Discovery: Indigenous Australians and Historical Truth Essay
Discovery: Indigenous Australians and Historical Truth
Discoveries reveal things that we often would prefer to keep hidden. Discuss the concept of “Discovery” and the effects it has on those who are involved. You must refer to your set text and supplementary material which you have studied in relation to this topic. The topic discovery involves the reviling of past things that were previously unknown. These truths can range from physical objects to self-awareness, from new knowledge to hidden memory. However, discovery can be such a powerful thing that some things may be better left hidden.
An example of someone discovering the past is in the set text, Sally Morgan’s “My Place”. The supplementary material that will be “Paperbark-tree” by Oodgeroo Noonuccal and Sarah’s Story from the National Inquiry. Two issues that are raised in “My Place” are the discovery of self and the search for historical truth. Part of growing up involves the discovery of self. This normally means finding out your family’s history.
In “My Place”, Sally grows up feeling that there is a lot about her past that she doesn’t know.”the feeling that a very vital part of me was missing and that I’d never belong anywhere. ” When she was a child, her best friend was Winnie the Pooh. She felt that she had a lot in common because they both felt like misfits. Both her mother and grandmother know that Sally doesn’t know much about their Aboriginal heritage, and so therefore tell her that she is Indian. “Come on, Mum, what are we? What do the kids at school say? Anything. Italian, Greek, Indian. Tell them you’re Indian. ” Eventually Sally find’s out that she is Aboriginal and by finding this out, starts her on a quest for knowledge.
This feeling of having not much idea of who you are may make you want to go and find out the truth. A big example of this is Aborigine’s who were taken from their parents as children and sent away to work as slaves. In Sarah’s story she explains how as a child, just like Sally, she was told that she was not aboriginal. She was white skinned living with her white skinned father and had to be taken away because people believed that white skins should not mix with natives. “We were discouraged from any contact with Aboriginal People. ” The second issue that is faced in “My Place” is historical truth.
Know matter how the reader interprets the story, they are always going to be able to read about Australia’s past. As Arthur tells Sally, “There’s almost nothing written from a personal point of view about Aboriginal people. No one knows what it was like for us. A lot of our history has been lost? ” In search for her family’s story, Sally uncovers the historical truth of a generation controlled by a white Australia. Paperbark Tree, by Oodgeroo Noonuccal is a short story, who has been cut off from the Aboriginal ways of life, travels the country looking for traces of her tribe.
Both Oodergeroo in the story and Sally Morgan begin their search for knowledge as women without an understanding of their past history. They both need to connect with their Aboriginality and understand how their relatives or tribe members lived. They both travel around looking for information. By learning stories of the past, and writing them down, both women are able to understand who they are and connect with the wealth of aboriginal culture and experience. In conclusion, discoveries can reveal things that that are previously unknown and sometimes the truth is better left hidden.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 5 January 2017
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