“Australian Literature helps me to expand the boundaries of my own experience.”
This semester I completed my second last literature unit, Reading Australia, and what a delight it has been. We studied many authors including Judith Wright, Patrick White, Francis Webb, David Malouf and Sally Morgan. Each one of these amazing authors have written about personal experiences or experiences that they believe occur within Australia, and it is surprising, but they have some parallels to my own life experiences. I think that is what is so astounding about their writing and what makes it so special to each person.
Judith Wright was wonderful and her poems were something special. Although a white Australian coming from a pioneering white family, her experience in Australia was not so stereotypical. She fought for Aboriginal rights and wrote poetry that reflected this. Of all her poems my personal favourite was The Wattle Tree as it symbolised growth, discovery and life. This piece of literature helped me to expand my boundaries in a unique way, and in a way that I didn’t think I could. For my first blog post I wrote a poem using the first line of this poem. When writing my own piece I learnt about my personal feelings and demons, and what seems to be holding me back in life. I was able to delve into my inner life and extrapolate a lot of meaning. By opening up to myself I believe this boundary has been expanded and that I can live my life to the fullest, without any fear or hesitation. Overall, her poems described a different experience but The Wattle Tree was my personal favourite in mirroring my own experiences.
Patrick White and his text “The Tree of Man” was complex and somewhat difficult to read. As an author he put so much effort and detail into every chapter, which isn’t a criticism, but it took me much longer to take in. From my reading I think that my boundaries and experiences were not necessarily expanded but more contradicted. White’s text discussed the issues that people in Australia were prone to, as well as the natural disasters that affected them, and so what I got from the text was a ‘real’ Australian experience. Personally, I don’t know much about the Australian outback so I don’t have many experiences to expand upon. My main point that I did take away was that everyone has the right to be something else and to be something they want to be. It also taught me about religion and that my experience of religion is only what I have been taught at school. Perhaps this is the boundary that was expanded upon. What do I believe in and how do I represent it? (I talk about religion and representation in blog 3.)
Francis Webb was also interesting to study, especially due to his mental state in which he wrote many of his poems. My experience from his literature was that nothing can stop you, no matter what circumstances you may be facing or what stands in your way. He had a powerful impact on me because I often believe that I am not capable of something or that other people can do it better than I can. Thus, his literature really expanded my boundaries and taught me that I am capable of doing great things, such as in blog 5.
David Malouf’s text was my favourite novel to read. It taught me that experiences, whether internal or external, are going to cause chaos for yourself and people around you. The internal chaos of Michael Adair was represented throughout the text and constantly reminded me of experiences I have had. What do I think of myself and the situation I am in? What will people around me think of my decision? My boundaries were expanded after reading because I now know that whatever I decide upon will fall back on me, and I am the person in control of my own decisions, despite it being a scary thing.
Finally, Sally Morgan taught me about identity and personal discovery. It is so important to be proud of who you are and what you stand for, whether or not you are obstructed by prejudice. Experiences can be scary, but also eye-opening and if you have boundaries it is important to expand them and go above and beyond.
Judith Wright- http://libguides.wesley.wa.edu.au/englishlit/judithwright
Patrick White- https://cityoftongues.com/non-fiction/me-and-patrick-white/
Sally Morgan- https://jennquick.wordpress.com/tag/sally-morgan/