Australian Identity - Rabbit Proof Fence Essay

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ASSESSMENT 2 Question 1 For various reasons, a national identity has become a problematic subject for most western countries, especially Australia. One reason for this is that almost all of the Australian population is immigrants. Whether it be the first white settles or modern day foreigners most of us are not the original tenants of this land. A few texts that I have studied this year present some provocative ideas about this identity. The destruction of identity for power and the international Australian identity are both themes that come up in multiple texts. Two of those texts are Rabbit Proof Fence and Herbie. These texts show how our actions in the past have shaped our national identity as a nation. Rabbit proof fence used the characterisation of the three aboriginal girls Molly, Daisy and Gracie and the chief protector of aborigines Mr Neville to present the ideas of how the stolen generations and our sense of a community influenced our identity as a whole. Humans naturally seek community and belonging. A sense of community powerfully influences self identity. As is seen in Rabbit Proof Fence the girls’ sense of community is what gives them the initiative to make it home. Mr Neville sees the aboriginal culture as a smear on the Australian identity; he is in search of a perfect national identity .The pursuit of an ideal nation can have negative consequences. The destruction of identity is key to cultural domination, because identity is key to nationalism. This intended destruction of identity for power is explored in Rabbit Proof Fence. While at the moor river camp the girls meet Mr. Neville when he checks this skin colour. The use of a low camera angle on Mr. Neville represents him as having power and dominion over the aboriginal children. Mr. Neville’s primary goal is to “breed out” the aboriginal population to try and integrate the Australian community.

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