Term papers writing service


The only answer to cruelty is kindness

Small acts of kindness relieve a cruel world

Larger text size Very large text size Black Glass is set just far enough in the future for the city of Melbourne and its surroundings to be fundamentally different and yet clearly recognisable.

In this debut speculative novel, you won't find technological wizardry transporting you to a distant future where anything is possible, but a near future, where Barack Obama is an old man, the Yarra River has become filthy sludge clearly the environmentalists have lostthe rich live in gated communities and freedom and opportunities for the less-well-off have been severely curtailed.

The use of real place names can be disconcerting. I couldn't help wondering how Geelong, a city whose outskirts I can see from close to where I live, got to be an unrelieved industrial wasteland in such a short time. How did it come about that only the privileged have full ID while the rest are ''undocs'' - people without the documentation that would enable them to get reasonable work?

Who let it happen?

Where Cruelty Is Kindness

Shattered Glass Mundell doesn't attempt to answer these questions. Her Melbourne - glamorous, cruel, superficially stable and controlled - simply is.

The Best Response to Cruelty Is Kindness

Security cameras are everywhere; guards round up street children and move them on; the children search for clean drinking water, scavenge for food and fiercely guard their sleeping places.

The government must face an election before long, so democracy still exists, at least in a rudimentary form. In a situation of social apartheid, the only overt opposition comes from demonstrations, which quickly become violent and are, or have been up to the novel's present time, effectively squashed.

  • It is important to note that a certain amount of self criticism is good;
  • Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!

All this might be no more than sociologically interesting - speculation about the future not, of itself, producing good fiction - except for the memorable characters Mundell creates and her curiously gentle way with them.

The story is told in several voices, but those that carry the most emotional weight belong to two girls, 13-year-old Tally and her slightly older sister, Grace. The girls, separated when an explosion kills their father, make their hazardous ways to the city that has been a kind of El Dorado for them.

  • Help should be offered only in circumstances so shameful, degrading and punitive that anyone would seek to avoid them;
  • The suspect, 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz, used an AR-15, the same kind of semi-automatic rifle used in the mass shootings in Newtown, Connecticut; Aurora, Colorado; and San Bernardino, California, among other incidents;
  • How did it come about that only the privileged have full ID while the rest are ''undocs'' - people without the documentation that would enable them to get reasonable work?
  • The government must face an election before long, so democracy still exists, at least in a rudimentary form;
  • Researchers have said that negative ideas bout ourselves are born in early childhood;
  • Poverty was once widely understood as a social condition:

Tally's notebook entries are wistful, often fearful, yet strong-minded; a strength of will shines through her friendship with the Aboriginal boy Blue, her attempts to survive and to find her sister. A journalist with sculpted hair and an ability to seek out gritty stories and a ''moodie'' - a pioneering entrepreneur whose job it is to alter the mood of an event or a place - come across as distinct and interesting individuals, both struggling, in their own ways, to make a living.

Kindness comes from the heart

Added to them is a convincing backdrop of minor characters, including Diggy, who uses puppies to recruit street children; the government official, or ''Beige'', who takes the role of spin doctor to new depths; and Merlin the magician, who gives Grace a job as his assistant and deputes her to look after his doves.

Given the setting, it would be easy for the characters to slide into two-dimensional caricatures, but Mundell's do not.

  1. Poor relief, he maintained, causes poverty. Now we need to turn that kindness inward toward ourselves.
  2. The government must face an election before long, so democracy still exists, at least in a rudimentary form.
  3. Article Continued Below Trump said in the speech that he would visit Parkland.

In a world resting on molten violence, where gross exploitation is the norm, small acts of kindness and friendship, and a sense of humour, become large and important by way of comparison. George Orwell understood this very well, and indeed Black Glass owes much to Nineteen Eighty-Four, which is quoted by one of the demonstrators as they prepare for a confrontation.

  1. However, the benefits for self and others are so great that it will actually reduce your own stress as well as help liberate you from inherited negative self speak.
  2. It is important to note that a certain amount of self criticism is good. Compassion Is The New Cool Compassion is the latest buzzword around the mental health professionals these days.
  3. If you have low self-esteem then you may just accept what this voice is telling you and deny anything positive that is said about you by anyone else. But as the US academics Fred Block and Margaret Somers explain in their fascinating book The Power of Market Fundamentalism , those who implemented it seemed to recognise that occasional unemployment was an intrinsic feature of working life.
  4. The day after yet another American shooting massacre, there was, as usual, no sign of action in Washington. A new analysis by the Wellcome Trust suggests that the government, which is about to place 350 psychologists in job centres, now treats unemployment as a mental health disorder.
  5. The use of real place names can be disconcerting.

As with Orwell's classic, the lines between social commentary, satire, dystopian prophecy and a hopefulness of spirit are often deliberately blurred. Sustaining the girls' point of view allows Mundell to use the gaps between youthful wariness and lack of experience to good effect.

The story ends with a huge demonstration, an eruption of chaos and bloodshed in which the sisters are swept along. The power of the state to bend reality and shut down critical thought is finally presented with a test it cannot pass.

  • But in 1786, as economic crises threw rising numbers onto the mercy of their parishes, the clergyman Joseph Townsend sought to recast poverty as a moral or even biological condition;
  • Now we need to turn that kindness inward toward ourselves;
  • Who let it happen?
  • Tally's notebook entries are wistful, often fearful, yet strong-minded; a strength of will shines through her friendship with the Aboriginal boy Blue, her attempts to survive and to find her sister.