Related Material

Can you link your related text to the Rubric?

  • How can language be manipulated to create a distinctive voice?
  • What Textual Conventions are used? Techniques and structure used to create particular meanings, adding to the creation of a ‘distinctive voice’.
  • How language shapes understanding, perceptions of and relationships with others and the world

Some ideas:

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Following Resources are from Macquarie Pen Anthology

Satirical Voices:

  • Barry Humphries: ‘Letter to Richard Allen’
  • Michael Leunig: ‘One of the Preambles’

Aim to identify what the voices of these texts have in common (eg. using ridicule to mock, witty approach to the subject, etc.) as well as what is distinctive about them.

Political Voices:

  • Robert Menzies: ‘The Forgotten People’
  • Paul Keating: ‘The Ghost of the Swagman’
  • Analyse a politician’s speech (eg Barack Obama’s inauguration speech at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28751183/) in terms of the voice it projects.

Are there any indications that this speech was delivered on a significant occasion? If so, identify any elements of ‘voice’ that appear to have been influenced by the occasion and the audience.

Critical Voices:

  • Donald Horne: ‘Country, King, God’
  • Charmian Clift: ‘Images in Aspic’
  • Anna Morgan: ‘Under the Black Flag’

Of what is the writer of this text critical? What qualities in the writing make his/her criticism effective/ineffective? What makes this writer’s voice distinctive?

Fictional Voices:

  • Miles Franklin: My Brilliant Career
  • Jessica Anderson: Tirra Lirra by the River
  • Robert Browning: ‘My Last Duchess’
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby
  • J.D. Salinger: Catcher in the Rye
  • Bruce Dawe’s poem ‘A Victorian Hangman Tells his Love’.

John Lewis’ review of Bruce Dawe’s collection of poetry Sometimes Gladness in The Age 24/10/2001 contains comments about the telling effects of Dawe’s use of a persona in this poem:


In the two poems concerning the Ryan hanging, Dawe speaks as Australian social critic. The heart of these poems is profoundly spiritual. Both are polemics against hanging and summon up the ghastly, inexorable process of state execution and the shared, numbed and baffled impotence that many people felt at the time.
In ‘A Victorian Hangman Tells His Love’, the voice of the persona has an elegant formality, giving ironic edge to the deliberate ambivalence of ‘Victorian’. Dawe suggests a state stuck in the past. ‘I know your heart is too full at this moment/to say much’. The play on the notion of hangman as bridegroom, considerate to a fault, is blackly, bitterly ironic. The state paraphernalia and ritual of execution is made more terrible by the gentle, almost hesitating voice of the hangman: ‘Let us now walk a step’. In its mimicry of an indefatigable politeness, the references to ‘our holy Family’, the noose as ‘something of an heirloom’, the verse evokes the way that state execution makes a mockery of all that is human, decent and civilised about our lives: the way we order them and the things we treasure. The condemned man is seen as dying in order to satisfy mindless sensation- seeking: ‘you are this evening’s headlines’.

Share your related Text ideas below. Explain how it links to the topic.

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