Year 11 stage 2 Literature Assessment 3: Australian Poetry
The use of personae can give voice to those who are silenced and thus shape our understandings of their experiences.
The indigenous people of Australia were a cultural group that’s experiences and problems were afterthoughts of the mid 1900’s. Judith Wright, born in 1915, was a social activist whose poems approached aboriginal issues, among others. Brady describes her as “suspicious and often contemptuous of the merely mercenary motives of so many of the early settlers”1, which is a foundation for her dedication to aboriginal rights. Oodgeroo Noonuccal was another female poet of the era. Judith Wright recommended her as a fellow ‘protest poet’2, and approaches similar postcolonial ideas as Judith Wright. Their poems are fore fronted with the bereavement of Indigenous Culture. “We Are Going” By Oodgeroo Noonuccal outlines the disregard for the sacred traditions of her people, as well as their deterioration and disconnection with nature, resulting in disempowerment. “Bora Ring”, the poem written Judith Wright is primarily concerned with the outcome Settlement, yet abstains from open judgment of the settlers. Both Poems represent the silenced Indigenous Australians. A conjunctive feature of both works is a personae that speaks from the Aboriginal perspective. Thus each poem can be used to shape readers appreciation of their experiences. Such an outcome can be achieved through the use of personae giving power to an illiterate people.
Personae in “We Are Going” can dictate understanding of the Aboriginals experience of disregard from English settlers. The personae gives voice to the people whose ancient grounds and society were desecrated.
Brady,V. Judith Wright's Biography: A Delicate Balance between Trespass and Honour / Veronica Brady. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 12:03, April 25, 2012, from http://www.nla.gov.au/events/doclife/brady.html 2....
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