Words mediate (hi)story

My interpretation of literature mediating (hi)story A4 Locomotive Great Reunion EventVP 1156212

I am honestly thankful for all the readings I was supplied with in this unit, as they fostered my knowledge about the Australian past to large extent. Particularly the humiliation Aboriginals had to face was covered broadly in the suggested texts.

Poems like Mining company’s hymn by Jack Davis point to the exploitation Australia faced due to European settlement. Besides Aboriginals were cast out of areas their ancestors had been living in for ages. This is exceedingly well portrayed in Oodgeroo Noonuccal’s Municipal tree (Kinsella 201), where uses appropriate metaphors to describe the bad treatment of Aboriginals by the settlers (e.g. allegory of the gumtree for Aboriginals). However did the absence of land leave a feeling of being uprooted and a lack of self-determination (A. Wright 208). Plains of Promise dramatizes a character’s intension to find out more about her past, as she feels her lack of bonds (209).
Moreover does Wright personify nature within the novel (A. Wright 81), offering a glimpse at her appreciation for landscape.


On behalf of implementing diverse elements of Australian history (e.g. establishment of Missions, Chinese migration, Aboriginal politics) into Plains of Promise, Alexis Wright broadened my knowledge. In my eyes she is very skilled to embody her critique and intentions into her choice of language and description of nature. To exemplify, the Poinciana tree resembles, as being imported to Australia, the imposition of European manners on the Aboriginals.

riverLikewise, Kate Grenville managed to stimulate my imagination of Australian landscape due to her excellent description of people and places, so that I was able to get an insight into facts about the British past, determined by poverty and colonization, leading into Australia’s cultural diversity. On account of the novel I gained new knowledge about the procedure how convicts were sent to Australia. Having to admit that I just learned general facts about Australia’s establishment within the last year, I did not know much about its history before coming here. I found it interesting to be fed with details in its history and relationship to England through the perspective of William.

Regarding the events dealt with on Australian soil, I was not aware of the slaughters and massacres having been started by the settlers themselves without any instruction from the crone (Grenville 158).

All in all I enjoyed reading this novel as the history of Australia was embedded into the story of William Thornhill’s life. Likewise Ransom by David Malouf the implemented little pleasures of the ordinary life rendered reading more delightful.

Australia offers a wide variety of landscape, culture and lifestyle within one country – something Europe can’t! Therefore Australian inhabitants should rather appreciate the diversity they are faced with rather than bothering about being in arrears to Europe or not. Secondly they should also stop comparing themselves with overseas, for instance in terms of school or university degrees.
Keep on doing it the Australian way, so that the multiplicity among the entire world can be retained. Meanwhile tolerance can be enhanced, so that less people have to face harassment and we become more interested in detecting the hidden aspects of other people. Due to this we are going to learn how to appreciate others’ life, traditions and values, consequently stop their exclusion.

IGF00012Moreover while read other books simply for my pleasure, I spotted their intentions to tell a story beyond the actual plot. This occurred mainly due to my large interest in David Malouf’s thoughts on “storytelling” (MUP 2008 18-19). In his opinion one gains new experiences without physically experiencing an “adventure” (MUP 2008 18-19) on behalf of reading. I honestly confirm this opinion as I think that even imaging an experience can render new notions.  Especially within fictions I read there is was hint towards future and what needs to be changed now to evade that fade.  The novel Uglies by Scott Westerfield is a wake-up call due to modern society’s focus on beauty and perfection, whereas 1984 by George Orwell warns from a society without any individuality and democracy. However, both novels embed the story they want to tell into a very personal recount of the major character.

“Australia” by Bernhard O’Dowd poses several open questions what Australia is going to look like and he shows his fascination and curiosity about this. As well as his other pieces of work “Australia” deals with realistic issues and doesn’t convey any humor.
In spite their openness; it seems to me that he has already concrete answers. He is in fear of Australia turning into a second Europe (pg.88, line 3). Due to Australia’s lonely position it was capable to preserve living conditions for rare animals and plants, which were elsewhere already whipped out (pg.89, line 1). It is a godly chosen place (pg. 89, line 5), however in danger of losing its hope promising status (pg. 88, line 6). Australia shall hence raise a new, less barbaric society, yet might not reach this aim in case people misbehave and become attracted to unsocial behavior like materialism (pg. 88, line 7). All in all it is my impression, that O’Dwod predicts a huge change in Australia towards a rather European appearance, but meanwhile new in terms of the population’s character.

Hence literature communicates stories, history and offers a view on our presence as well as possible future.

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