Journey- Patricia Grace, the People Before- Maurice Shadbolt (Lack of Clear Outcome

Topics: New Zealand, Māori, Treaty of Waitangi Pages: 4 (1544 words) Published: August 26, 2011
Analyse how the lack of a clear outcome in at least TWO short stories you have studied makes the stories successful for you: Journey by Patricia Grace and The People Before by Maurice Shadbolt both look at land confiscation and compensation cases that occurred during the early colonization of New Zealand and their modern relevance today. Although both these authors approach this similar topic differently, both stories lack a clear outcome. This is particularly effective for us as readers because it causes us to revaluate our preconceptions and prejudices regarding this issue and draw our own conclusions. We quickly discover the difficulty of reaching a truly successful outcome, and can therefore see the relevance that these types of cases have in our society today. The People Before by Maurice Shadbolt presents this issue intergenerationally, where the land was confiscated historically. This story is from the viewpoint of a white boy whose father owns the land “through sweat and legal title” and who has spent much of this time “winning order from wilderness” in order to convert the land into a workable dairy farm. The father is presented to us as a hardworking man who served “in the war” and who toiled for many years to try build a sustainable life for his family. By presenting us with this strong image of the stereotypical farmer, almost seen as the backbone of this country, Shadbolt influences us as readers to feel a great deal of respect and loyalty towards him. However this attitude is soon challenged by Shadbolt when we learn, towards the end of the story, that the land used to belong to a Maori tribe, who lived there for “hundreds of years” and were forced to move away from the area without compensation after it was “confiscated from the after the Maori wars” and “the European took the land”. Here Shadbolt cleverly presents to us as readers a situation where there are two sides that are both equally valid, but utterly different. Because the land was...
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