Colonialism and Natives

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Colonial and Post-colonial perspectives

Perspectives of people and landscape are shaped majorly by the media and written material. The media influences us to believe who is right and who is wrong in relation to the events in the 1800’s between the natives and the whites and written material like novels and movies give us different views on certain events and help us analyse the events from an objective view. White Man’s Burden, Secret River and Rabbit-Proof Fence are three examples in which the composers have looked at the same event and analysed it in different ways. They have been influenced by perspectives of their time to analyse them in these ways.

The way in which composers like Rudyard Kipling, Kate Grenville and Phillip Noyce describe people is majorly influenced by the perspectives of the people they interact with and the views of the media. White Man’s Burden, a poem written by Rudyard Kipling, is a colonial perspective of the events in the 19th century. Kipling has been influenced by the views of the people in his time to describe the natives as savages and describe the whites as heroes, a typical colonial perspective. Kipling has described the people as “...half-devil and half-child...” He has described them as a "burden" to the white men. This shows the reader that the natives were savages and inhumane. The perspective from which Kipling has looked at the events in the 19th century in White Man’s Burden is a typical colonial perspective.

Contrary to White Man’s Burden, Secret River, a book dedicated to the Aboriginal people of Australia: past, present and future, is a post-colonial novel written in 2005 by Kate Grenville. Grenville has created an innovative novel exploring the idea of relations between the Europeans and the natives in the early 19th century. She has been influenced by post-colonial perspectives to describe the native people as misunderstood and mistreated people and the whites as the people in the wrong. She has done...
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