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Issues, Concerns, Themes, Values My Place Sally Morgan

 

Sally is driven by a need to:

interpret her life.

struggle for self hood “Mum never let me belong”.

family attempts to deny her the right to know her heritage.

take a pilgrimage north links her to an extended family.

Call of bird - symbol - Aboriginal call will continue.

 

Book displays a strong social consciousness. (explodes a number of myths) Nan’s experiences literally “unspeakable”

 

1) Threat of separation — alienation of her people.

2) She is taken away from her people to Perth against the law.

3) She is raped by a pillar of society, an upper class white landowner

4) Aboriginals provide the “slave” labour upon which the country is built. Most of her servitude was not compensated.

5) Feels she has and is being treated like an animal, dies “seeing herself as little more than a beast in the fields”.

 

This book is a tribute to Nan (Daisy) and people who suffered like her.

 

Themes & Concerns

1) White Atrocities committed by Individuals and Government Institutions.

Arthur goes to police for protection against the abuse carried out by Coulson, but is simply sent back where he is beaten brutally again with no consequences.

2) Identity (both personal and collective) Half-caste Aborigines often have a fractured identity; do they belong to the whites or to the indigenous culture?

Steps in Sally’s search for selfhood

1) Standing up to Authority figures:

Teacher (Miss Roberts) martinet         (24)

 Father: Pub incident                         (27/28),       

Abuse                                                        Ch. 26

Government Official                           (140—141)

Doctors taking care of Nan.                 (314)

Nan’s defiant  assertion that “at least we not owned any more.

 

2)  Family’s Denials of aboriginality.

          Say you’re Indians                              (38)

Nan’s comments on blackfellows                     (122)

Nan’s refusal to cooperate in search.

 

3)  Early Clues that they may be aboriginal:       

Bull frog & bird                                    (13)   

goannas and swamp                            (57, 59)

old cures                                             (65)

pigmentation                                        (82)

dark aboriginal friend                           (111) 

Mother’s admission                              (135) 

 

 

 

 

3) Racism: “Conscious or unconscious belief in the inherent superiority of white Europeans which entitles white people to a position of dominance or privilege determined by racial origin.” Illustrated by:

a) Racist oppression

b) Exploitation

c) Dispossession

d) Vilification

 

4) Aboriginality

Land

 Culture

 Language

 Art

 Tribal totems (groupings)

 Continuity (heritage)

 Values


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