Personal Context in The Shifting Heart: A Play by Richard Beynon

Topics: Australia, Immigration, White Australia policy Pages: 3 (1014 words) Published: September 16, 2013
The Shifting Heart.

In the 1950’s; coming to Australia was a very big step for Italian immigrants considering the recent “ White Australia Policy” of that time, but also because of the simultaneous battle between the Italian’s rights to live in Australia and the Australian society’s attitudes towards them. Different reading strategies give rise to very different interpretations. In reference to the drama text “The Shifting Heart” written by Richard Beynon, interpretations such as Gendered Readings, Power In relationships and lastly, representations of the Australian Stereotyped Society groups compared to the Italians, can all be the result of the reading strategy of using Personal context to relate to the characters.

An interpretation such as a gendered reading can be built up through the use of the reading strategy of personal context, which is relating in certain aspects to the characters in the text or the situation of which the characters find themselves in. Personal context can be used to build a gendered reading, because being a female in the 1950’s was difficult enough, never mind being a female immigrant to Australia. Maria was the first of the Bianchi’s to move to Australia, and therefore one the bravest of her family. Using the opinion of a female, one would relate to Maria, if they were to be an immigrant themselves, they could relate with Maria when she says “Not quite the same, is it? I mean, out here, it's a new world..” Richard Beynon uses this comment to relay to the readers the difficulties of having to leave ones home because of terrible circumstances and move to another country where the inhabitants are prejudiced, racist and completely against their heritage, to make a better life for herself and her family. A gendered reading can be built by personal context in this circumstance if one were to be in the same or similar situation.

There are many ways in which the drama text in question can be interpreted through the use of the...
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