How does Blacky’s identity change after the death of Dumby Red?
To understand the defining factors in the process of Blacky’s change of identity, we must first understand identity itself. What is identity? Is it defined by ethnic origin, faith or rather a place within oneself. The individuals we surround ourselves with weather they are involuntarily forced upon us or associated by choice or with great reluctance, these individuals have the power to alter the way in which we view the world and it’s people. In Phillip Gwynne’s novel "Deadly Unna?” The main protagonist Blacky is observant and pessimistic, he perseveres in his school work, according to Blacky displaying dissimilar behaviour to the other boys in his year. Blacky possesses aspirations far beyond the bounds of the port, although he has these aspirations he has obtained a loss of faith, lack of direction and extensive amounts of self doubt realising the limitations the port bears, preventing him to act on his aspirations. Although he may view himself contrastingly in comparison to the rest of the port, he still remains nescient and neglectful towards the prejudice and divide between the white and indigenous australians, disregarding the issue as a “Fact of life” and continually denominating people without a second thought. It wasn’t until Dumby Red’s indirect influence triggered a change in Blacky that he realised the immorality of his actions towards racial division whilst not exactly derogatory was not assisting the problem. Although Dumby Red initiated the change in Blacky, he wasn’t the only contributor to blacky’s change. As we come of age, we begin to perceive things that were once ignorantly obscure to our former youthful selves; and in coming of age, he realises his father isn’t worth living in fear from, and the blunt, critically vehement denominations that come from his mouth mean nothing because in the end he is ultimately the failiure, and in discovering this revelation blacky was finally able to take a stand against him.
Before acquainting dumby red blacky was seen as inconspicuous by the rest of the port and in turn felt the same way about himself. "somebody even risked a first name, ‘ankle ok tim?’ Tim’s my brother. i’ve got three others besides him, and three sisters as well, Usually people just call us Blacky. You can’t blame them.” Blacky felt a need to follow convention and to adhere to the ways of the port and at the time didn’t make anything of the racial marginalisation that occurred throughout the port, partly due to not encountering any aboriginals, let alone conversing and familiarising himself with them. Blacky's attitude towards racial discrimination displayed apathetic qualities. “The Nungas got changed at one end and us Goonyas at the other. there was no rule or anything, it was just the way it was.” He was merely a bystander believing if he doesn’t directly participate in the bigotry, that he wasn’t contributing to the unjust behaviour, simply following suit. He assumed that one 14 year old boy could offer nothing to such a diverse issue and possessing the power to sway such adamant opinions was inconceivable, he believed his actions would be futile and wouldn’t achieve anything but push him further into outcast. This Insecurity had to have been initiated from somewhere reinstating the importance of the relationships we endure and the type of impact they have on us. Blacky’s malevolent relationship with his father was the cause of blacky’s insecurity. Blacky is a victim of his father’s brutality, his father is a failure and this fact is not yet known to Blacky allowing his father to think that he has superiority over Blacky and can manipulate him into feeling insignificant, and because of this Blacky’s father will take any chance he can get to pummel what little self confidence gary possesses to soothe his wounded pride. "My own son a gutless wonder, a gutless fucking wonder” i’d never felt so ashamed in my life."...
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