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.