Describe in a short paragraph the single most important insight or understanding that has come to you from your study of literature this week: Oz Lit, 19th C, or Shakespeare. If you can, say also, why your personal history has led you to this insight or understanding. Enjoy the challenge!
After this week’s study of Australian literature I found the Aboriginal loss of identity to be one of the most insightful aspects. By exploring this weeks literature I have also been reminded of my own personal views towards European settlement. I could not be happier to be Australian and am glad that we found a country so rich in land to build a life on. However we did just that, built and built on land that already belonged to another with no regard for their ways of life. Through the number of works we have looked at over the last few weeks it has become clear to me that it is not the Europeans who were longing for their home foliage that I feel sorry for, it is the Aboriginal people who appreciated the beauty of this country and had it stolen from them, along with their traditions, stories and customs. After reading Kim Scott’s novel, That Deadman Dance and absorbing the life of his characters I gained a deeper understanding of what it must have been like to have their traditional life taken away. Right away Scott alludes to a loss of aboriginal identity in the prologue, “He erased the marks with the heel of his hand. It wasn’t true, it was just an old story, and he couldn’t even remember the proper song.”(Scott, 3) This expression shows loss of belief in Aboriginal culture and a lack of practicing. This loss of identity is mirrored in many other works for example Eva Johnson’s poem. This poem is yet again reinforcing the consequences of European settlement. “I forget all those stories…Gone is my spirit, my dreaming, my name”. It is examples such as these that broaden my knowledge on the Aboriginal perspective and intrigue me on what is yet to come in this unit.
Scott, Kim. That Deadman Dance. 2nd ed. Picador: Pan Macmillam Australia Pty Limited. 2011. 3. Print
Inside Black Australia ed Kevin Gilbert, Penguin, 1988