We Are Going Analysis

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1. Explain why they are “silent and subdued”.

2. How are white men represented? Why?

3. What is a bora ring and explain why it is so central to this poem.

4. Explain their reaction in line 8.

5. Lines 9-17 begin a ‘litany’. What is the effect produced?

6. Comment on the significance of metaphors used in the poem.

7. Comment on the structure and form of this poem.

8. Why does Thunder have a capital letter?

9. Comment on the mood and atmosphere created here.

10. Combine comments on its theme, title and conclusion.


1. They were silent and subdued because little remained of their tribe and many strangers were busy at work like ants.

2. The white men were represented as ants because they were busy at work and hurrying around.

3. A bora ring is where an initiation is performed and is hardened earth done by foot which is surrounded by raised embankments in a formation of a circle and it is central because the bora ring is not being respected as a sign says, “Rubbish maybe tipped here”.

4. Their reaction meant that to the white men they are strangers and are treated like they don’t belong in Australia but the Aboriginals feel that the white men are the strangers and are in their land.

5. It gives an effect of showing their side of really saying that they are the real natives of Australia and not the white men and that now that they are the past.

6. It compares and shows how the Aboriginals feel.

7. It has six stanzas and has no rhyming pattern.

8. The emphasis the word as thunder is really the loud terrifying sound as a result of lightning.

9. They are in the fresh air of Australia near the Bora Ring and the mood is of sadness and subduedness because of how the Bora Ring is being mistreated.

10. ‘We are going’ are the three words in the title, conclusion and theme and portrays how the life of the Aboriginals would be as the Aboriginals are not welcome to their own homeland therefore they are...
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