The longest journey of a person is the journey inward, Dag Hammerskjvld. An inner journey is a powerful voyage of the mind, soul and spirit that impacts on all aspects of a persons life. Inner journeys provide personal, spiritual and intellectual growth and development. Experiences that allow personal development and growth will change the way that some aspects of life is viewed. Daisy and Gladys embark upon inner explorations about acceptance of their aboriginality, their spiritual identity as aborigines and their self esteem/ self worth.
Gladys faced many challenges and obstacles in her life. At Parkerville children’s home Gladys resented the colour of her skin. “I wanted to be white; I even hoped a white family would adopt me…” Gladys’ fear of authority and her aboriginality stemmed from her mother Daisy. Upon confessing her nationality, an old lady exclaimed “Oh you poor thing…What on earth are you going to do? … Mum told me I must never tell anyone what I was, that was when I started wishing I was someone different… mum made me really frightened, I was really scared of authority.” This use of verbatim gives a subjective viewpoint of a character.
It gives its own individuality, speed and rhythm to Gladys’ story. Throughout the book Gladys moves from denial to a passive acceptance of her aboriginality to pride. “I feel embarrassed now to think that once I wanted to be white…I’ve changed since those days” The natural vernacular used by Gladys gives her story individuality and through the use of everyday language positions the wider audience to respond to the story. Her changing viewpoint about her preferred skin colour signifies personal growth and development as she is now accepting herself holistically rather then in fragments.
Daisy’s life has been scarred with physical and sexual exploitations and hardships. “I’m ‘shamed of myself, now. I feel ‘shamed for some of the things I done. I wanted to be white; you see…what was wrong with my own people?” The emotive use of verbatim with words such as “‘shamed” create an individual speech pattern for Daisy’s story and adds veracity. The comparison between what she feels now and what she felt previously show inner growth and self exploration. Saying that she wanted to be white and now acknowledges and appreciates the fact that she is black is a big positive and progressive step for Daisy. “…he told us we must save ourselves for marriage.
Most of us had already been taken by white men. We felt really ‘shamed… There I was stuck in the middle. Too black for the whites and too white for the blacks.” Daisy held little control over her life; she was constantly downtrodden and made to feel like a second class citizen or half human. “Sal the fights gone out o’ me. I got no strength left…Blackfellas got to show the white man what they made of. I like to think the black man will get treated same as the white man one day…” Daisy lets go in the end because she finally accepts her aboriginality. The emotive language used positions the audience to respond with empathy.
My place as well as the inner journeys of Daisy and Gladys has taught me many valuable lessons about journeys. I learnt that not all inner journeys result in wholeness and attainment. Though I also learnt that even a small amount of personal growth and development can change and impact upon a person tremendously.
Inner journeys involve self exploration in which individuals review their growth and development in the light of experiences which challenge and test them. Inner exploration can provide clarity, direction, increased self esteem and better insight into oneself, others and the surrounding world. Gladys and Daisy both experience inner journeys as they explore their aboriginality and themselves. The women both learn adapt and change as they survive through numerous challenges and obstacles transforming into more wholesome people.
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Topic: “My Place” by Sally Morgan
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