Life is a series of journeys, and all journeys involve a period of time. This period of time can depend on the degree of change and the significance of the journey but will always result in a change of personality and self beliefs.
This meaning of inner journey is portrayed throughout a long and meaningful search for cultural identity and heritage in both Sally Morgans ‘my place’ and Phillip Noyce’s ‘rabbit proof fence’. Where the characters in both texts are of indigenous heritage but are striped away from their culture and separated (physically in rabbit proof fence, mentally in my place) from their family, feeling alone and in a search for identity the three girls, Molly, Gracey and Daisy from the movie Rabbit Proof Fence and Sally from the novel My Place must undertake there own personal journey to discover who they are, where they belong, and how to return home, as proud aboriginals.
The series of inner journey’s in which Sally, and Molly underwent were vitally important in understanding their culture and family values. In sharing these journeys with the country the two aboriginal girls have become national representatives and icons for all aboriginals today. “... maybe they’ll understand how hard its been for the blackfella to live the way he wants. Im a part of history, that’ how I look on it.”
They have opened up and shared a secret which has laid dormiant for years but have now led many Indigenous Australian’s to understand their place in the world, in their culture, and to overcome insecurities gained from years of abused authority from white society but most importantly it has allowed them and a whole nation to recognise the link between Aboriginal culture and the land which was vitally important to Aboriginal identity but was ‘stolen’ from them. It has opened up the search for truth and the need for identity for an entire race of Australians. “‘How deprived we would have been if we had been willing to let things stay as they were. We would have survived, but not as whole people. We would never have know our place.’”
My place and rabbit proof fence both link together in a relatively opposite but combined example of how the aboriginal population have suffered, it provides a first hand experience of how they were treated and the impact of being ‘stolen’ had on Aboriginal children and there families, both at the time and many years later.
The effects of the emotional events in the movie Rabbit Proof Fence help us identify with how devastating the experience of being apart of the ‘stolen generation’ was for the whole indigenous communities. We feel drawn to the traumatised and frightened family as the girls are taken away, we are taken to feel empathy for the grandmother, who begins striking her head with a stone, a symbolic gesture that a horrified event has just taken place. The mothers and grandmother are portrayed as being useless in saving their girls and worthless by the officer who believes the children are better of brought up in white society, without their mothers.
This common perception white society placed upon the Indigenous population of being in need of protection was believed to be a Christian ideal which was strongly thought of being the rightful thing to do. Mr Neville’s, the states protectors of aborigines speech in which he states “The native must be helped in spite of itself.” is a key example in portraying the idea that it was most important to help protect these poor aboriginal children before they learn the ‘native’ ways of life instead of the believed ‘rightful’ white way of life. “We have an uphill battle with these people, especially the bush natives, who have to be protected against themselves. If only they would understand what we are trying to do for them...” Although Mr Neville believes he is doing the right thing, we feel the irony of which he is not interested in ‘protecting’ these children or there welfare but is more concerned with the belief that the black can...
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