Dead Heart

Topics: Indigenous Australians, Tradition, Play Pages: 1 (385 words) Published: October 23, 2010
Nick Parsons’ play ‘Dead Heart’ focuses on the clash between white and aboriginal culture. In Nick Parsons’ play script ‘Dead Heart’ has a distinct focus on the differences and clashes between ‘white’ laws and traditional aboriginal tribal culture and laws. The language depicted by Parsons gives the reader a stereotype of each character and also includes stage directions, which helps set the scene of the play. A majority of the characters depicted by Parsons in the play are somewhat divided between aboriginal and ‘whitefella’ law. Such confusion caused conflict between the individuals of Wala Wala and creating a high level of friction. Setting plays a fairly big part in the play, creating a sense of imagery as well as a look into some aboriginal beliefs and traditions. One example would be when Kate and Les, two white people, have sex in an aboriginal spiritual place, showing both adultery and also sparking anger from the Aborigines, a huge ‘sin’ on their own sacred site. This is only one example of the aborigines viewing the white people as a type of intruder, treading all over their land and attempting to change their traditions and culture, without much success. Although some aborigines such as David or Tony seem confused and undecided, it is generally the tradition that brought them all up that they fall back on. Throughout the play, Ray, a white man who has the job as the only policeman in Wala Wala, tries to convert the aboriginals and attempt to persuade them into forgetting all about their heritage and tribal laws, and start abiding by traditional ‘whitefella’ laws, although not everyone is cooperative. Tony, Billy and David are examples of characters Parsons depicts as having a sense of lost identity, unsure about which law to follow. While Poppy, the Aboriginal leader of Wala Wala despises Ray and what he’s doing, Ray is trying to ‘convert’ the Aboriginals into the ‘whitefella’ way. Ray seems to have a certain liking to having power amongst Wala Wala,...
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