- To introduce Lindsay's novel within the context of historical and political facts regarding the relations between Great Britain and Australia at the turn of the xxc
- To examine the relevance of Lindsay's reconstruction of the Hanging Rock setting as a multidimensional space whereby the forces of nature interact with those representatives of the cultural and social conventions of Appleyard's College and its Victorian microcosmos.
- To analyse the scope of Lindsay’s unconventional narrative that blurs and mingles genre categories and tropes.
- To encourage teachers of IGCSE Literature to appropriate the format of context-driven study of the novel, so as to intellectually furnish strategies of analysis and interpretation.
- To present teachers with alternative and varied study guidelines that ensure a thorough examination and exploration of theoretical framework and literary potential of the text.
Presentation of the historical, social and economic context of xx c South Australia within the context of its independence from Great Britain in 1901
- An introduction to the main ideas that influenced Lindsay’s novel such as the role played by the Australian bush and its heritage of rich mythical and legendary forces such as the pan motif fostered by art and religion, against the background of the Appleyard college’s rules and norms.
- The novel as an example of the influence of modern hermetic symbolism and narrative gaps, and also as a generic hybrid that illustrates the shaping the cultural identity of Australian national literature.
Introduction to the novel’s context of production and reception. Historical review.
- Introduction to main discursive fields that influence the novel’s themes and its cultural, and social and scientific concerns and its articulation with the influence of Australia’s impressionist artistic heritage and the lost child myth and philosophy.
- The analysis of the literary conventions of the novel’s conflating genres: the Australian gothic, the crime or mystery plot, the pastoral mode, and the supernatural/uncanny genre and the way its tropes and motifs reinscribe the authors’ concerns with the issue of Time, the transgressions of limits, and the construction of the Australian ethos and identity.
- Group-work based on a selection of passages from the novel in order to foster critical reading and writing strategies that respond to the IGCSE’s format of general and text-based assignments.
Abbott, Megan. Picnic at Hanging Rock: “What We See and What We Seem”. The Criterion Channel Essays, Jun 20,2014.
Bladen, Victoria. “The Rock and the Void: Pastoral and Loss in Joan Lindsay’s Picnic at Hanging Rock and Peter Weir’s Film Adaptation. 2012.PDF. https://espace.library.uq.edu.au/data/UQ_292779/UQ292779_OA.pdf?Expires=1644960444&Key-Pair-
Gibson, Suzie, The Embrace of Ambiguity in Joan Lindsay's Picnic at Hanging Rock and Henry James's The Turn of the Screw. Antipodes Wayne State University Press
Volume 33, Number 1, June 2019.pp. 8-20.