gary, as a character, propels the action of the novel as he strives to
overcome the confines of a repressive, racist community.

Text 2
Deadly Unna? is a courageous novel in favour of freedom of the individual.
Phillip Gwynne‟s book is about a young, open minded, non-Aboriginal boy,
and his relationships in a town where Aborigines are segregated and down-
trodden. Gary Black, a teenage boy, is the central character. He challenges
the traditional, conventional views of the township and endeavours to
overcome the racial division. This story is told in an innovative yet subtle

Text 3
Black is an interesting character in that he privately opposes the
subordination of Aborigines whilst not confronting the issue on a public level.
It is, however, through his quiet approach, that perhaps a more significant
difference is made. It is a moving, humorous and tragic piece of fiction.

Text 4
The novel makes us, the readers, take a long hard look at what inspires us,
what governs our motivations and determines our actions. It emotes feelings
rarely felt in novels these days. Phillip Gwynne skilfully handles the subject
matter, which in the hands of a lesser author, would be perhaps ineffective.
Deadly Unna? incorporates romanticism, love, sport and friendship with more
complex social and racial issues, a blend that closely resembles the „real‟
English Stage 5                          January 2005                                Page 9 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
Text 5
Unlike the majority of his friends, Gary Black pushes the boundaries of
accepted normality. His goal is to overcome, on a personal level, the racial
division that drives his quiet community, and to try to more thoroughly
understand the reasons behind the separation and segregation. The
character of Black is presented sincerely, and his voice is heard loud and
clear through Phillip Gwynne‟s effective use of narrative.

English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 10 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
                               Australian Rules film
                               Student work sample
    MA rating
    98 minutes running time

Cast and crew
   Director - Paul GoldmanProducer - Mark Lazarus
   Executive Producers - Antonio Zeccola, Bridget Ilkin
   Screenplay - Phillip Gwynne, Paul Goldman
   Gary 'Blacky' Black - Nathan Phillips
   Dumby Red - Luke Carroll
   Clarence - Lisa Flanagan
   Pickles - Tom Budge
   Bob Black - Simon Westaway
   Liz Black - Celia Ireland
   Arks - Kevin Harrington

Cast and crew: history
   Paul Goldman: This is Goldman's first feature film. He formerly
      directed commercials and music videos. As a director he is involved in
      “The Night We Called It a Day” (2003). As a cinematographer he was
      involved in “Ghosts of the Civil Dead” (1988)
   Phillip Gwynne: This is Gwynne's first feature film. “Australian Rules”
      is adapted from Gwynne's novel “Deadly Unna?”
   Nathan Phillips: Phillips was involved in T.V programmes including –
      “Neighbours” (1985), “The Saddle Club” (2001) and “Something in the
      Air” (2000). He is involved in the following feature films: “One Perfect
      Day” (2003), “Under the Radar” (2004), “Take Away” (2003), “Warriors
      of Virtue” and “The Return of Tao” (2002).
   Luke Carroll: Luke was involved in the T.V series' “Heartland” (1994),
      and “Lift Off” (1992). He was also in “Dallas Doll” (1992).
   Lisa Flanagan: Lisa is a newcomer to both feature films and the small
   Simon Westaway: Some of Simon's most well known projects include
      “The Thin Red Line” (1998), and “Babe: Pig in the City” (1998)
   Kevin Harrington: Harrington is best known for his work on the
      television series “Seachange”.
   Celia Ireland: One of Ireland's most recent feature film performances
      was in “My Mother Frank” (2000)

2002 release dates
    USA: 11January at the Sundance Film Festival
    Australia: 5th March at the Adelaide Festival of Arts and nationwide on
      the 29August
    Denmark: 2nd May


English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 11 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
Australian Rules was released by Palace Films. It is presented by the
Australian Film Finance Corporation, and produced by Tidy Town Pictures in
association with Showtime Australia, The South Australian Film Corporation,
The Adelaide Festivals of Arts 2002 and SBS Independent.

Online presence
Australian Rules has its own website: which is useful in providing
information about the film, reviews and up to date news on the responses to
the film.

The main form of information found on the internet relating to the film is
reviews. There was a very substantial amount of these. There were very few
interviews with the filmmakers and actors. However, I managed to find
interviews with Paul Goldman, Nathan Phillips, Phillip Gwynne and Lisa

The film is fairly recent, and I believe this is the reason for the abundance of
reviews of the film available online. The film has recently been released on
DVD and VHS and this has meant the subsequent release of even more
reviews on the internet. I gained information on the release of the film, and
the history of the actors from the Internet Movie Database:
and would have obtained box-office figures from the Urbancinefile web site,
but as access to this site is no longer free this resource was not available to
me. I believe that the reason that there was not more information to be found
on the internet, is because Australian Rules is a small, Australian movie,
which did not obtain a mainstream reputation.

Internet reviews
    Film Threat, Hollywood's Indie Voice -
    Alternative Melbourne -
    Moviehole -
    Senses of Cinema -
    -
    Iofilm -
    DVD net -
    Sunday Online Australia -
    World Socialist Website:

I found a very interesting interview with Phillip Gwynne and Lisa Flanagan, at
the World Socialist Website. This interview concentrated on the controversy
that surrounded the film before it was made. It explored Gwynne and
Flanagan's reactions towards the campaign that was launched against the
film claiming that it was racist and disrespectful to Indigenous people.

English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 12 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
A review I found on the Sunday Online Australia website contains an
interview with Paul Goldman, the director of the film. In this interview he
discusses his aims when making the film, and his reaction to the criticism of
the film. He describes Australian Rules:

        The film's about courage so it's about physical courage and moral
        courage and so that was really the prism for all those issues. I mean,
        the film certainly engages in some discussion about race and about
        bigotry but it also ... there's a lot of other things that happen in the

I also found an interview with Nathan Phillips (Blacky) on the Moviehole
website. This interview concentrates on the opportunities that Phillips has
been offered thanks to the success of “Australian Rules”.

Awards and recognition
  1. Official selection: Sundance Film Festival 2002
  2. AFI Nominations 2002:
          Best Film
          Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Luke Carroll
          Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Celia Ireland
          Best Original Music Score: Mick Harvey
          Best Sound
          Best Screenplay Adapted from another Source: Paul Goldman
             and Phillip Gwynne
  3. 2002 Emirates AFI Best Screenplay Adapted From Another Source:
     Paul Goldman and Phillip Gwynne.
  4. Nominated for Best Film by the Film Critics Circle of Australia, and the
     IF awards.
  5. The Screenplay was nominated for the 2002 Humanitas Prize.

My research of this film was conducted on the internet. I used search engines
such as Google and Alta Vista to find the majority of my information. Using
the film's title, director's and producer's names proved very helpful in these
searches. I also took advantage of the H231 Website and its links to a lot of
helpful media databases.

Australian Rules is set in a poverty-stricken fishing town in South Australia.
Prospect Bay is white dominated town, with an Aboriginal mission just out of
town. This movie follows the story of its 16 year old protagonist Blacky
(Nathan Phillips). Australian Rules explores the racism and bigotry of the
small town and Blacky's conflicting life.

Blacky is a keen, but not brilliant member of the town's football club which is
about to play in their first grand final in 37 years. Blacky's best friend Dumby
Red (Luke Carroll) is a talented player on the team. In this little town, football
is the only activity that sees the blacks and whites integrated (which makes
the team colours of black and white appropriate). Just before the big match,
English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 13 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
Blacky is promoted to the position of ruck after one of the Aboriginal players
is arrested. This is a daunting task for him, especially due to the fact that
Blacky has been down-trodden by his alcoholic, abusive father (Simon
Westaway), and has had it literally hammered into him that he is a coward.
The team triumphs over adversity and wins the game, thanks to Blacky's
mum Liz's (Celia Ireland) tactical advice, Blacky's accidental heroism, and
Dumby's brilliance on the football field.

The racial prejudice of the town boils to the surface at the grand final
celebrations when Dumby's talent is denied due to the colour of his skin. This
leads to tragic events culminating in Dumby's death and a division of the
town. Blacky falls in love with Dumby's sister Clarence (Lisa Flanagan) and
breaks the pattern of racial tension, by being the only white person at his best
friend's funeral. Blacky eventually stands up to his abusive father and he and
Clarence decide to leave the Bay and its racist attitudes behind.

Australian Rules is based on the semi-autobiographical novel written by
Phillip Gwynne, Deadly Unna? The film is a disturbing yet brilliant exploration
of small town attitudes. It exposes the hidden disgraceful secrets of racism
and domestic violence. Blacky is the representative of the only link between
the white and black communities in this town and it is from his point of view
that we experience the racial tensions. For me this film worked around a lot of
contrasts. Firstly there is the main issue of black versus white. Another
interesting feature for me was that the film was really separated into two
halves which were amazingly contrasting. The first half was centered around
the build-up to the football game. This part of the movie, was littered with
humour (a brilliant performance by Kevin Harrington as the over-bearing
coach), and the warmth of the friendship between Blacky and Dumby. After
the game, the tone of the movie completely changes, and it develops into a
dark and violent portrayal of the lives of the characters. The events that occur
after the game are even more powerful when compared with the light,
comedic beginning of the film. It began with a football game, and ended with
an insight into a town's tragedies.

The performances by Nathan Phillips, Lisa Flanagan and Luke Carroll are
outstanding. Simon Westaway adds a brilliant element to the film, in his dark
and disturbing role as the abusive father, and Celia Ireland is amazing as
Blacky's abused, yet vital mother Australian Rules is a heart-wrenching
drama which is at some stages difficult to watch. It exposes a violent and
abusive world that many of us entrenched in our safe, sheltered urban lives
have never been exposed to. It puts the reality in your face and refuses to
sugar-coat it for a mainstream audience. I found it to be an honest and
courageous film.

Critical uptake
The majority of reviews written about Australian Rules were very positive.
Even the international reviews had excellent things to say about the film. The
performances of the three young characters were hailed as wonderful, and
Simon Westaway and Celia Ireland are also given special mentions for their
English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 14 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
performances. Most critics were very impressed with Paul Goldman's first
feature film:

        "Goldman sharply depicts a static community cut off from the world,
        representing but never overstating the typical small-town fauna of
        faded, put-upon women and boozy, bigoted men,"
        David Rooney, Daily Variety, 29 Jan 2002.

Caroline Libresco of the Sundance Film Festival Program commented on
Australian Rules:

        “enormously moving, immensely satisfying, sensitive and unflinching."

However this movie was nearly sabotaged due to a campaign led by the
former co-coordinator of the South Australian Indigenous Screen Culture
Organisation and vocal black nationalist, David Wilson. Wilson claimed that
during the making of the film, Goldman, Gwynne and Lazarus did not consult
enough with the indigenous people of the Point Pearce Community, and that
the movie was disrespectful to indigenous people. The campaign built against
the movie believed that the plot of the film was too similar to the shooting of
two young Aboriginals in an attempted robbery at a local pub in 1977.
Goldman and Gwynne made a few changes to the film to try and appease
those involved in the campaign. However they were still not happy with the
film being released, and made this fact well known. Despite this, screenings
of the film were successful, and the campaign failed.

Lisa Flanagan commented on the claims made by the campaign that the film
was racist, in an interview with Richard Phillips for the World Socialist

        "This is not a racist film but simply a picture of what really happens in
        this country. It was something I felt very strongly about, and I told Mark
        Lazarus, the producer, that I'd be there 100 percent."

In an interview with Les Everett, Mark Lazarus talked about the people behind
the campaign:

        "But there was also a larger group, also directly related to those
        issues, who urged us to make the film, and said, “it's a story that‟s got
        to be told”. It was a real conflict for us as filmmakers because we are
        nice guys and we didn't want to cause any pain. But we felt the
        overriding motivation to tell the story was right. When you bring a
        painful story to light it is at that point the healing starts."

I believe the claim, that Australian Rules is a racist film, is ridiculous. The
central theme of the film is the opposition to racist attitudes and behaviours.

Position in national cinema
Australian Rules has a clear identity as an essentially Australian film. It deals
explicitly in an emotional and physical Australian environment. It is difficult
English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 15 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
without box-office figures to tell what sort of general reaction Australian and
foreign audiences had towards the film, but critically it was acclaimed as a
success. It may be a very Australian concentrated film but its exploration of
the universal themes of racial tension, and domestic violence would allow it to
appeal to a foreign market. This foreign market would probably be limited to
an art house audience as it is not a film that would compete with Hollywood
blockbusters for foreign interest.

Australian Rules has the ability to appeal to foreign audiences due to its
uniquely Australian style, landscape and characters, yet it also has elements
that are relatable for people from any country. The small budget that
Australian Rules was created with (A$3.8 million) cannot compete with
Hollywood blockbusters which have far greater budgets.

by Eve B

English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 16 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
                                                                                Worksheet 4
                        Cine-literacy: Australian Rules

Film language
1.   What is going on in Mr and Mrs. Black‟s bedroom?
2.   Why is ripple glass used in this scene?
3.   Gary and Clarence are found sleeping in Gary‟s bed. What is the
     allusion here?
Australian cinematic traditions:
4.   The clothesline has been used in many Australian films such as,
     Muriel’s Wedding, Strictly Ballroom, Mullet and now in Australian Rules.
     Why is this Australian icon used and what does it communicate?
5.   The iconic symbols of a wide brown land, endless blue skies are used
     throughout this film. What is understood by their inclusion?
6.   How does the director denote time passing?
Camera angles:
7.   The use of wide, open landscape shots are frequently contrasted by
     internal shots showing cramped living conditions. Why do the director
     and film editor cut between the two?
8.   What is the effect of the slow-motion camera work when Gary is
     knocked out on the sporting field in the final?
Figurative language in film:
9.   Mr Robertson has blood on his hands when Gary goes to his butcher
     shop to ask what is happening about Dumby‟s funeral. What is the
     implication being made here?
10. At the Presentation evening, Dumby‟s cousin is standing beneath a
     portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The speaker has just used the word
     “guardian” in his formal address to the audience. This is a political
     statement by the director, what does it mean?
11. Why use black and white for the team colours? What else do these
     colours symbolise in our culture? Make a list.
Film genre:
12. This is a „rites of passage‟ or a „coming of age‟ film but why has the
     director resisted using the „typical Australian coastal/surfie flick‟ genre,
     despite the film‟s setting?
13. One theme of the film is justice. How does Dumby‟s acting show
     injustice when Mark Robertson is awarded “Best on Ground” in the
     football final?
14. Mr Robertson uses the word “walkabout” when speaking to his players.
     This is a racist assumption about Aboriginal people. How does Dumby‟s
     cousin react?
15. What is the purpose of the gratuitous use of swearing in the film?
16. Gary and Clarence‟s dialogue includes words from a romantic discourse
     and this is contrasted with Pickle‟s malapropisms. Why do they talk
     about star.

English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 17 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
                                                                             Teacher sheet
        Cine-literacy marking suggestions for Worksheet 4
                     Please use as a guide only

Film language:
Euphemisms                                  1 mark for each answer
1. Domestic violence
2. To obscure the disturbing nature of the hitting
3. They have been sexually active
Australian cinematic traditions:
4. The tradition and nature of Australian domestic dramas, for realism, to
    denote the role of females in Australian society etc. (2 marks for this
5. The land of endless opportunity
6. Use of natural lighting, night and day, sleeping and music.
Camera angles:
7. To communicate what it is like for Gary to be confined when adolescents
    want freedom. To show poverty.
8. Responder sympathy and time to think about possible implications of
    accidents, ie, suspense.
Figurative language in film:
9. Mr Robertson‟s prejudice and that of all the white townsfolk killed Dumby.
10. Rules can be decided upon by those they affect. Reconciliation, sorry, etc.
11. To emphasise the racial differences, guilt, black has an „evil or bad‟
    connotation whereas white is a symbol for „purity and good‟. Discuss with
    class, there are many. Include cultural perspectives as these listed here
    pertain to an Anglo view of Australia – highlight this.(2 marks for this
Film genre:
12. Life for most is fairly unromantic. A move away from the cliché. This film
    has more to say than lifestyle.
13. Facial features show the real hurt of being a part of the „invisible minority‟.
14. Violently, they try to tell Mr. Robertson that not all people are alike and
    using the racist stereotype of „Aboriginal people are untrustworthy‟ (sic) is
    unacceptable. (2 marks for this answer)
15. Reflecting youth culture.
16. Pickles‟ misuse of language is to create humour (Kath and Kim style). The
    romantic language is to reflect the prose fiction element of Mrs. Black‟s
    love for escapist romantic novels. The discussion of the stars is a
    metaphoric device to talk about their own feelings for each other. (2
    marks for this answer)
                                                                 Total:          /20 marks

English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 18 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
                                                                                Worksheet 5
           How to write a compare and contrast response

Recently you have read the text Deadly Unna? and viewed a film version
called Australian Rules and now your teacher wants you to write about both.

The compare and contrast style of response here is a method of organising
content and therefore can be used for any subject area. The codes and
conventions of this style of writing include specific vocabulary and some
suggestions have been listed below in the scaffold.

Try to incorporate these words into your response as it demonstrates that you
are aware of your audience when you are writing.

The codes and conventions (the rules of the game) of the compare and
contrast response:
    “Compare” means to identify and write about all of the similarities
      between the prose fiction text and the film text.
    “Contrast” means to identify and write about all of the differences
      between the prose fiction text and the film text.
    It is usual to write about all of the similarities first then to mention the
    The format of your response can be integrated, that is you might select
      an aspect of the texts such as racism and mention similarities and
      differences between the two texts within the same paragraph.
    Alternatively, you may find it easier to separate the texts and write
      about the prose fiction text first and then the film version, noting the
      similarities and then the differences.
    The final paragraph of your response should include some statement
      as to which of the texts you prefer and offer some justification for this
    The style of this response is formal, that is, it should not sound as if
      you are having a conversation with someone. A tip for this is to remove
      all personal pronouns, discuss the issues rather than retell the events,
      use high modality to express your ideas and use the passive voice.

English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 19 of 38
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Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
                        Compare and contrast scaffold

English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 20 of 38
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                                      Model text
                                   An interpretation

Deadly Unna? is about how an individual can triumph over the forces of
conformity.” Discuss in relation to the novel.

The action of Deadly Unna? is set in an Australian town, focusing on two
different locations - the Port, inhabited by non-Aboriginal Australians, and the
Point, where the Aboriginal characters reside. The novel explores the
enlightenment of one of the Port‟s citizens, fifteen-year old Gary Black and
his realisation and recognition of the world around him. Deadly Unna? is an
inspirational quest, which chronicles Gary‟s personal triumphs in the face of
the constraints imposed by a repressive, racist town. In overcoming this, Gary
moves towards personal empowerment as he strives to develop functional
relationships with both friends and family and in doing so, is forced to push
accepted boundaries to new limits. This metamorphosis, from submission to
liberation, is the primary concern of the novel.

From the initial stages of the text, the reader is immediately made aware of
the racial division of the town. This is further emphasised when Mark
Robertson wins the B.O.G. trophy after the football grand final. This is
perhaps a catalyst for Gary as he begins to question the world around him
and the forces acting upon it. The novel‟s portrayal of this issue continues
throughout the text and in turn, Gary becomes increasingly resistant to the
partitions prohibiting acceptance and equality.

It is, however, the relationship between Gary and Dumby Red that most
notably explores the primary themes addressed by the novel. Early on, the
reader learns of the obstacles hindering their initial friendship. However,
Dumby‟s loyalty and Gary‟s open mind ensure that these obstacles are swiftly
hurdled. The fact that Gary is the only character who recognises and
acknowledges Dumby‟s sporting prowess strongly suggests that he is non-
judgemental and as a result, will not be happy to merely accept, without
question, what is fed to him.

The death of Dumby is certainly a pivotal point in the novel. At this stage of
the action, Gary begins to actively oppose the stereotypes presented by
citizens of the Port and endeavours to attend Dumby‟s funeral to pay respect
to both Dumby and his family. Upon asking those close to him, his mother
and Darcy, Gary is given many reasons for not attending, however, his
strength of conviction ensures that he be present at the ceremony. At this
point, Gary realises that he has the power to make a difference and triumph
over the forces of conformity.

However, the greatest single example of the triumph of individualism over
repression is when Gary and his siblings disobey their father in order to
delete “Boongs piss off” which is written on the outside of a shed at the jetty.
As Gary deletes the graffiti and explains the phrase to his younger brothers
and sisters, the main issue of the novel, to question accepted norms, is
English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 21 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
In conclusion, Deadly Unna? promotes the strength of the individual and the
need to challenge the forces of conformity. The novel, through the
development of character and theme, acknowledges and celebrates both
diversity and unity in a medium that allows Gwynne to comment on a global
and very personal concern.

English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 22 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
                                                                                Worksheet 6
                     Building an interpretation scaffold
Use the “How to read messages from the text” worksheet 2 and your four
interpretation sentences in your English work book or folder for this activity.

The rectangles below represent the paragraphs you will write in this activity.

The opening paragraph will contain 2-3 sentences as a brief summary of what
the prose fiction text Deadly Unna? is really about.
    Reference the text in this section.
    In one sentence, state the main interpretation you hold from the text.
    In the final sentence of this paragraph, preview your evidence or the
       arguments you will use to prove your ideas.

    In this paragraph write one sentence on the selective retelling of an
     event to set the scene for your argument.
    Using the interpretation sentence you ranked as the most important,
     re-write your „perfect sentence‟ here.
    Write 2-3 sentences, which offer evidence, quotes, techniques and
     language features to support the interpretation you have made. (This
     section is a demonstration of your close reading of the text).
    The final sentence should link your interpretation to a wider social
     issue or comment on how this issue is dealt with in society, in a real life

Repeat this process for the other 3 interpretations you have made.
 Use the interpretation you ranked as second most important here.

 Use the interpretation you ranked as third most important here.

 Use the interpretation you ranked as fourth most important here.

    A forceful statement of your main ideas needs to be expressed here.
      Take two sentences to make those points.
    The third sentence is a linking sentence between the interpretation and
      the wider social issue.
    The final sentence is one which places the interpretations within the
      social context and evaluates its importance or significance to the
      intended audience.

English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 23 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
                                                                                                                                                Worksheet 7
          Character matrix: The construction of Gary Black‟s character in Phillip Gwynne‟s Deadly Unna?
Textual event or incident                 Vocabulary used to help construct         Language forms, features and     Symbols and significance
                                          the character.                            structures used to narrate the
                                                                                    event or incident.
1.    Gary‟s role as a team
      member in the Australian
      rules final
2.    Fishing with his dad

3.    Provoking “the siblings”
      about television
4.    Attending the “do” after            „gallivanting‟ (p.112)
      the final

5.    Gary‟s mateship with                                                             silences                        Darcy is a substitute father for
      Darcy                                                                            questions asked by Gary
                                                                                                                        Darcy is a role model for Gary
                                                                                        and answered by Darcy           Silence is pivotal to Australian
                                                                                                                         male conversation
6.    Spending time with Cathy

7.    Attending Dumby Red‟s                                                                                             Long road and many obstacles
      funeral                                                                                                            towards reconciliation
                                                                                                                        Only non-Indigenous attendant
8.    Painting over racist graffiti



English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 24 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
                                                                                                                                       Worksheet 8

            Character matrix: The construction of Mr Black‟s character in Phillip Gwynne‟s Deadly Unna?
Textual event or incident                 Stereotype and behaviour                  Vocabulary used to describe   Effect on the responder
                                          used                                      stereotype
Dad drinking at the pub.                  Mr. Black drinks, therefore is a
                                          drunk, therefore he must be a
                                          „dead-beat dad‟.

The only person not to watch                                                                                         Take sides with Gary who
the football final.                                                                                                   becomes the unloved hero
                                                                                                                     Don‟t like/respect Dad but
                                                                                                                      feel sympathy towards Mrs.
                                                                                                                      Black, Gary and other
Fighting with his business

Physically abuses Tim

English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 25 of 38
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                                                                                Worksheet 9
                            How to sound convincing
Students often find it difficult to express their ideas in formal language without
using the personal pronouns of „me‟, „I‟, and „my‟. The clever way to disguise
your ideas is to compose sentences in the same way that factual information
is presented in texts.

Look at the examples below:

1. Colloquial expression                  “I think Deadly Unna? is about small town
                                          mateship, sport and summer holidays”.

2. Academic expression                    Phillip Gwynne uses a contemporary
                                          Australian setting to discuss adolescent

The difference between the two pieces of writing is not in the content but how
the information is presented. The second example uses concepts of:

        „contemporary‟, meaning now
        „Australian‟ meaning what is commonly understood to be the
         experience and existence of people who live here
        „setting‟ meaning the small South Australian fishing village life
        „adolescent‟ meaning the process of maturing and „experiences‟ as
         being sport, mateship, summer holiday fun.

The second example tells more information and has an authority in the word
„uses‟. The composer is making a statement of knowledge rather than a
„shopping list of opinions‟ as in the first example.

Try converting the following ideas into academic writing.

    a)      “Blacky” is a normal kid from a big family and his dad isn‟t around

    b)       “Blacky‟s” next door neighbour is called Darcy and he talks to
            “Black” about all kinds of stuff and maggots and shows him how to
            grow them and they have a mateship.

    c)      Gary practises his kicking game before the final because he‟s
            hopeless and his coach makes him and drives him there to the

English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 26 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
                                                                              Worksheet 10

     “A sure thing, never fail, fool proof, formula” for simple
                        paragraph writing

Have you ever started writing your ideas and finished up with a four-page
single paragraph? Or are you the sort of writer who doesn‟t know exactly what
to write so you end up explaining the same idea for fifteen sentences and
then realise your work doesn‟t say anything?

Even worse, are you the essay writer “wanna be” who starts off passionately
and then runs out of things to say and resorts to retelling your teacher all
about the events of the story s/he has just read to your class?

Well, if you have done even one of these things then a rescue effort is on the
way. What is suggested below is not the „be all that ends all‟ of paragraph
writing but if you get stuck when writing something it can prompt you to make
sure you follow the codes and conventions of formal writing.

You might even use this simple structure in class debates or your verbal
answers to questions your teacher has asked. If nothing else, this process
should aid your logical thinking and the organisation of information.

Following this process will ensure you include all of the aspects expected in
formal writing. It forces you to plan your written texts and keeps you on the

Answer these simple questions and supply a written response. The first
example is done for you. All you‟re required to do is write one simple
sentence in each of the boxes.

The formula                         Example: Mr Gary Black
“What‟s your point?”                Gary Black is a compassionate
(This is a topic sentence.)         humanitarian.
Can you explain it a bit            He acknowledges racist views but tries to
more please?                        avoid perpetuating such behaviours.

“Show me the money”                 Gary overcomes public perceptions of both
(What evidence do you               the Indigenous and non-Indigenous
have for your ideas? Use            communities and his friends when he
a quote. Prove it!)                 attends Dumbly Red‟s funeral.

But why?                            The significance of his actions lie in the fact
(What is the significance           that he is the only non-Indigenous in
of your point                       attendance and overcomes tremendous
                                    odds to be there.

English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 27 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
                                                                              Worksheet 11
                   Assessing the author‟s point of view
You will remember from your research on Deadly Unna? via the internet that
controversy can arise when authors create representations which may offend
some people in society.

One reason for offence is that the author uses a stereotype and as a
consequence that representation is taken as the „truth‟ or that “they‟re all the

The assumptions, beliefs and reasons behind the use of stereotypes are
called the ideology. Ideology can be detected by assessing the composer‟s
point of view, use of language or the moral teachings from reading/viewing
the text. Ideology can be politically, morally, ethically or religiously based.

Examining the author‟s point of view and being critical about the findings will
lead to a deeper understanding about the issues represented in the text,
Deadly Unna?

Issue         Who is involved        What are the          What is the          What is
              from the text?         characteristics of    purpose for          Gwynne‟s
                                     a violent person      using violence       point of view?
                                     according to the      in the text?


What is the effect on the reader?


Issue         Who is involved        What are the          What is the         What is
              from the text?         characteristics of    purpose for         Gwynne‟s point
                                     the Indigenous        using               of view about
                                     people from the       indigenous          the Indigenous
                                     text?                 characters in       population?
                                                           the text?


What is the effect on the responder? Does the use of stereotypes in “Deadly
Unna? such as “Indigenous males are good at sport” appear to be just
another form of racism?

English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 28 of 38
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1.  Do you think that the reader will have the impression that “All Indigenous
    people are the same” from reading this text?

2.    Why might grouping all Aboriginals in together be offensive?

3.    If Phillip Gwynne wants to teach against racism, why does he have the
      Indigenous character of Dumby as a good sportsman and a criminal and
      why does this Aboriginal character have to die for his actions?

4.    Is this a racist ideology or just a misguided effort?

English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 29 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
                                                                              Worksheet 12

                      Representations in Deadly Unna?

1. Consider the following word bank. Place the words which you think best
describe Gary and the words which best describe Dumby Red.

    courageous       acclaimed        cowardly                          valiant
    doubtful         timorous         unsure                            spirited
    spineless        confident        renowned                          timid
    celebrated       hesitant         popular                           charming
    plain            attractive       malicious                         relaxed
    misunderstood welcomed            overestimated                     underestimated
    mistrusted       accepted         feared                            anxious
    Words best to describe Gary Black

    Words best to describe Dumby Red

2. Using the lists you have just created, consider the options which may be
said to be present in creating meaning in the novel. Complete the following
table using the given example to guide you.

   Gary Black                                    Dumby Red
   unsure                                        confident

3. Do you find that these options give you the entire picture of the main
characters? How might they be represented in a different light? List three
things that Gary might be criticised for:

4. List three things that Gary might be admired for:
English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 30 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
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Try doing this activity for:
      1.   Mr Black
      2.   Mrs Black
      3.   Mr Robertson
      4.   Pickles
      5.   Clarence
      6.   Teamman

English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 31 of 38
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Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
                                                                                                                                           Worksheet 13

                          Character matrix: The construction of Dumby Red‟s film character
Textual event or               Camera                     Symbol                      Interpretation                     Significance
incident                       angles/filmic
Talent scout sees                                         The hero
Dumby playing Aust.
Rules football

Dumby‟s new sports                                                                                                       Creation of a stereotype and
shoes                                                                                                                    token for all Indigenous people,
                                                                                                                         The shoes imply that Dumby is
                                                                                                                         a thief
Dumby playing football                                    Team player                 This is an act of Australian

Dumby fighting on the                                                                 Unsportsmanlike behaviour
sporting field                                                                        casts a doubt over the character
                                                                                      of that person‟s values.

Dumby is shot in a                Wearing a
„break and enter‟                  balaclava =
                                  Repeated close-
                                   ups of Dumby‟s
                                   bleeding head
                                   and calm face.
Dumby‟s funeral                                           Gary steals the
                                                          “Best man on field”
                                                          medal and places it
                                                          in Dumby‟s casket.

English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 32 of 38
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Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
                                                                                                                                           Worksheet 14
                                Character matrix: The construction of Clarence Red‟s film character
Textual event or                  Camera                    Symbol                     Interpretation                      Significance
incident                          angles/filmic
Clarence goes to                  Long shot
football training

Clarence‟s advances                                         Clarence is wearing        The enactment of the major          Colour is going to make a
towards Gary at the                                         black and white,           theme of the film. Film language    difference.
football Presentation                                       football club              for racism: that colour of the
                                                            colours.                   skin and the situation is clear,
                                                                                       e.g. “It‟s black and white” = two
                                                                                       opposites without a grey area.
Visits Gary‟s bedroom                                       Gary does not sit on
                                                            his bed = no sexual
                                                            contact between

Waking up with Gary                                         Laying in bed
                                                            together, sleeping =
                                                            sexual contact.

At Dumby‟s funeral

English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 33 of 38
NSW Department of Education and Training
Curriculum K-12 Directorate             
                                                                       Worksheet 15
                                Vocabulary handout

Ways to introduce another viewpoint
   although
   on the other hand
   On the surface it might seem that … . However,
   on the opposite side
   The fundamental question is not, however,…
   nevertheless
   sometimes
   however
   At a deeper level…
   in spite of
   in contrast to
   What needs to be noted is that …
   this differs from
   at the same time
   However, the basic issue is …
   not withstanding
   despite this
   Ultimately, the realisation is …
   More importantly…
   More significantly…
   Initially it might seem plausible to argue that … however, on closer …
   To argue… is insufficient, it is necessary to consider…
   On closer inspection it is worth considering that …

Some comments/phrases for evaluating credibility and impact
   This point is a significant contribution to the argument because ...
   The power of this argument stems from ...
   The coverage of the issue is extensive/flimsy ...
   The content is dominated by ...
   The most surprising/interesting aspect of this argument is ...
   The argument evokes ...
   The argument condemns ...
   The all persuasive influence of this argument leads to …
   The dominant trend in the debate is ...
   The argument embodies the prejudices/aspirations …
   The argument generates considerable heat because ...
   This argument shatters the illusion of ...
   The issue increases the volubility of the debate because ...
   The overall/cumulative impact of this stance results in ...
   The argument over-emphasises...
   The debate clouds the issue

Below is a list of "says that" substitutes.
    admits that
    complains that
    estimates that
English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 34 of 38
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       maintains that
       concludes that
       explains that
       is committed to
       observes that
       argues that
       is critical of
       pleads the case for
       points out that
       asserts that
       considers that
       reasons that
       submits that
       claims that
       contends that
       urges the reader to
       sympathises with
       comments that
       counters that
       stresses the point that
       puts forward the view that
       condemns the view that
       advances the argument that
       expresses the view that
       offers the evidence of
       has shown/attempts to show that rejects the evidence/view
       refutes the evidence/view

Below is a list of "is" substitutes
    produces
    leads to
    provokes
    fosters
    engenders
    allows
    mirrors
    shows
    represents
    exemplifies
    creates
    results in
    brings about initiates
    indicates
    reflects
    manifests
    discloses
    expresses
    influences
    becomes
    generates

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       contributes to
       shapes
       inspires
       symbolises
       reveals
       means gives rise to culminates in

   Stereotype, perspectives,
   representation,
   remote, conformity, impact, justify, identity,
   repressive, liberation, portrayal, catalyst, impassioned, inner-
     exploration, vindicates, isolated, individuality, approachable, dominant,
     submissive, interpret.

English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 36 of 38
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                                                                       Worksheet 16
                          A critical response scaffold

Being critical is not about saying “I don‟t like it because it‟s boring”. To be
critical about a work in Stage 5 is to frame your response in a particular
structure. The suggested structure makes it possible to write about your
analysis, deconstruction and evaluation of the text.

Question: How successful is Phillip Gwynne in addressing the wider social
issues in Deadly Unna??

To write critically you must:
 Offer your reader two to three sentences as an orientation about Deadly
 Make a statement of your argument, that is, you either state that he is
   successful or unsuccessful and offer the main reason why just here in
   your opening paragraph.
 Provide references and your sceptical reading of the text, the questionable
   or debatable aspects of the composer‟s naturalised messages and the
   ideology behind the composer‟s point of view.

   In this next paragraph you must let your audience know what the
    naturalised messages are in the text, e.g. that violence and racism are a
    natural part of our lives as it is all around us all of the time.
   The next sentence in this paragraph should show how this „naturalised
    message‟ is achieved. (It is especially easy if you do this from the film.
    Remember Worksheet 4: camera angles, film language, etc).

       The next few paragraphs should demonstrate how you deconstructed
        the text (and film too) by making your main point and then providing
        the evidence for this idea. These „points‟ are your interpretations that
        we spent time constructing and rewriting at the beginning of the unit.
        These now go into this area of your response.
       As you remember from worksheet # 10, every good paragraph has a
        final sentence that states the significance of your ideas and evidence.
        You must be able to link your ideas back to your argument.
       This process is repeated for each of the points you have to make, four
        to eight paragraphs is about the right amount and this is the body of
        your essay response.

       You must also be able to prove to your marker that you are capable of
        evaluating the composer‟s work. You now have to write a paragraph or
        two that explain your reasons for thinking Phillip Gwynne is successful
        or not in addressing the wider social issues in his text.
       You might comment on the way issues have been presented, e.g. if
        you think the characters and situations are realistic or not.
       You might also comment about the suitability of the representations
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        Gwynne or the director present to tell their story.
       Whatever your evaluation might be, back it up with evidence from the
        texts and state why it is relevant and significant to your argument.

       The penultimate paragraph should be where you challenge the values
        of the text. Perhaps you could say that Gwynne uses violence/racism
        to combat violence/racism and goes against his own message.
       Remember, evidence is needed!

       Your conclusion should state the sceptical reading you have made and
        offer an opinion about the composer‟s success or otherwise.

English Stage 5                          January 2005                               Page 38 of 38
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