Deadly Unna: Is Australia a Racist Country?

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Australia is a racist country. Is this an accurate statement about ‘Deadly Unna?’ Deadly Unna is a novel written by Phillip Gwynne. The novel showcases the effects that racism can have in a small community through the protagonist Gary ‘Blacky’ Black and how Blacky’s awareness of the racist attitudes shown by his townspeople from The Port, towards the nungas (aborigines) from The Point increases. This is eventually shown at the end when Blacky and all his siblings paint over the writing ‘boongs piss off. Blacky acquires a friendship with a nunga through the sport of Aussie Rules Footy. Dumby Red, as he is known, happens to be extremely good at footy. At first, Blacky becomes envious and tells himself that he hates Dumby, when he knows he has no reason to. It is only when Dumby saves Blacky from Mad Dog, that Blacky gives himself an excuse to be friends with Dumby. While he may not admit it, Blacky is proud to be friends with Dumby. This is the first real sign of unity between Blacky and the nungas. Blacky feels he needs a reason to be friends with Dumby due to the pressure he feels from his friends and even family. It’s just generally accepted that the goonyahs don’t associate with the nungas, only on footy matchdays. This is shown during the time of Dumby’s funeral, when everyone advises Blacky not to go for many different reasons. Blacky goes along anyway. Even at the award ceremony for the footy after Blacky’s team wins the grand final, Blacky is incensed when Dumby misses out on the BoG medal, instead given to Mark Arks, the coach’s son. Blacky couldn’t grasp the fact that they could be so blatantly racist, when Dumby had easily been the better player all year. It made Blacky extremely angry, “It’s bullshit, that’s Dumby’s trophy!” cries Blacky while at the presentation. Perhaps the worst case of racism in the novel is at the bar, when racist jokes are being thrown around like they wouldn’t harm anyone; this is first moment when Blacky realises how large the...
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