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Australian Identity as evident in the poetry of Judith Wright.

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Introduction

Australian Identity as evident in the poetry of Judith Wright The poetry of Judith Wright conveys a strong sense of 'Australian Identity'. This is evident though Wright's strong connection to the landscape, using descriptions and personifications of the landscape for the Australian landscape to act as a Metaphor to describe the poets attitude towards her homeland and issues which concern the poet. This treatment of using the landscape to convey feelings is used in 'South of My Days' and 'Bora Ring'. Wright also has a strong connection to the past, the heritage of Australia which reveals her Australian conscience, her link with Australia's past coupled with her strong link to the land. Wright's 'Australian Identity' is firmly established through per poetry with her use of ideas that have become synonymous with the Australian stereotype: what people recognise as being uniquely 'Australian'. This includes her mention of bushrangers, the reference to the lost Aboriginal corroboree, the description of the stereotypical Australian outback and the attitudes shown by both herself and the characters in her poems: characteristics recognised as 'typically Australian'. These features of her poetry have established Wright as a truly 'Australian' poet. Judith Wright has a strong connection to the Australian landscape, and the ideas she conveys through her poetry are very much steeped in nature. This link to the Australian landscape immediately distinguishes Wright as an Australian poet and this is especially evident in 'South of my Days'. ...read more.

Middle

Wright's use of the landscape to express her feelings towards the loss of Aboriginal culture is strongly linked with her Australian identity: not only in the use of the Australian landscape to describe her feelings, but also in the recognition of the loss of Aboriginal culture at white hands. This shows that Wright not only has an innate understanding of the Australian landscape, but of the people whom this connection to the landscape is shared. Judith Wright shows 'typical Australian' qualities in her poetry, as shown both by herself and by characters in her poems. Wright's support of the marginalised aboriginal population in 'Bora Ring' along with the blame pointed at society shows Wright to be sympathetic to the 'underdog': a 'typical' Australian quality. Her connection with the Aboriginals stems back to her connection to the land, something the Aboriginals shared, as they too were protectors of the land. The recognition of such social injustice along with such an element of caring is an 'Australian' trait and is an important facet of Wright's 'Australian identity'. The remaining aboriginal culture remains an important part of Australian society, even though now it is a minority culture. Wright's concern with the loss of Aboriginal culture shows that her Australian identity comes from not only an understanding of Australia's landscape but an understanding of Australia's culture which is demonstrated in her poetry. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is especially evident in 'South of my Days'. In the first Stanza Wright describes her 'blood' connection to outback Australia with the 'low trees blue-leaved and olive'. This distinctive description of outback Australia instantly defines Wright as an Australian poet as the reader associates such a description with the typical 'Australian' outback scene. It is not only Australia's outward landscape that is stereotyped, but the harsh climate depicted in 'South of my Days' is instantly recognised as Australian. The droughts with the hardened mud and the dried dusty rivers are juxtaposed with the early blizzards show the extreme weather conditions that the outback areas of Australia are prone to. The mention of bushrangers along with the laid back attitude displayed by 'old Dan' add to the unique Australian flavour that 'South of my Days' holds. The use of these ideas that have become 'typically' Australian show Judith Wright to be a truly Australian poet with an innate knowledge and feel for her country. Judith Wright's 'Australian identity' is evident throughout all of her poetry. Being 'Australian' not only relates to the landscape that one can see, but all the other factors that contribute to a national identity. All aspects of Australian culture are evident in Wright's poetry: from Australia's historical past and the recognition of Australia's indigenous culture to the unique blend of characteristics: of honesty, sympathy and laid back attitude that are uniquely 'Australian'. The deep understanding of Australia that Wright shows through her poetry show her to be a true Australian poet. ...read more.

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