Away: Contextual Influences, Ideas, Values, and Attitudes

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Elements of the context of Australia in the 1960’s such as the vietnam war and class discrimination and gender roles that was present, represent the identity of Australia at that time. The Vietnam war was a significant historical event as well as having a profound effect on many Australians lives. Reference is made to the war through the Coral’s dialogue when she say’s “we won’t mention helicopters or jungle or mines” . This is clearly talking about the Vietnam War and portrays to the reader the prominent dissproval of the war by Autralian society, as by wanting to avoid the subject of the war it we see it is not something people approve of. This idea is further enforced by Rick’s dialogue. His use of sarcasm in the statement “you’ve won two years in the army” shows his comptempt for the idea of going to war. This change in Australia’s attitude towards war from what is previously seen in World War II - major support for the war - marks a change in the identity of Australia. We are now beginning to be identified as a more peacful, cultured nation, moving on from our more violent past. We also see a change in Australian identity by way of gender roles – specifically the roles of women, while the idea of a ‘perfect’ family and ‘ideal’ wife were central to Australian dentity at this time, woemn were slowly beginning to acquire a voice. Gwen portrays the stereotypical or ‘ideal’ wife and mother during the time period; concerning herself with making dinner keeping things clean and worrying about her family. However she challenges some traditional positions of women especially in her relationship with her husband, in which she is the dominant party in the heirarchy, having power over her husband rather than the inverse that was normal at the time. This challenge to how things generally were at the time portrays the beginning of a change to the roles women have in society The class discrimination present during the 1960’s is well portrayed in...
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