Phillip Gwyne’s novel, “Deadly Unna?” explores how the main character Gary Black, a white boy from the “Port” also known as “Blacky” grows up by not agreeing to racism. Blacky experiences prejudice and friendship from both the aboriginal and white communities. Blacky begins to develop a greater tolerance for aborigines and their culture, and then he further attempts to apply this knowledge to the intolerant and prejudiced town in which he lives. The boy who helps him shift in his opinion of aborigines is a local aborigine named “Dumby Red”, who lives in the aboriginal missionary “The Point”. Dumby is of Blacky’s Football team and helps Blacky in various ways to become more tolerant.
Throughout the book, Blacky learns many things about friendship. Blacky begins to understand the aborigines and their culture, and he then tries to apply it to the intolerant town in which he lives. Blacky’s first step is when Dumby saved him from being beaten up by Mad Dog, giving Blacky a reason to stop hating Dumby. The only reason why Blacky hated Dumby in the first place was because his friends Dazza and Pickles disliked aboriginals. After Dumby said bye to Blacky after a footy game, his Port friends asked Blacky if they were friends. Blacky replies;
“No way. Not him. I hate his guts. (Ibid, p.25).This shows it is not that Blacky did not like Dumby, it is just that Dazza and Pickles pressured Blacky to dislike Aboriginals and not to befriend them. Blackys friendship with Dumby later develops into Blacky being accepted and befriending Dumby’s family and relatives. Despite his two Port friends Pickles and Dazza. Blacky stays proud of his new friendship with Dumby.
Blacky gradually matures by the end of the year learning a lot about himself from the aborigines and his fellow town. At the start of the book Blacky likes an aborigine named Clarence; Darcy (Blacky’s mate) gives him advice about Clarence and other female aborigines, Darcy states; “Just a word of advice...
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