The Australian Identity
I am here today to discuss our Australian Identity. How do you imagine a typical Australian? Maybe you see a blonde haired, blue eyed surfing babe? Or a bushman who drinks Bushels tea and four X beers while munching on some snags cooked on the BBQ? Or perhaps you see someone like Steve Irwin, our iconic crocodile hunter. Or do you picture the movie “Crocodile Dundee?” Australians are stereotyped and our typical Australian is usually imagined to be male. (Click) Russell Ward, well known author, portrays his view of the traditional Aussie as a practical man who is rough, tough bushman that holds true friendship and loyal spirits. Today I will be analysing two poems and one play and determining whether they are reinforcing or challenging the mythical Australian Identity and Russell Ward’s quote. (Click) The poem “If I was the Son of an Englishman” written by poet Komninos Papadopoulos takes a critical view of Australians and the some of the attitudes, values and beliefs which exclude certain groups from being accepted in Australian society. The poem describes the Australia through a migrant who feels that because of his cultural background, he isn’t treated as a real Aussie and will never really be apart of Australian culture. Komninos uses a rhyme scheme of ABCB to engage the reader and make the poem more appealing. In the first stanza, he discusses some of the positive opportunities Australia has to offer “I could be a union boss or a co-star with Skippy; I could even be prime-minister” but only IF he was an Australian. As the poem progresses he begins to describe some negative aspects of Australian Culture “I could desecrate the countryside, and destroy the kangaroo.” (Click Twice) The author has used humour, sarcasm, simple language and typical Australian phrases and slang such as “Fair Dinkum” and “True Blue” to reinforce the authors irritation at the Australian culture. Repetition of phrases “If I was the son of an Englishman,...
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