The study of English is about reading and understanding what the writer is trying to convey to the reader and from there take the reader forward in the analytical understanding of the story. All the books chosen for Years 11 and 12 have been especially selected by a team of very experienced teachers who want to see how deeply a young person can analyse the narrative and hopefully from there learn to differentiate between what is quality and trash. To reach this point the student must at all costs read the prescribed novels at least five times each; twice if not three times during the summer holidays so as to fully come to grasp with the content and then twice more if not again three times. By doing this, the novel begins to penetrate into the consciousness of the reader and with it a forming of the reader’s own opinion begins to take shape thus a bond between reader, author and characters is established which will allow in depth understanding of the issues that are required in the study.
The more a novel is read the clear the unwritten meaning becomes. For example, in the ‘Secret River’ by Kate Granville, one would say that when William Thornhill moves his family from Sydney into the Hawkesbury River the raging wave which could drown the entire family is indicative of the turmoil that rages within him in his quest to become someone after having suffered hunger humiliation and deprivation from the day he was bor.. Grenville did not write these words but as we become more and more familiar with this man we can compare his wild dreams and desires to the raging seas. This is what is meant by ‘layers of meaning’ and the more a book is read the more these layers come to the surface which ultimately strengthen the analysis
One other very important aspect of reading is visualization. This silent yet powerful tool brings the characters to life. Their actions and thoughts become real, to the point where fiction becomes reality making the discussion a personal challenge which must be won at all costs