SDSU Australian Literature and The Aboriginal Culture Discussion

What is the role of flashback, dreaming, day-dreaming and memories in the narrative structure of the story? How might this be connected to the Aboriginal trope of “the Dreamtime?”


2. How might the protagonist’s journey be understood as a kind of “walkabout?”


3. Existentialism: Is this an existentialist novel? What book does the protagonist purchase during the course of the novel? Why this particular book? What is significant about having a book within a book? (Sykes did something similar with her diary. This entry might help you to think of this device in a theoretical way: Some critics have discussed this Mudrooroo novel in relation to the more canonical and somewhat existential American novel, The Catcher in the Rye? Is this comparison fair? How might existentialism explain protagonist’s apathy towards sex?


4. Ethnicity: How does the protagonist identify himself ethnically? How do others (family, students, bodgies, etc.) classify him? How might his ethnic classification be articulated in his namelessness? Why does the protagonist’s mother forbid the son to talk to the rabbit and kangaroo catcher?


5. The Police: What is the role of the police in this novel? Having read Sykes, what ideas do you perceive developing within the canon of black Australian literature about the police?


6. Town and Gown: How does the novel criticize the university culture? How are academics presented? How are academics the foil of bodgies?


7. Stolen Generation: Why is the mother in constant fear of her son being taken away from her? What is your opinion of “the apology?”


8. Australian PM apology to Aborigines



Demonstrate evidence of having read and thought about the novel carefully. The depth of your analysis is more important than the word count/length of your response. (please write some details and personal interpretation)



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