Within the pages of the novel Deadly Unna by Phillip Gwynne we are taken on a journey to a highly racist and bigoted town. Through the eyes of a young teenage boy, we see the world how he does and we experience the division and racism in this corrupt town.
In the book, the two races are strongly divided and we can see this clearly in the local bar. The front bar is for the goonyas and the back bar is for the nungas. Nungas are not allowed to be in the front bar with the goonyas, they are not allowed to drink with them. Although the division in the bar is not direct racism, it still leaves a large impression on the reader. In the back bar, there is a serving window for the nungas to buy their drinks, there are no seats at the bar like in the front. “Back bar or black bar as everybody called it,” (page 156). The back bar is called black bar because that is where all the nungas are permitted to be, not up the front like normal people, like animals at the back.
Although the nungas play for the football team, the racial division is even spread in the change rooms. The may not have been a rule in place that the nungas got changed at one end of the rooms and the goonyas at the other, it still came out that way. “Nungas got changed at one end and us Goonyas at the other. There was no rule or anything; it was just the way it was.” (Page 21)
Even though the town allows nungas to play on their football team, they are still classed as unwelcome in the Port. “boongs piss off ” is written on the jetty shed. The word “boong” is a derogatory term that the aboriginals are referred to. “Everywhere you look boongs piss off, boongs piss off, boongs piss off. Everywhere,” (page 257) the crude saying is written everywhere in The Port making it clear that nungas are not welcome in this part of town. The goonyas part of the town. At the end of the novel, Blacky and his siblings, paint over the sign “boongs piss off ” that is on the jetty shed, showing that they are not as racist and narrow minded as the rest of the town, their decision may not be agreed with, but they are standing up for what they think is right, proving that nungas should be accepted, not discriminated against.
Not only is this town racist, but it is also filled with sexism, majority of the men and teenage boys do not believe that women are their equals. Mr Robertson will not take advice from Gwen Black (Blacky’s mother) because she is a woman, even if she was a “tactical genius”. “Everybody thought that to be a great coach you had to be a great player. And a bloke, of course,” (page 32). Pickles is also sexist, he dislikes Cathy (a camper) squidding with Blacky and himself, he believes that it is a man’s job. “Girls and squid, according to him didn’t go together,” (page 181). Blacky’s father is also sexist, he is always down at the pub drinking or going out fishing while his wife Gwen is at home cooking and cleaning for her family.
Courtney from Study Moose
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