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Title: Dead Ends: the Representation of Indigenous Australia in Louis Nowra's Radiance and Nicholas Parson's Dead Heart
Contributor(s): Kiernander, AR (author)
Publication Date: 2003
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Abstract: Within the history of Australian writing for the stage, the representation of Indigenous characters has been an ongoing problem. In the early period, two overall images of Aboriginal Australia stand out, both of them telling us far more about white anxieties than they do about the subjectivities of the Indigenous characters themselves. One early version presents Indigenous people as (understandably) antagonistic and threatening to white settlers, barely differentiated features of a more generalised alien new landscape. In this version, the original inhabitants are blended into and become part of an overwhelmingly hostile environment which is to be destroyed at wherever it threatens the Europeanisation of the Australian continent. Unlike the white characters, the Indigenous characters are given little that is discernibly human in the way of higher-level cognitive skills; they are merely an especially threatening part of the local fauna, with base animal instincts and appetites.Later in the nineteenth century a much more benign image of the Indigenous character emerges, suggesting that the white population no longer felt physically threatened by the now more familiar new land. Here the Indigenous characters are marginalised by helpful, friendly figures who assist the central white characters towards their goals.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Keying in to Postcolonial Cultures: Contemporary Stage Plays in English, p. 23-36
Publisher: WVT Wissenschaftlicher Verlag
Place of Publication: Germany
ISBN: 3884764756
Field of Research (FOR): 199999 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Series Name: Reflections
Series Number : 12
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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