Year 9 Wide Reading Review – GONE

By Vincent Lam 9K

First of all, picture this; it’s a normal day in Southern California, 2008 when suddenly – poof! In an instant, teachers disappear in mid-sentence, cars suddenly without their drivers, classrooms half empty and parents at home vanishing; without so much as a puff of smoke. By creating a world of fantasy where kids reign supreme, struggle for power soon ensues and society begins to break down.

Gone – a fiction novel by Michael Grant incorporates all of these elements when suddenly everybody over the age of 15 disappears from the sleepy seaside town of Perdido Beach. If that wasn’t odd enough, an impossible egg-shaped force-field also forms around Perdido Beach and isolates it from the outside world – if there was one left.

As the novel progresses, we meet the kids responsible for the future outcome of Perdido Beach; with the hero Sam Templeton, and his friends Quinn, Edilio and Astrid responsible for keeping the town of Perdido Beach under control. In charge of the young children without parents is “Mother” Mary who works at the local preschool with her younger brother John; Mary however has an eating disorder and takes pills which forces her to throw up the food she eats. Another member of the Perdido Beach community is the highly respected Albert, who opens the local McDonald’s and feeds the local kids. From there, a flash convoy of sleek black cars from the nearby Coates Academy creeps into town and the out of it comes the charismatic, charming Caine Soren. From there, battles to the death ensue as the struggle for power grows stronger, kids go hungry and Perdido Beach is never the same again.

To grab the teen reader’s attention, Grant has produced a story which is a version of a video game in itself; throughout the novel the kids of Perdido Beach begin to demonstrate supernatural powers (laser rays shooting from hands, healing hands, super speed) and mutate (Whip Hand [A thug named Drake] and Gravel Boy [A bully called Orc]). With these abilities, violence is brutal and many are killed during skirmishes for power – these points in particular are the elements which grab teen readers and push them to read more. The ending is surprising as it suggests that something evil is going to happen; which gives reason for the author to write a sequel – in this case being Hunger. Since it is set in an actual town, Gone gives teens some food for thought – if they were to own the Earth, it is a lot harder to run than it looks – it makes them more thoughtful and more forward-thinking.

The theme of this novel shows how much family and friends actually mean to one’s self as throughout the novel, it is evident that the young children begin to yearn for their lost parents, friends and older family members. An example of this from page 549 is when Sam is experiencing the moment where he will live, or disappear forever,  “He reacted instinctively, the little boy again, reacted to the ‘mommy’ voice, the ‘obey me’ voice. He reached for her, stretched his hand out to her.”

Personally, I really enjoyed this novel and selected it to read because of recommendations from friends. I have learnt from the novel that too much freedom lays waste to everything and that too much power can also have disastrous consequences. What I liked about the novel was the constant action; it kept me on my toes from the first page till the last. I would recommend this novel as a teen read; more for male readers as violence generally attracts boys; not girls. Since the ending leads onto another novel – Hunger, I actually read it and found it as exciting and fast paced as the first in the series – Gone. To sum this novel up, it was a fantastic read from start to finish.

Bephen’s Big Break

By Vincent Lam 10G


2016. Sochi, Russia.


The crowd roared. Gliding across the glassy Olympic ice rink, Jamaican speed skater Bephen Sadbury was well ahead of his competition. Pushing hard and fast, the 1000 metre sprint finals were going to be his. Flaunting his flawless technique, he took every turn in his stride; as graceful as a ballerina, with the speed of a cheetah. Pacing himself for the final 200 metres of the race, he continued whizzing along; leaving small, shimmering ice crystals in his wake. 50 metres remaining. The end of the race was coming up fast. Legs surging forward, Bephen put in a last ditch effort to end the race. His competition had no show. Flying across the red line, Bephen lost his balance, wobbled a little, and fell spectacularly onto his back. Sliding a clear twenty metres before his legs met the ice rink barrier with a muffled thud. Pulling himself up, he stood to bow to his crowd. However, there were no competitors on the rink. No crowd. No race.


Sighing deeply to himself, he glanced up at the Olympic timer anchored to the wall closest to him. “1:40,” he muttered. Shoulders slumped in defeat; Bephen was disappointed because he had practised from dawn till dusk this day; with no success. Today was the day before the 1000 metre sprint grand final; and Bephen wasn’t up to scratch. Reflecting upon the time taken to make the distance, he realised he had an incredibly low chance of coming close to winning. This was because of his rival and enemy Tatthieu Murcotte; professional speed skater, and playboy from Canada. The beast consistently finished the heats at a mark of 1 minute and 30 seconds. A clear winner on any terms. Bephen’s own personal best seemed inferior to the Canadian’s at 1 minute and 35 seconds. It was far too slow to beat the tall, bearded Canadian speedster. However, Bephen was thirsty to win a gold medal for Jamaica but knowing sports, it was probably going to be his one and only chance of competing in the Olympics. Walking off the rink and dragging his leg towards the changerooms, Jamaican speed skater Bephen Sadbury knew he had to do well; no matter what the cost.


Having had dinner, Bephen sunk into a deep sleep as soon as he hit the covers of his luxurious bed. Suddenly, Bephen “awoke” in the stands of an ice rink. However, after some examination, he realised it was an ice rink at which he’d raced at a couple of years ago. Glancing down at the competitors of the first heat, he recognised a figure clad in a green, black and gold jumpsuit. That person was Bephen Sadbury. Bephen in the stands then made a motion to stand and yell to himself but he realised that he was in fact paralysed as he watched the event unfold. Suddenly, time seemed to fast forward, and past Bephen was already racing; well ahead of the pack. However, in what seemed like slow motion, past Bephen collided with another racer as they turned a corner. Wincing, future Bephen cringed as he watched as the unconscious him was lying on the ice. Blood was spurting everywhere. His blood.


Unexpectedly, time seemed to wobble and Bephen was transported into a very white, sterile looking environment. Seeing people in blue smocks donning gloves and facemasks, he realised that he was in a hospital. Again he was paralysed; except this time it was him lying in the small bed. Looking over to his leg, he saw how bad the skate-blade induced wound was. Suddenly, a friendly, bearded doctor came into the room. With a hearty voice, he told Bephen that his leg had required over 60 stitches and that he was very lucky to survive; given the amount of blood that he had lost. He also mentioned that after what had happened, his leg would never be the same again. He said clearly, “Unfortunately, you will not be at your top form any longer on the rink. If you were to stress your leg, the scarring could very well reopen your wound, and you’d be in a bit of a pickle wouldn’t you, young man? With this, the man turned around and the hospital started to dissolve around Bephen.


Suddenly, instead of going back in time, he flew forward in his mind and fell a couple of metres onto a cold, wet surface. It was ice! Suddenly, he was whisked to his feet and racing in the final race; the race which was planned for tomorrow. Strangely, his legs wouldn’t respond to him and his speed went into an erratic spiral of fasts and slows; this led to the crowd booing him and ultimately; him coming last. After the race, Bephen was walking towards the changerooms in disappointment. Suddenly, he heard a lone voice chanting, “Jamaican Joker! Jamaican Joker!” This was a terrible sign, since only people who really despised him called him by this title. Hearing the chant grow in volume, he looked up at the grandstand realising the source of the chant was Tatthieu; not one of him, but it seemed as though the whole crowd had had his face surgically applied to his face. It was all too real; and too scary for Bephen. Turning to support from the competitors, he realised that the faces of the referees and the competitors on the podium were also Tatthieu’s. Hearing feet shuffling towards him, he realised everyone in the stadium were advancing on him. Looking up, there were Tatthieus getting ready to jump on him. Realising there was nowhere to run; he closed his eyes and waited.


With a shuddering jolt of mind inflicted pain to his nose, Bephen woke up in a cold sweat. He looked over to his clock; 4:00am it read. Lying back down, he closed his eyes fearfully as sleep washed over him once more.




The atmosphere within the stadium was electric. Dozens of camera crews from all around the world were scrambling over one another to catch a glimpse of the 5000 metre relay placeholders. The crowd was rippling with applause as China was announced in third place, Canada in second, and the United States winning gold by a hair.


Bephen watched on in amazement, just as he realised that the Olympic referees were calling him over to allow the starting of his race. Dazed for a moment, he stumbled towards the starting line; seeing his competitors – especially Tatthieu, not knowing what to expect.


With the rest of the competitors, Tatthieu watched as the lanky Jamaican strode towards them, looking more the sprinter than ice skater. Chuckling to himself, Tatthieu knew that this was going to be an easy win. This was because Jamaicans aren’t real ice skaters. Making some last minute adjustments to his skates and equipment, Tatthieu talked with his coach. With a minute left, he took a deep breath as he waited for the event to start.




As the gun sounded, the racers were freed from their anxiety and they took off at an incredible pace. Tearing up the ice at the first few turns, none of them were giving up the hard-fought lead. However, after two more laps, there were three clear leaders of the pack. Them being Tatthieu, an English skater and Bephen. In hot pursuit of Tatthieu and the Englishman, Bephen noticed his leg was starting to throb. “Now of all times!” he thought frantically to himself. Touching his palm to his thigh, he noticed that his hand came away; sticky and wet with his blood. 500 metres to go and he was slowly falling back as the pain in his leg started to get the better of him. Oddly, time seemed to stop and he revisited the doctor from the hospital. Continuing through his memory, the doctor had turned his back from Bephen, pulled out a small slip of paper which he had mentioned would help him if he ever wanted to race once more. With that, he had said to Bephen that his leg may never be the same again, but if he willed it, his determination to achieve greater would offset his condition. Remembering this, Bephen unbowed his head, took a deep breath and pushed his legs as hard as he could; despite the blood, despite the fact that he was losing.


Closing in on the Englishman, he easily swept him aside in a few graceful strokes of his legs. 200 metres to go. There, 20 metres ahead of him was the Canadian whom he longed to defeat in battle. Ice skating battle. Surging forwards towards Tatthieu, the man’s once cocky face was no more. Looking at Tatthieu, Bephen could see that his face was now wracked in fear and anxiety. Both competitors vying for first place, this was just a race between the two of them now. The Jamaican against the Canadian.


Within the next few seconds, Bephen with his berserk grin had caught up an enormous amount; the two skaters were practically side by side. Leaving a small trail of blood droplets in his wake, Bephen was pushing himself to his final limit. Tattheiu knew this, but he was already going as hard as he could as well. Starting to look a little unsteady, Tatthieu’s legs were starting to struggle with the tall Jamaican’s stroke and rhythm.

Quickly, the finish line came into sight, both skaters knew this and they were not going to let the other win at all costs. On the verge of pushing one another, Tatthieu suddenly appeared to gain the lead on Bephen and surged forward. However, looking to his immediate right, Bephen did the unthinkable.


He leapt for the finish line.




Walking out of the stadium, Bephen pulled out the slip of paper that the doctor had given him. On it was written:


Under the bludgeoning of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed

How charged with punishments the scroll

I am the master of my fate

I am the captain of my soul.




Smiling to himself at the words which had helped him through these times, he fingered the medal around his neck.


He held it up to the sun.


The Olympic rings shone bright gold.

Cathy Freeman Biography

Cathy Freeman – By Vincent Lam 10G

Born to Cecelia and Norman Freeman, Catherine (better known as Cathy) Astrid Salome Freeman was born in Mackay, Queensland on the 16th of February, 1973. Interestingly, Catherine means ‘pure’ in Greek, Astrid means ‘star’ in German and Salome means ‘peace’ in Hebrew. Cathy had three brothers and a sister; her brother whom died recently in a car crash in 2008, and her sister who was born in 1966. She suffered from cerebral palsy and died in 1990 at the age of 23.

I was always surrounded by expectation from the very first race I ran as a 5-year-old.” – Cathy Freeman

Cathy Freeman was born a runner. From a very young age, she loved running around with her brothers, finding that she did not only enjoy running, but that she was extremely good at it. At the age of five, her parents divorced. This was due to Norman being an alcoholic; during the times that he drank, he became rowdy and abusive; this put a great strain on his marriage between his wife and his relationship with his children. After he moved to Woorabinda, his children visited him once a year in Christmas time. In 1979, a man of the name Bruce Barber came to live with Cathy’s family as a lodger. In the same year, Cathy’s mother, Cecelia was married to him. The children were upset and angry with their mother’s decision, but at that time, they were unaware of just how crucial their new stepfather would be in shaping and furthering Cathy’s future athletic career.

“Since grade one at school people looked at me and thought, oh gosh she can really run, she’s a natural.” – Cathy Freeman

At the age of eight, Cathy demonstrated her sprinting prowess in a school athletics championship; she easily came first and won a gold medal in the 80m sprint. Regardless of the fact that she clearly had come first, due to racial discrimination from white Australians, Cathy was forced to watch as the white girls that she had beaten were awarded medals for the place that she had rightfully won. Quickly recognising the talent that his stepdaughter had, Bruce watched his stepdaughter and commented on the fact that she looked like a little champion racehorse whenever she ran. It was at this time, that he decided to start coaching Cathy to further her running skills. However, being rather poor and having absolutely no idea how to coach his stepdaughter, he wrote to several state school sporting officials requesting assistance in helping his stepdaughter develop her marvellous talent. He and Cecelia sacrificed a great deal for Cathy and her siblings, and tirelessly went on fund-raising ventures for their daughter Cathy to be able to compete in athletic carnivals all around the country. It was then, at the age of 10 that Cathy began to dream about becoming the world’s most renowned female athlete with an Olympic champion’s title.

It was in 1987 that Cathy won an exclusive scholarship to Fairholme College; a prestigious boarding school in Toowoomba. There, she was only one of three aboriginal children in the entire school population of over 600 girls. Later that year she was specially selected for an International Athletics Exchange tour of the United States; there she learnt about the rewards which a successful athlete could reap. These rewards included a high level of self satisfaction, material rewards such as medals and trophies, and the respect and love of her people and her country.

In 1989, Cathy won another scholarship; this time to Kooralbyn International School; a school with a small population that is renowned throughout Australia for producing successful students in mainly areas such as sports and athletics. There she was professionally trained by the coach Mike Danila. During this period of time, her strength as a sprinter increased dramatically; her efforts being proven after she had graduated from high school and moved to Melbourne with boyfriend Nick Bideau at the age of 18. From Melbourne, she flew to Auckland to participate in the 1990 Commonwealth Games. Her 4 x 100m relay team came first.

From there, Cathy continued competing at all the major athletic events around the world placing very nicely against her competitors; no matter what background they came from. In 1991, she was awarded the prestigious ‘Young Australian of the Year’ award due to her being the first Aboriginal woman to achieve highly in the competitive world of sport and that she was also the first Aboriginal woman to bring home a Gold commonwealth medal (at this stage she had not competed at any Olympic games). She was a symbol for all Australians to look up to, showing that no matter who you are, or what background you come from, aim high, and you will achieve your very best.

From here, Cathy went on to perform extremely well; here are a few of her gold medals that she won on the international stage, in the years to follow:

1994 Commonwealth Games (Canada) – 1st 200m sprint, 1st 400m sprint.

1996 IAAF Grand Prix Final (Italy) – 1st 400m sprint.

1997 World Championships (Greece) – 1st 400m sprint.

1999 World Championships (Spain) – 1st 400m sprint.

In 2000, Cathy competed in the Sydney Summer Olympics and was also made the very first competing athlete to light the Olympic flame at its opening ceremony. During this competition, she made her greatest achievement to date; she won the gold medal in the Olympics. Her dream since being a young child had come true.

After this event, she began preparing for the 2004 Athens Olympics, but after a long thought-out decision, Cathy announced her retirement from professional running on the 15th July, 2003.

Since then, Cathy established the Cathy Freeman Foundation in 2007; this foundation was created to help give struggling indigenous children in Australia an education equal to everyone else in Australia, and to bridge the education gap between indigenous and non-indigenous children. Currently, Cathy’s putting in tireless hours into working towards a brighter future for these children, with most of their efforts being put into a place called Palm Island. Due to how geographically isolated it is, children living there are unable to effectively get a good education, and people living there are hard-pressed to find work. This foundation seeks to change this, and make the children of Palm Island the leaders of tomorrow by providing them with education and the opportunity to chase their dreams.

I find Cathy Freeman an admirable sportsperson because, despite the fact that she had had a troubled upbringing, and was from a disadvantaged family, she was still able to persevere, train hard, and achieve her dreams; she did so when she came first at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. She has also taken time out of her life, to give back to her community, so that others, like her, can live their dreams too.

“You got to try and reach for the stars or try and achieve the unreachable.” – Cathy Freeman



Thursday’s Child Creative Story – Tin

It was dark in the tunnel as I rushed through in a rage on all fours – clutching my pickaxe head – heading for Vandery Cable’s house. I expertly navigated through the labyrinth I had crafted and knew every turn and corner like the back of my hand; the cool, smooth walls of dirt seeming to be inviting and safe. I sensed that I was nearing Cable’s home as the tunnels that I had dug here were rougher and not yet refined by my technique of pasting them with water to reinforce its integrity; I would have to tend to that later as I had a much more important task on my hands. My task – and there was no stopping me – was to kill Mr Vandery Cable.

I momentarily hesitated and wondered, “What am I doing here?  Why do I want to kill Mr Vandery Cable?” and then immediately reminded myself, “He tried to hurt my sister Audrey; he must pay.” With my eyes full of fury and hatred, I continued on my way leaving in my wake a spray of unfettered soil. As I approached the trapdoor under which I had dug my tunnel to, I slowed both my movement and breathing; a technique I had mastered since I had become a creature of the earth in order to successfully stalk and kill rabbits with my bare hands. This skill became essential as I heard Mr Cable’s loud snoring reverberating through the tunnel and was able to slip through the opening of the trapdoor unnoticed. As my eyes painfully adjusted to the brightly lit room, I saw a figure of a man sleeping in a wooden chair. It was Vandery Cable.

I silently and stealthily lifted up my pickaxe head which my father gave me years back and felt its familiar and reassuring weight. I started making my way towards the evil man; slowly and carefully. Once I was within five metres of him, my breathing suddenly stopped as I made a dangerously loud creak in the rotting wooden floor; luckily, he only stirred slightly and fell asleep again. I continued creeping towards him; my heart pumping furiously for the moment when my pickaxe would crash upon his head to punish him for his sins. However, as I came closer, my confidence grew and that foolishly led to me tripping over and dropping my pickaxe with a loud clatter; I froze in horror and looked up as fear gripped me.

The scene unfolded very quickly; Vandery Cable first rubbed his sleepy eyes and wondered aloud, “Whass that?” Immediately afterwards, his eyes widened in shock and fear as I lunged towards him screaming ferociously. I don’t know how many times I brought the pickaxe down upon his head and body; I blocked out his futile screaming for help from the absent farmhand.

Time stood still.  In the flashback of the sight at hand, I saw that the room had upturned furniture scattered everywhere, and horrifically the entire floor was splattered with bright red blood; my hands too were covered in it. I hastily wiped them on one of Mr Cable’s chairs and thought of what to do next; I had to hide the body so no-one would know what had happened.  I slowly dragged Mr Cable’s silent body towards the trapdoor through which I’d entered.

Before I sank into my subterranean empire, I quietly whispered to Vandery Cable’s body, “I love you big sister – I did this for you.”

Hero Essay: Seabiscuit


Topic: ‘The movie ‘Seabiscuit’ shows us that there are many different ways of being a hero. Discuss.’

Heroes have always played an important part in human history; but what does it take to be a true hero? The movie ‘Seabiscuit’ is a perfect example which displays many of the main qualities which defines the true meaning of the word hero. ‘Seabiscuit’ is set during the Great Depression; the period between 1930s and 1940s when America was a place full of financial turmoil and despair. During this time many people lost money and often, their life savings in the stockmarket when it crashed.

In the film, there are four main characters who display hero-like qualities; these characters include Charles Howard; the owner of Seabiscuit, an inventor and successful entrepreneur, Tom Smith; a horse whisperer, Red Pollard; Seabiscuit’s jockey and Seabiscuit; the undersized racehorse.

Charles Howard is a successful businessman who was able to upgrade the technology of automobiles by using his own wit and innovation. By doing this he became incredibly wealthy and became a car dealer instead of bike seller/mechanic. Charles Howard displays a number of hero-like qualities throughout the movie; these include determination, courage, dedication and bravery. Howard displays dedication and determination when he is given a new automobile to fix; he simply had no idea what to do as it didn’t come with a manual. However, he kept pressing on, learning and experimenting which was what pushed him to become a wealthy businessman. He shows courage and bravery when telling the world Seabiscuit was a great racehorse; a quote from the movie being, “Well, I just think this horse has a lot of heart. He may have been down, but he wasn’t out. He may have lost a few, but he didn’t let it get to him. I think I learned a lick or two from this little guy. Oh, and by the way, he doesn’t know he’s little. He thinks he’s the biggest horse out there.”

Tom Smith is a horse whisperer; very little about his past is revealed during the course of the movie however it is clearly apparent that he displays a number of hero-like qualities including selflessness, loyalty and sacrifice. Tom shows selflessness when he takes in an injured horse which is about to be put down under his own care; this is also an act of sacrifice as it takes away his time to perform other things which may have great importance to him. A quote from the movie highlights his selflessness towards the horse, “You don’t throw away a whole life just because he’s banged up a little.”

Red Pollard is the son of a once wealthy businessman who lost all of his fortunes due to the Great Depression. He takes up a variety of odd jobs before becoming a jockey to Seabiscuit. Red displays a number of hero-like qualities in the film including determination, loyalty and resilience. He displays determination when training Seabiscuit to become a great racehorse, he shows loyalty to Seabiscuit when he has a tragic accident where his leg is shattered; even so, he urges Charles to let Seabiscuit race to take the title of ‘America’s best racehorse’. Red also shows an amazing sense of resilience when his leg is shattered due to a riding accident; he slowly recovers and is eventually able to ride on Seabiscuit once again with the aid of a splint which he made for his leg.

Seabiscuit is an undersized racehorse who was poorly treated in its early stages of life. Seabiscuit shows a number of hero-like qualities including resilience and determination. Seabiscuit shows determination when it is clear he wants to win any race; he powers forward in front of the pack through to victory. Seabiscuit is also very resilient in the fact that he bounces back after breaking his leg after a fall during a race. He recovers with the help of Red Pollard to go on to win the Santa Anita race.

In conclusion, the film ‘Seabiscuit’ has a number of hero figures who were able to achieve great things by having their own hero-like qualities. By having these qualities, this group of four were able to achieve what many believed to be impossible.


Vincent Lam

9K (2012)

Haiku: Four Factors of a Buddhist being


“Blessed is the womb’s fruit”
As you spring into the air
Years ahead of you

Pain and agony
Always stab your inner self
Why does life hold this?

Years your life passes
Your strong mind and soul grows weak
No revival here

The heart stops beating;
Your corpse truly invades you
Invasion of death.

Why did the industrial revolution begin in Britain? – Akarin Siri

Life prior to the 18th century was obliterated by an enormous revolution into the modern civilisation in which we reside today. A poor-conditioned environment engulfed in beliefs of utmost Christian dogma vanished into a world pursuing exploration of advanced technology along with a vast economical uprise known as the industrial revolution. Although modern civilisation expanded across the large continent of Europe, Britain was where this 18th-century revolution commenced. Why did this revolution suddenly develop first in Britain, not any other European country?
Prior to the utilisation of coal, timber was the main source of fuel which was deemed to be no more than three times less efficient than coal. As timber was extracted from trees, trees were chopped down, and strenuous work by hand was obliged to be applied to transporting the wood across vast spaces of land. A major advantage which caused Britain to rise was the island’s natural abundance of coal as a natural resource. Coal mines lay underground to be extracted, and was valued at four times cheaper than timbre. However, once all the surface coal had been extracted, a critical problem barricaded the mining of coal. Water tables emerged into sight following the extraction of surface coal. Under the water tables were still massive amounts of coal which had been flooded. It was vital to extract the flooded mines of coal, but also to also pump water out in order to suppress the chance of flooding for future extractions. This problem was initially attempted to be solved with horses wheeling around vast stable wheels adhered by rope to buckets, but this method was rather ineffective in comparison to the marvellous creations of steam engines. Thomas Newcomen, a famous engineer from the south west of England, invented a steam engine for simultaneously extracting coal and pumping water out in 1712, which was the first ever steam-powered machine. Although utilising coal as an energy source for machinery was an enormous technological breakthrough, even the Newcomen steam engine became ineffective for solving the problem of flooded coal mines as many complex enhancements to this machine’s invention sprung into life. The Watt steam engine invented by James Watt and Matthew Boulton in partnership in 1758 was the most notable invention that was Newcomen’s model improved upon. Coal as a cheaper and more effective source of energy was powering machinery that was only then was based on extracting more coal. Other than powering inventions to solve the problem of coal lying under water tables, coal played a vital role as a new energy source in all factories, locomotives, ships which all combined together to strikingly enhance Britain’s everyday transport.
The gigantic continent of Europe strictly lay in the arms of the Christian dogma until the industrial enlightment unleashed. The industrial enlightment was an intellectual perspective that abruptly conquered Britain where the concept of scientific explanations and proven principles of nature came about, sabotaging the world ordained by orthodox views of religious affiliations. Associating the concept of science, men gathered together in vast groups on a daily basis to discuss and unravel thoughts on both scientific breakthroughs and designing machinery that could perhaps influence on simplying arduous work. There were nevertheless a number of men who remained individual to explore an environment away from strict rules of religious dogma. Erasmus Darwin, for instance, sketched a diagram of a possible way to measure the volume of air a person could breathe using an animal’s bladder. Britain was ruled by parliamentary monarchy, meaning that the laws in the government were passed on by the parliament, not the King. This governmental system allowed every man of society to freely contribute an infinite amount of ideas during the discussions. Alongside each meeting of intellect, an overloading amount of practical approaches were attempted which drove people out of their homes to work in factories of production. As the daily practice of these meetings transforming into development continued over decades, technology rapidly advanced. France in contrast, was ruled by absolute monarchy. Despite the fact that scientific breakthroughs and inventions were what France hunted after as well, the laws were passed out from a King who did not permit people to the free exchange of thoughts, as each member was obliged to contribute an equal amount of ideas. WATT AND BOULTON
Capitalism was also legislated by the parliamentary monarchy, trailing to Britain’s ability to obtain material goods from around the world. The parliamentary government encouraged entrepreneurship where private owners were permitted to set foot across the globe for trade. Across the Atlantic Ocean from Britain, the Carribean islands were the first to endure Britain’s invasion. Britain’s Royal Navy was constructed by a fortune and protected hundreds of ships that set foot to the Carribean to capture slaves. Slave trade was extremely prominent to the development of the industrial revolution. Under the vast conquest of the British, the Carribean slaves endured their lives engulfed in excruciating conditions; day in and day out, they carried out unbearably arduous work on their native sugar canes for the British. As the sugar canes were then imported back to Britain, wealth commenced to plunge into the European island as the resource was invested into developing more advanced technology. Slave trade under Britain then expanded across the world, and the main resources obtained other than sugar from the Carribean include tobacco from North America, cotton and textiles from India and tea from China which were all invested for further development to influence Britain’s wealth. The system of government was the same reason as to why France was unable to conquer the West Indies as the absolute monarchy firmly gripped the way in which business flourished, and refused the idea of private ownership. Although the French government did attempt to set forward number of ships to the Carribean, the English had taken advantage of their conquest over the island of Antigua that comprised of highlands and deep water; a perfect strategical area. Fords with cannons were constructed at Antigua’s coastlines to rebel the French ships.
Similar to the abundance of coal, Britain was also born with geographical fortune. Britain is surrounded by sea, and consists of many rivers emanating through the lands. The huge city of London was the centre of Britain’s industry as all material goods were exported to today’s capital of Britain. Linking back to the extraction of coal, the extracted mines were thrust onto ships to be exported along the coastlines of the island to London. The existence of the coasts continued to reduce the cost of coal. Routes for travelling were absolutely vital, as materials goods were transported to factories and products to the markets. At first, the resources were transported by horse on land where stability was crucial, and many  of the goods fell off the horses and were smashed to bits, influencing on the remains of the goods to rise in price. The British then attained the intelligent idea of shaping the rivers into canals with the use of  hand, picks, shovels and blasting powder. Steam-powered ships were laid on the canals to transport the materials in a safer, faster and therefore cheaper method across Britain.
It is evidently proved that 18th-century Britain comprised of many crucial advantages that drastically influenced on the island’s development of technology and uprise in wealth. The industrial enlightenment occurred due to powerful motivation of the people and their minds, nevertheless it would not have emitted into life without the parliamentary government in place. Obtaining materials to invest from across the world through slave trade was easier in Britain than any other European nation also due to the parliamentary system again. Britain was geologically fortunate to contain abundant supplies of coal to power steam engines and water to transport materials around.

Layers of Shame by Akarin Siri

 The clock struck half past one in the morning to a rather chilly night of drizzle. Amid the harsh conditions drifted the odour of cigarettes which firmly thrust into oblivion the renowned stench of the extremely narrow street engulfed in vast chunks of debris. Heavily graphitised walls caved in the movements of the youth dressed in filthy baggy clothes puffing smoke out of their mouths.

Minute after minute the gang roamed the isolated streets beneath the pitch black sky that soon began to empty heavy buckets of water. Racing against each other were the dissonant tipper-tapping of the rain and the rowdy joke-cracking and cackling of the teenage boys. The tall unstable street lamps dimly glistened upon the filthy environment, merely adequate light to perceive the very slightest of surroundings. As the group of six approached a corner, they silently peered around the maze of narrow streets.
“Alright little Juan,” snarled the tallest and bulkiest of the group, his eyes viscously glued onto the eyes of the smallest and thinnest who was grappling onto a long gun. “It’s do or die. You’ve come a long way with us. Shoot that lad dead now. Be a coward and we’ll kill you.”
A grimace of hesitation swept across Juan’s face. Thrusting the rifle onto his scrawny shoulder, he apprehensively gazed past the gang leader into the darkness amid the rain that had not ceased to settle.
“Come on son, you -“
The bulky teenager lay sprawled on the ground, with a large bullet protuding out of his chest. Juan soon found his two feet speedily darting away on the rock-hard concrete, his fist still sturdily clenched around the trigger of the gun.
As his eyes snatched a glimpse of the view, his legs were still aggressively pacing faster than ever, but no longer was the weary boy racing through the maze of rigid graphitised walls amid a nose-gripping stench of garbage. The pitch black horizon of no-man’s-land glared upon him. As Juan halted, he was entranced in an endless landscape extending miles out of the capability of his vision. Upon glancing behind his shoulder, he was certain that the gang was nowhere in sight. In the middle of nowhere, the power of the darkness overthrew the vision of the nature. A somewhat flat and sandy texture pushed upon his two weary feet. He was lost.

With Juan’s heart rate racing against time, sweat emanated down from the bushes of his wavy hair. Emotional agony gripped him, forcing rivers of tears to be emptied from his swollen bruised eyes. The gun was thrust to the ground. He unleashed a boisterous howl of misery before he buried his two numb hands into his weeping face. One month of a brutal life wrapped in gang membership had swept past the limit for Juan. He simply could not handle the cruelty of gang violence.

 Juan shrunk to his knees, grasped hold of the rifle and heaved it into the midst of the darkness engulfing no-man’s-land. The buckets of heavy rain entered his mouth as he suffocated in the course of sadness. The exhausted boy was nowhere to be heard or perceived.
The thin boy lay stomach-down on the sandy ground. Layers and layers of agonising thoughts reverberated across his mind. Being forced to emit howls of laughter upon the death of a sweet innocent child. Being forced to forcefully stomp on the face of an elderly woman. And the pressure of hoisting around a vast rifle. The tears just kept combusting out of his sorrowful eyes.

Why did Juan have to do this? Did Juan really have to stick with the unworthy gang for a month? Did he really have to betray his parents at home with the very most of treachery?

But when Juan’s head ascended from his hands to glare up…

“Look who it is…”