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The Shifting Heart Analysis

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The Shifting Heart Analysis
How might a literary work be read out of its time and place and still represent and produce culturally significant ideas and attitudes? Refer to two texts you have studied.
BY GEORGIA-MAE O’BRIEN
Racism is the discriminatory or abusive behaviour towards members of another race. As Australians we have witnessed firsthand the devastation that comes along with racism and degradation of people, that being the oppression of the Aboriginal people in our society and to a lesser extent, that of the Italian and Asian migrants after World War 2. Our history is riddled with numerous accounts of racist behaviour and our literature reflects as much, racism is evident not only in our history but in our present time, the message portrayed through both present
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Focusing on that of a family who wish to integrate into Australian society, it seems as though the society they wish to integrate into is mostly unaccepting of them. The two fences are representative of the two sides of the society they are integrating into, one side is completely closed off – the fence with the barbed wire – and shows that some parts of the society will never change and never accept people of a different race. The other fence – the broken down picket fence – shows that even though on the outside there may seem to be acceptance, behind it there is still unsureness and uncertainty, shown through the drunken, wayward neighbour Donny Pratt. The Bianchi’s wish to be accepted is almost unnoticed by their new society and is overridden by their culture and differences to the stereotypical Australians. The Bianchi’s seem to not understand why they aren’t accepted, Poppa believes they have done everything right to fit in and yet they are still racially oppressed. The use of “Momma Macaroni” and Poppa’s reaction to the use of it “why don’t they call her Mrs Steak and Eggs, huh?” shows that there is a separation between the two people and cultures. The separation of the Bianchis’ and the Pratts’ is just a further example of how the racial oppression occurs in many ways and affects the people it is aimed at. The Australian …show more content…
The idea is constantly presented as negative and a destructive tendency, not only in past literature but in modern literature as well. The message surpasses cultural barriers and seems to show a negative impact on not only the person who is racially degraded but the society which condones it is presented in a bad light. The Shifting Heart by Richard Beynon and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini are two prime examples of how racism can affect people and society and how the constant conditioning of people will cause them to have underlying issues, such as racist tendencies and intolerance. They show the psychology of racism is underpinned by social values and a “mob mentality”, both texts portray accurate representations of racism in the time but also show how we can use this hindsight to move towards a society which has no racial

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