1st Peer Review

Claire Williamson – https://clairewilliamsonlit.wordpress.com/2016/03/13/week-3-post-1/

“I think this is a really intriguing concept, the idea of ‘home’, and I think you have a really interesting take on the cultural divide between the white and Indigenous Australians and how it’s driven by their different ideas of ‘home’; I’d never considered it before! I also loved how you brought in your own personal experience with ‘home’ and how different culture can be.”

2nd Blog :)

TASK: What is the one most important idea or experience that you have discovered in the writings of Indigenous authors (other than Kim Scott) or in the writings of authors about their Indigenous experience?

The most intriguing idea I’ve come across in writings by other authors about their Indigenous experience comes from Judith Wright, when she speaks about how she felt as a white child, learning how her home was taken brutally from the Indigenous Australians by the European settlers. More specifically, Wright speaks of the shame and guilt she felt as a white person because of others’ actions. In her poem, “At Cooloolah”, Judith Wright speaks of how she feels like the land is challenging her, challenging her to question whether or not she really belongs here. The land is personified when she says that “a driftwood spear thrust from the water” and she directly states that “I’m a stranger, come of a conquering people… being unloved by all my eyes delight in, and made uneasy…”. This high modality language further conveys her feelings of being challenged and being unwelcome in the land she has come to call home.

1st Blog :)

Task: Describe in a short paragraph the single most important insight or understanding that has come to you from your study of literature this week (Australian Literature). If you can, say also, why your personal history has led you to this insight or understanding.

The most important insight or understanding of Australian Literature I had these past few weeks was probably the depth of the attitude of the first European settlers, especially towards this new land, and how obvious their utilitarian nature was. They couldn’t be able to simply see and appreciate the beauty around them; they always saw another use for the new surroundings, whether it be for farming, timber or any other material goods. When Kim Scott describes the landscape through Chaine’s perspective, he uses similes and imagery of an industrial nature such as “leaves were like needles, or small saws. Candlestick-shaped flowers blossomed…”. This language suggests the utilitarian nature of the European settlers, as Chaine can’t seem to simply see the landscape for what it is and just sees the potential his surroundings seem to hold. Neither does Chaine seem to care much for the process of whaling or appreciate how much work the process can be, when he laments, “Whales would arrive on the most wintry of days, days when they’d struggle… and always, men would want more rum.” His tone is exasperated and his sentences are fragmented and truncated, suggesting his exasperation at the whaling process and that he only cares about the end results of whaling; the blubber, and doesn’t care for the hard work put into making the end result worth it.