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Comment on the way in which Kath Walker makes a social commentary in her poem

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ABORIGINAL CHARACTER OF RIGHTS Comment on the way in which Kath Walker makes a social commentary in her poem "Aboriginal Character of Rights" The manner in which Walker expresses her views in the poem is reflective of her background, experience and knowledge. Given that Walk was removed from her family at a young age and made to assimilate with white society, she is able to present an unbiased view of the issue at hand, that is, the needs of the "native old Australians" to no longer be "rank(ed) as aliens" in what was once their own land. Walker makes a social commentary that dwells upon various social issues concerning specifically the rights and needs of the Aboriginal community. She voices a general concern regarding equality on behalf of her people. Emerging from the principle theme of equality are the basic and life-altering needs that the Aborigines call for. The most basic needs are also courteous deeds. Aborigines are longing for "help" in times of assistance, to be "welcome(d)" and to have a "choice" in life. ...read more.


By using various language devices such as intentional wording, positioning of text, emotive language and juxtapositioning, Walker effectively communicates her concerns to the audience. "You dishearten, not defend us"is an economical line that is capable of displaying her anguish and anger towards the whites. The first word "You" displays the ordinance of her poem. "You", a word in itself is an accusative verb that places direct blame and generates strong connotations to the reader. By intentionally beginning the stanza with "You" Walker is personally directing her emotions towards the audience. This can be seen as a successful attempt in gaining the attention of the reader as it further engages the audience. Moreover, the noun "dishearten" is used to convey her innermost sentiments as this word alone encompasses the substantial extent of loss experienced by the Aboriginals. "Dishearten" tells of the loss of identity, hope, freedom and love of Aboriginal life. Furthermore, Walker juxtapositions "You dishearten" with "Not defend us" as to mirror what the whites have wrongly done and what they should have done to write a wrong. ...read more.


Love entails different meanings that can be interpreted in diverse ways. Depending on the experience and background of the reader, the positioning of the word "love" can be read from different perspectives. The author intentionally makes her poem intricate so that the audience may interpret the issues at hand without any limitations. This similar sense of desperate longing for more is also evident in line 24 "Give us choice, not coercion" To give is to provide, as provide is to give. In directing the appeal towards the reader, it is assumed that the whites have the ability to 'give' the Aboriginals a realism of freedom. To liberate their oppressed race by freeing them from the restrictions they feel within their lives. They have the desire to be more and in order to be ambitious and live more; they need to have their burden lifted. In closing, Walker is successful in conveying her message of hope for equality. In using various written language devices, Walker is able to effectively make a social commentary on the rights of Aboriginals through the literary form of poetry. Written by Karen Ng 10.1 English ...read more.

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