Deadly Unna is a great novel, which explores the different themes and problems which Aboriginals face today. Author Phillip Gwynne has managed to talk about the racial feelings of Aboriginals and Australians through the characters. It explores the themes of racism, identity and determination and many more.
The Australian’s (whites) and the Aboriginals (blacks) live in two different areas. The Aboriginals live at "The Point", while the whites live at "The Port". The Aboriginals have the nickname of "Nungas". The whites have the nickname of "Goonyas". There is a lot of racial tension between the two races. The whites aren't welcomed in the Point. There are no shops at the Point, so the Aboriginals have to cross the boundary to go to the Port to go to the shops. According to the main character Blacky, they keep Arks (a shop owner and the football coach) in business. They also utilise the faculties and entertain in the Port.
The book is filled with a lot of racist slang and footy terms used by all characters. The footy boys usually communicate with each other through racist terms and slang. At one stage in the book, the racism went too far. A local butcher of the Port named Slogs, sprayed graffiti one the jetty’s shed. The graffiti was, quote “BOONGS PISS OFF”. The graffiti translates to saying for the Aboriginals not to enter the Port as it is only for the whites to live.
Although the two communities hate each other, Blacky who is the main character is very good friends with Dumby Red, a local Aboriginal boy on Blacky’s football team. Though they have many differences, both boys are good friends. This has been done intestinally by the author to show that white people and Aboriginals can be accepted into society and not have hatred towards each other.
There was a lot of questioning towards whether Blacky should attend Dumby’s funeral. Dumby broke into the local pub with some other friends and happened to get into a fight and sadly got shot by pub owner...
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