Essay on Analysis Of The Poem ' The Last Of His Tribe '

Essay on Analysis Of The Poem ' The Last Of His Tribe '

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For over 100 years, Australian poetry has reflected many themes that reveal the changing nature of the Australian identity. The values, attitudes and ideas that were developed about Aborigines have helped reflect the changing nature of Australian society. In the poem, ‘The Last of His Tribe’ by Henry Kendall helps reflect the ideas that were first introduced during the early pioneering era. ‘The Coloured Digger’ by Sapper Bert Beros helps the readers understand the changing nature of Indigenous culture, during the war era. ‘Coming Home Strong’ by Mark O’Connor helps reflect the gradual acceptance of Aborigines during the contemporary era.
During the pioneering era, Indigenous Australians were seen as a dying race, with many believing the future of the Aboriginal people was doomed (Bringing Them Home, 1997). In The Last of His Tribe, Henry Kendall represents Aborigines as people to be looked on with pity, an idea that was common to society at the time. Kendall depicts his protagonist as someone who has not yet been educated on the values and attitudes that Europeans have established, but he does value having his people surround him. Kendall influences the readers to understand the isolation that the lone Aborigine is feeling, by representing him as the last of his people. The use of repetition helps reveals society’s attitudes and values towards his misfortunes: “For he cannot look up to the storm – smitten trees – or think of the loneliness there – of the loss and loneliness there”. The poet helps further the idea, as he expresses that people believed that Aborigines and their culture was slowly fading and that the new emerging Australian identity was to be valued. Descriptive language was used to influence the readers to underst...


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...cross all era regarding Aborigines. Connotative language is used to help the people understand how monumental her victory was, and how much impact it will have: ‘…but yours was a victory that meant –and what it meant will grow’. Through his values, attitudes and ideas, the readers are influenced to understand O’Connor’s Coming Home Strong and representation of the Aborigine.
Representations of the Australian Aborigine have gradually developed across all 3 eras. Through Kendall’s The Last of His Tribe in the pioneering era, to Beros’ The Coloured Digger in the war era, and O’Connor’s Coming Home Strong for the contemporary era, their values, attitudes and ideas help readers understand the changing nature and identity of Australian culture. Although Aborigines are far more accepted, I hope one day they will receive the recognition they deserve. Thank you for listening.

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