Newspapers in 1900 were very different to those that we read today. There were very few books published and these were really only available to the wealthy people, so newspapers and magazines were a popular and important source of reading material for most people.

Create a comparison table or diagram

Compare writing styles with these resources with todays newspapers. Look at the size and style of font, the length and formal style of sentences and the amount of detail given to articles.

  • Compare layout. Look at the number of illustrations and photos used, the amount of white space, the break up into various sections e.g. news stories, sport, advertisements, birth and death notices.

  • Compare audiences that the papers were targeted to.

  • Compare advertisements. Look at the different types and what they are advertising for, the wording used and how they are set out to catch the readers' attention.

Create your own newspaper in the style of the past paper

Include a feature article on an event mentioned in the book. eg: the Boer War Parade, Melbourne Cup, Nellie Stewart's performance or the Federation Celebrations in Melbourne to name a few. The following resources will help you with this task.

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Web Resources:

To find photos of streets, buildings,events and activities mentioned in Market Blues. Search the online catalogues of images at:

* The Austalian Encyclopaedia

  • Australia Through Time: 126 Years of Australian History
      • Barker, Anthony. What happened When: a Chronology of Australia from 1788.
      • Australian Sport Through Time
      • Chronicles of Australia

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By looking at newspapers from the past we can understand what life was like in Melbourne at that time and see how life is different today.
There are many passages in the book which give the idea that life was not easy for many people living in Melbourne in 1900.For example in one passage, Sam catches his reflection in a shop window:

"His hair was stiff with river dirt, a crown of tufts standing on
end. His clothes were filthy and crumpled and his eyes had a wild hungry look about them. What surprised him most was that nobody looked at him." (p.169-170)
What can you 'infer' from this passage?
Find another passages from the novel that gives the idea that life was not easy.