Walkabout (Film 1971)

Walkabout (Film 1971)

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Walkabout (Film 1971)

By no fault of their own, the two children are stranded in the Australian outback. Without enough food or water, they have to find their way back without any help.

When they run into the aboriginal boy, the children were almost at the "end of the line". In order to survive, they are forced to work and live by the lifestyle of the aboriginal boy, who is (to quote the quote) "a spectrum opposite, who they are forced to coexist with)


The landscape portrayed in the movie is the Australian outback. The outback is nothing other than a desert. Yet this setting acts as two different areas, depending on which perspective you look from (either the children or the aboriginal boy). For the two children, this desert is an uninhabitable environment. They are not used to this type of place and have a hard time adapting. But the aboriginal boy is at home in the desert. He knows where to find everything he needs to survive. So in this sense, the landscape plays a very important role to tell the story as it is.


The Invasion of outsiders to a new harsh land can only refer to one thing, which is the two children being involuntarily introduced to the Australian outback, an environment they are not used to (so to them it is a "harsh new land"). Their inability to survive is shown by how exhausted they were when they reached the oasis. At some point they used up all the available water. So in a way they were extremely lucky to have met the aboriginal boy.

An example for their refusal to accept the aboriginal culture would the fact that the girl refuses to take off her clothes in front of the aboriginal boy, while her brother is very open to accepting this way of life.


For me the very last scene of the movie is the most memorable. Not because of the fact that their all swimming in the pond naked, but because the girl actually misses this way of life. This is the very same way of life that she kept refusing at first. And she is thinking how, if she would have "mated" with the aboriginal boy, she might have a much happier life than she does at the actual end of the movie.The fact that her lifestyle in which she thinks she would be happier has changed really stands our for me.

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To be honest, the film has slightly changed my view about the Aborigines. The fact that the aboriginal boy kills himself at the end of the movie left me a little bit confused and surprised that that is how they go about life, pursuing one partner, and if the partner refuses, then you have no more reason to live.But then again that shows how huge the gap in lifestyles really is.


Most Americans see themselves as the head of society. In a way, some of them see themselves as the leaders and saviours of the world. This way of thinking is also very much portrayed in chapter five, when it is mentioned that, in comparison to the Aborigines, their civilisation has evolved so much over the decades, that technology and mechanisation has taken over.

When the Aborigine attempts to communicate with the two children, Mary replies (in English): "We don't understand what you're saying."

This shows that Mary immediately assumes that the aboriginal boy must speak English. The fact that they call him "darkie" also shows a slight hint of racism.


Peter, Mary and the aboriginal boy are further trying to make their way through the desert. The boy seems to have caught Peters cold and is now rather ill. For now the children ignore this, as their main goal is to get out of the desert to Adelaide. Peter is slightly concerned about the "darkie", but is always told by Mary that he will be OK. Soon the three find a good place to rest. Peter notices that the boy is cold due to his illness, and kindly removes his shorts for the boy to use for warmth. Mary, however, after being told by Peter to offer her dress, refuses to sacrifice her dress as to stay decent in the presence of the "darkie" (who to her is still a stranger).

The next day the bot seems to be getting better. Peter and Mary go to a nearby Pond to take a bath (one at a time of course, Mary going second). While Mary is bathing and Peter is collecting firewood, the boy wakes up and hears Mary "singing and splashing". To keep up with his tribal custom, he decides to let Peter keep working and not disturb him. He makes his way down to the pond, where he discovers Mary and, for the first time, notices the very differently coloured hair of hers and how beautiful she is. However Mary soon discovers that the boy is watching and starts getting angry, even starts shouting st the boy (which he doesn't understand). The boy immediately sees this as a rejection and somehow loses the will to live. He goes to a nearby tree and lays under it, waiting to die.

By now, Mary has lost all of her trust in the boy and decides to try and find Adelaide with Peter, without the boys help. But when Peter discovers the aboriginal boy almost lifeless under the tree, she notices how close the two cultures have actually grown. Before the boys dies, Mary holds his head in her arms on her lap. This is where she notices how their two worlds have joined together to become one.

The aboriginal boy dies during the night, while Mary and Peter are asleep.


Many would think that the boy dies mainly because if his deteriorating health. While this is very much possible, the author does mention that his fever has subsided completely and the cold is also slowly disappearing.

I think the boy died because Mary got angry when the boy saw her naked, a reaction not known to him. To him, being naked comes naturally to him. So he may have seen her anger as a type of rejection. The boy immediately loses his will to live, and soon afterward, not even a day, he dies under a tree, in the arms of Mary.

The author might have had the intention of showing how we (more civilised, modern people), live a different life, as opposed to the lifestyle of the aborigines. We act more closed and guarded, while the lives of the aborigines are more easy-going and simple. The death of the boy might be a way of showing that in today's world, it it almost impossible for these two worlds to coincide. I say "almost", because at the end, Mary does notice how, with a little effort, both world can join together as one.
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