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Australia is a proud county which has over the past two hundred years, established an identity that originates from convicts, free settlers, bushrangers and immigrants. Its identity has also been developed through its relationship with the Indigenous people of Australia and supporting the mother country England’ throughout World War I and World War II. Both David Metzenthen’s novel Boys of Blood & Bone and Paul Hogan’s film Crocodile Dundee have been influential in representing the Australian identity. Not only are these stories set in Australia portraying Australian characters, but each author has used a literary context to represent and create the image of Australian Identity through the events and actions that take place during both the novel and the film.
Both authors demonstrate the strong confidence each character has in their Australian identity; no matter who they meet and where they go, they stay true to their countries spirit and the soil they grew up on. Both the novel and film prove there is more to the Australian culture than the stereotype of a beer drinking, joking yobbo.
Both the characters demonstrate pride in the life changing events that influence who they become as well as representing their countries history.The country of Australia has had many amazing and tragic historic events that have contributed to creating a spirit each citizen carries to this day. David Metzenthen shows in his novel, the Australian heart and spirit through the eyes of a World War one soldier. This soldier is just a young man who not only tells us about his life back at home but about what he experienced in the war.
The author portrays these experiences through the literacy device of flashbacks and diary entries. Andy who is one of the main characters in the book experiences flash backs to the trenches, the battlefields and the horrific things that happened there. This is stated on p223, An image of the trenches rose like nausea, he could see the place, the sky rimmed with artillery blooming black-orange like monstrous flowers, and he could feel the slamming of the guns. This demonstrates how the war had long lasting effects on Australia and contributed to the legacy of the ANZAC spirit, a major contribution to our Australian Identity. Andy also writes diary entries that are short, show no emotion and offer little insight into to what is really happening in the war. These entries not only emphasis the laid back nature of Australians but also suggests that he is trying to convince the readers of his diary and himself that everything will be alright. It’ll be right mate is a statement that is very much a part of our Australian Identity. Andy also creates images and emotions that compel the reader to realise how strong the country was, is and always will be, when he discusses with his mates, the war he is about to join. He tell them that he does not feel remorse or worry about the journey that is ahead of him. He has looked at all the natural and beautiful things around him that make his life and country so significant. It is in this moment that Andy shows true Australian Identity because he is thankful for life and has hope, even in such a horrific time of his life.Paul Hogan in his film Crocodile Dundee portrays a character who is a complete larrikin, someone who is mischievous, rowdy but a good hearted person. (Wikipedia). A character who by the way he acts and the things he says about himself and his homeland typifies what the world believes is Australian. This is evident when he leaves Australia and travels to New York. He is not afraid to show his Australian identity. He continues to wear his Akubra and leather vest and do natural Australian things that are foreign to Americans. For example when he sees a man snorting cocaine and sniffling, Dundee mistakes the man for being sick and uses a traditional Australian technique to help the man feel better from his sickness. Although Dundee seems gullible in this situation he shows his culture and identity by caring for a stranger and trying to help in any way possible. In the novel and the film both authors portray the strong identity of Australia in their main characters. Both Crocodile Dundee and Andy leave Australia to go to a foreign land and it is in these foreign lands that they both display a strong confidence due to their Australian identity. Although the boys facing war were terrified of the journey ahead, they believed they were fighting for what they though was right. Andy even said, They were fighting for something greater than just themselves. Andy knew he was fighting for his country and the thousands of people in it. Not only was this heroic attitude an example for the other soldiers, but it paved the way for contributing to the Australian Identity. It made people not just proud to be themselves but proud to be descendants of the brave men that had fought in the war and contributed to establishing an identity that was uniquely Australian. Although Dundee isn’t facing a crisis as big as going to war, he also leaves Australia to go to a foreign land. Just like Andy, Dundee is also nervous and concerned about leaving Australia. Not only has he never been overseas before, but he is entering a culture that is very different to what he is familiar with. However, Dundee does not let these emotions impact on him. He shows his true self and heart to the Americans around him who at times find him unusual. He proudly represents his home country’s culture to this foreign land. Throughout the film and novel both authors have successfully exposed the strong and prideful identity each character brings with them no matter how far away they are from Australia. Even when the characters faced a dilemma, the author indicated that it is best to be yourself, because that is when you are at your strongest.In conclusion, both have successfully shown that the main characters reveal a strong confidence in their identity. The novel and the film exposed that no matter how isolated and alone each character felt, they stayed true to their countries spirit and the soil they had spent their whole life on. This is what made each character a true Australian.
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