The Rabbits (Australia Culture)

Topics: Australia, Culture, Colonialism Pages: 2 (690 words) Published: March 19, 2013
The Rabbits
The Texts studied in class focus on a few elements of Australian culture. The reality is, considering Australia is a multicultural society, that there are many different cultures within our society. “The rabbits” by Shaun Tan and John Marden provides a critical version of the colonisation of the British from the perspective of the numbats, the numbats symbolise the aboriginals. Whilst in the poem “My country” by Dorothea Mackellar they show the difference between the two countries, Britain and Australia. It also shows that to Dorothea Mackellar nothing can compare to her country, Australia.

Both texts provide contrasting values. In the beginning of the text The Rabbits, the values are overwhelmingly sympathetic towards the indigenous culture. This is evident in the foreboding evident through the puff of smoke rising; this is the first signs of colonisation. As the story goes on you can see that the illustrator, Shaun Tan, has used darker colours, this symbolises the loss of hope among the numbats. Likewise with the poem ‘My Country,’ Mackellar’s poem values how the landscape provides hardship but ‘she pays us back threefold.’ The value added is in the way the people grow and gain from the adversity that they face. This is evident in the first stanza because the landscape of England has “ordered woods and gardens” but cannot compare to the Australian landscape that is metaphorically associated with precious gems, “the sapphire misted-mountains,” “I love her Jewel sea.” It seems the post-colonial Australian society is enriched through hardship and is more appreciative of its beauty as a result.

The text The Rabbits is written from the perspective of the numbats, using this perspective it allows us to see what effect historically, colonisation had on the Aboriginals. The cruelty of the British is depicted with increasing venom. First contact is depicted in benign as even the language suggests ‘some were friendly.’ At this stage the natural...
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