BUILDING KEY CONCEPTS
Familial Belonging *** Assimilation vs. Acceptance *** Social and psychological barriers to belonging
Cultural contexts: contrast European and Aboriginal beliefs and attitudes to family
Investigate scene between Nan Dear and Dolly when Dolly seeks help with her Family Tree. Note Nan’s response when Dolly tells her they can’t include their cousins.(p.125)
What is Gladys saying when she instructs Errol to call her “Auntie”? (p.146) What is the significance of this?
“Shame! They might be drinkers, but they’re still our people.” (p.139) What does this say about Nan Dear’s approach to belonging?
(p.169-170) Contrast Errol’s sense of familial belonging to Dolly’s.
What is the effect of the Government’s “new Assimilation policy” on the Aboriginal family as represented by Nan Dear, Gladys, Dolly and Auntie Esther’s family?
Assimilation Vs Acceptance
Historical context: research the history of Australian Government policy towards Indigenous Australians
Cultural context: identify the impact of the Government policies on the cultural context of non-indigenous and indigenous Australians
Social context: what were some of the social impacts of Assimilation – there are quite a few indicated in the play
Literary context: the play demonstrates a number of social consequences of the Government approach to Aboriginals.
How can the “new Assimilation policy” be seen to be played out in the play? How does this policy destroy any possibility of Aboriginal belonging in non-indigenous society?
Errol represents the difference between Assimilation and Acceptance. He says (p.149) “What matters is you. Not your address.” But then asks her to run off with him to a “better life” in the city, separated from his family and hers. Dolly’s concerns (p.171) reflect those things to which she emotionally and spiritually connected: the land and her family. Later, Errol asks to marry Dolly, accepting that they will...
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