How Has The Bush Legend Essay

How Has The Bush Legend Essay

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How has the ‘bush legend’ been contested and criticised?
The ‘bush legend’ was created in the 1880s and 1890s as a way to characterise Australians. However, it was popularised by Russel Ward’s 1958 book, The Australian Legend, which discusses the ‘typical Australian’, and describes the ‘typical Australian’ as,
“a practical man, rough and ready in his manners and quick to decry any appearance of affectation in others…a great improviser, ever willing to “have a go” at anything, but willing too to be content with a task done in a way that is “near enough”.… He swears hard and consistently, gambles heavily and often, and drinks deeply on occasion.… He is a “hard case”, sceptical about the value of religion and intellectual and cultural pursuits generally….. He is a fiercely independent person who hates officiousness and authority…. Yet he is very hospitable and, above all, will stick to his mates through thick and thin….” (Carter 150).
This legend, however, has been majorly criticised for it is urban, masculinist, anti-modern, and democratic. Even though the ‘bush legend’ gave Australians a sense of national identity (Carter 156), it is extremely problematic because it victimises the white man and disregards any Aboriginal hardships (Carter152).
To many the ‘bush legend’ is considered an urban myth. In the 1880s the legend came about abruptly by poets, fiction writers, illustrators, painters, and journalists to entertain city-based citizens, and, in fact, was not a part of the Australian experience (Carter 152). It was a way to create realism movements, impressionism, nationalism, and democracy. Richard White explains that “It was, in short, a projection of their values onto the bush: ‘their own urban bohemian values – thei...

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...Since the 1970s most Australians believe that multiculturalism is positive. They believe that immigrants should be able to ‘adopt the Australian way of life’ and/or ‘become Australian without giving up their own culture’ (Carter 351). While there is always conflicting views on diversity and multiculturalism, it is apparent that there is not one ‘Australian way of life’ (Carter 352). On the other hand, Aborigines and immigrants still are seen as inferior when it comes to socio-economics (White 53). For example, Tim Soutphommasane, an Asian Australian, explained, “No matter how much I see myself as Australian, how much I am Australian, I could never be considered as Australian as some others” (10).
Multiculturalism largely impacted Australian histories and identities. Depending on how one views multiculturalism, it can either be a negative or a positive impact.

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