“Reading is neither neutral, nor natural.” How does your context as a reader influence your reading of The Dreamers?
Reading is neither neutral, nor natural. Readers are constantly positioned to make their own ideas and opinions of different texts based on their own understand and connecting of their personal context. In Jack Davis’ The Dreamers the descriptions of the tribal family in the first scene provide a strong, central reading that while I would accept, the earlier generations from those times would challenge the mutual reading of the harmonious tribal family. The different generations of past and present times would also have many contrasting views on particular characters such as Worru. Additionally, the study of past texts, such as The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams and Coonardoo by Katherine Suzanne Prichard, allows me to comprehend the meaning behind the symbol of alcohol in The Dreamers and how it is a representation of escapism for people in degrading ways of society.
In the beginning of The Dreamers by Jack Davis, we are described a scene of a tribal family walking, relaxed, across an escarpment with children happily singing songs of cultural meaning, relaying their innocence and happy family-based futures: “Dawn. We hear the distant echoing of children singing a tribal song. A tribal family walks slowly across the escarpment silhouetted against the first light of dawn.” The central, prominent reading brought forward by Davis’ descriptions and symbolism of the melodious, peaceful tribal family is one I accept because of Davis’ way of showing the harmonious nature of the aboriginal culture and way in their environment, in the world they know. However, the white generations of the 1980s would contrast and challenge this communal reading because of their own racial attitudes and beliefs of Aboriginals. To the whites of the 1980s, Aboriginals were filthy and worthless individuals and therefore the white society audiences were unable to...
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