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MEG-09: Australian Literature

MEG-09: Australian Literature

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

If you are looking for MEG-09 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Australian Literature, you have come to the right place. MEG-09 solution on this page applies to 2021-22 session students studying in MEG, PGDNLEG courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: MEG-09/TMA/2021-22

Course Code: MEG-09

Assignment Name: Australian Literature

Year: 2021-2022

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Attempt any five of the following:

Q1. What were the various traditions that formed the beginnings of Australian Literature? Illustrate with examples.

Ans) A distinctive element of colonial literature is that the majority of the writers were men. This was due to the fact that the majority of the inmates and early immigrants were men. Second, men made up the majority of the first migrants to Australia. Women were purposefully barred from "mateship" as a kind of masculine solidarity, which delegated to them the passive virtues of stoicism and fortitude.

Women's Writing

Catherine Spence, who moved from Scotland to South Australia with her family, was one of the first female novelists to be recognised at the time. Jane Austen influenced her work significantly. Her novels were mostly concerned with the difficulties of white female immigration. As a result, she is the first woman novelist to write about Australia and the first to discuss women's issues. A Tale of South Australia by Clara Morison Through the eyes of a woman, During the Gold Fever analyses the social, economic, and moral difficulties of the time in Adelaide. Male authors of the time portrayed men as heroic, hardworking, and so responsible for Australia's success and wealth. As a result, women were often depicted as weak, submissive, and depending on men for protection and nutrition. In several of the plays, poetry, and novels of the time, the Aborigines were depicted as "half human, illiterate, amoral, and undeserving of consideration."

Writings of the Ancients

Adam Shoemaker is a journalist, as evidenced by "The Aboriginal or Flinders Island Chronicle," which was published in Tasmania between September and December 1836, the most popular of which he considers to be the bark petition issued by the Yirrkala people of Arnhem Land in 1963, at the beginning of Aboriginal Australian writing in English (14-17). The publication of Kath Walker's poems, Jack Davis' and Kevin Gilbert's plays, and Colin Johnson's (then known as Mudrooroo) books following the 1960s proved the presence of Aboriginal voices in writing. Since then, there has been no turning back. Older forms and translated copies of Aboriginal song sequences or folktales, as well as memoirs, journals, and ballads of early European explorers and settlers, made up Australian literature. This also includes more codified works of literature that arose as the island nation's literacy and printing became more entrenched. It represents Australia's evolution into the country we recognise today in diverse ways, much like literature from any other country.

Much of what we may call Australian literature in the early phases of its growth was not what we would consider literature in the classic sense. Without writing down their oral songs and stories, the Aboriginal peoples of Australia, for example, passed them along from generation to generation. Even when they were translated into English, it was for anthropological rather than literary purposes. Rather than researching the aesthetic aspects of these artefacts, the purpose was to get a scientific understanding of the Aboriginal people's culture and values. Furthermore, the records, memoirs, diaries, and notebooks now included in literary studies were not necessarily intended for this purpose. Private or official documentation of explorers, officials, and settlers were commonly included. These works, on the other hand, are crucial for understanding how Australia's land, conditions, and people evolved in the thoughts and imaginations of individuals who lived or visited the country. They show how Australian literature came to be, as well as the early influences that influenced it.

Ballads and bush songs, which had hitherto been connected primarily with folklore, became part of the literary legacy. When authors began to cultivate and improve oral ballads and bush songs, they became more aware of their forms, topics, and figures. Patterson, sometimes known as 'Banjo,' is a member of this school of thinking. Waltzing Matilda, a hymn about a swagman — a wandering agricultural labourer in Australia's outback — has become an unofficial national anthem for many European-born Australians.

Literature in Australia evolved and took many diverse forms, including the well-known local narrative of the literary interpretation of the fire. Authors such as Henry Laws and Barbara Baynton made substantial contributions to the conception and application of this form during this formative period. Their work depicts several facets of the emergence of Australian Bush and People mythology. The Hardships and vitality of European settlers and bush people can be witnessed in their effort during the impact of construction. At this early stage of development, it was only natural that the writers, who were largely British settlers, would apply the norms and practises of British literature to their work. In this way, early Australian writing often looked back over its shoulder towards England. This rapidly became a point of debate, as some writers believed that following and preserving British literary traditions was the best way for writing. Because Australia was so dissimilar to England, many people believed it should cut links with the mother country and develop its own national identity, which should be reflected in Australian literature.

Q2. What were the main themes of nineteenth century Australian poetry? Substantiate from the poems you have read.

Ans) The themes can only be embodied through words and patterns of verbal representations, a brief study of the stylistic features of nineteenth-century Australian poetry is required. There may be some repetition; however, remember that repetition in distant education is for reinforcement.

The Land and the People

The country and people of Australia were a tempting subject matter of uttermost wonder and interest for the pioneer Australian poets. The landscape that the Australian poets encountered seemed odd and unpleasant to them. However, they eventually came to terms with the scenery and made it a recurring topic in their poems. As shown in the first verse of the poem

'The Kangaroo,' Barron Field is the most eloquent and straightforward of the first writers to meet the strangeness of the land:

Kangaroo, Kangaroo !

Thou Spirit of Australia,

That redeems from utter failure,

And warrants the creation

Of this fifth part of the Earth,

Which would seem an after-birth,

Not conceived in the Beginning

( For GOD bless'd His work at first,

And saw that it was good ),

But emerg'd at the first sinning,

When the ground was therefore curst ;

And hence this barren wood

With the passage of time, a new way of perceiving the world emerged. Instead of disdain, the poets born in Australia expressed awe at the diverse majesty of the country's natural setting in their poems. Emily Manning (1845 - 90), a Sydney native who wrote under the alias 'Australie,' contributed a number of poetry. Most of her long poems contain magnificent descriptions of Australia's countryside.

Estrangement and Alienation

In Australian poetry, the idea of estrangement and alienation runs parallel to the notion of landscape integration. Again, the phenomenon of encountering Australia's unusual scenery and reminiscences of the British homeland fostered a deep sense of estrangement and alienation in the earliest poets, which the later poets progressively overcome.

In the lines of the three stanzas excerpted from the middle of an anonymous poet's poem entitled "The Female Transport," the agony of separation and alienation obtains a strong verbal articulation:

To hurt my heart when on a coach I my native town passed by ;

To see so many I did know, it made me heave a sigh ;

Then to a ship was sent with speed along with many more,

Whose aching hearts did grieve to go unto Van Diemen's shore.

The sea was rough, ran mountains high, with us poor girls 'twas hard,

No one but God to us came nigh, no one did us regard.

At length, alas! we reached the land, it grieved us ten times more,

That wretched place Van Diemen's Land, far from our Native shore

They chained us two by two , and whipped and lashed along,

They cut off our provisions if we did the least thing wrong ;

They march us in the burning sun until our feet are sore,

So hard's our lot now we got to Van Diemen's shore


After the penal colony became a reality, with increasing shipments of convicts from British ports, Australia witnessed the emergence of the bushmen and bushrangers — largely escaped convicts roving in the bush in the early stages. After lonely daytime excursions over the arid country, the bushrangers tented in the bush for the night-time, where they encountered kindred travellers and gradually formed a sense of mateship among themselves.

In nineteenth-century Australia, mateship evolved into a cult phenomenon. It became a symbol of Australian national identity. The Australian ballads, in particular, praised the camaraderie between bushrangers and horsemen. The notion of mateship pervades nineteenth-century Australian poetry, which may explain why sympathies and affection for escaped prisoners who later became cult figures are so strong. The ballad 'The Wild Colonial Boy' is an example.

The earliest mention of mateship was in the ballad's 'Chorus' stanza:

Come, all my hearties, we'll roam the mountains high,

Together we will plunder, together we will die.

We'll wander over valleys . and gallop over plains

And we'll scorn to live in slavery, bound down with iron chains.

Women's Voices

Mateship was a male phenomenon as it emerged among the bushrangers. Women's participation in nineteenth-century Australian poetry is also documented. More details about women's involvement to the growth of Australian poetry during the nineteenth century have come to light thanks to new studies in the field of women's literature in Australia.

Women's pains are articulated by Louisa Lawson. Her poem, "Lines Written During a Night Spent in a Bush Inn," not only portrays women's unique pains, but also demonstrates women's attachment to Australia's countryside, as shown in the last three stanzas below:

And some one among them, with grief in his breast,

Might register roughly the place of my rest

By carving in letters cut deep on its bole

These plain words ' A Woman, May God rest her soul.

In ground that is hallowed let happy folk lie,

But give me a grave in the bush when I die.

For have I not lived, loved and suffered alone ?

Thus making it meet that my grave be unknown

The sound of the stockwhip away on the h11.

Ah, God ! It is day, and I'm suffering still.

Australian Poetics

In its early stages, Australian poetry was heavily influenced by the poetics of eighteenth-century British poetry. The narrative style, ornate language, rigidity in verse pattern, and heroic couplets of eighteenth-century British poetry left an indelible mark on early Australian poetry's poetics. Simultaneously, the simplicity and colloquial diction of British ballads, many of whom arrived in Australia with convicts and other settlers from England, Scotland, and Ireland, made their way into the nineteenth-century Australian poetry diction.

With the passage of time, the Romantic and Victorian poetic styles have left an indelible mark on the later evolution of Australian poetic style. Harpur, Kendall, Gordon, Paterson, and Cambridge's poetry combines all of the strands described above. What revolutionised Australia's literary style over the nineteenth century, however, was the infusion of images and metaphors derived from Australian flora and wildlife, local place names, and the progressive evolution of the Australia milieu's ethos. The poets eventually adapted the British poetic style to the local context, and a new distinctive Australian style emerged, giving Australian poetry a distinct method of expression that reflected the Australian temperament.

Q3. Discuss ‘The Drover’s Wife’ from a woman’s perspective.

Ans) The bush woman is in an unusual situation as a woman caring for her household in the harsh outback while her husband, the drover, is away. She seeks to preserve parts of femininity that are only meaningful in a societal setting, such as dressing up every Sunday to drive a perambulator through the outback and reading the Young Ladies' Journal. Simultaneously, she is frequently forced to assume the role of a man in order to care for her family. "Her surroundings," Lawson tells the reader, "are not advantageous to the development of the 'womanly' or sentimental side of nature," which forces her into a far more ambiguous gender role than she would normally inhabit. Lawson indirectly resists inflexible assumptions that would undervalue his heroine on the basis of gender by presenting the bush woman’s normally masculine actions.

Because she lives in a harsh natural environment, the bush woman is forced to undertake things that are contrary to traditional gender roles on a regular basis. When her house catches fire, she is compelled to put on her husband's clothes in order to adequately fight the fire. "The sight of his mother in trousers tremendously thrilled Tommy, who worked like a young hero by her side," Lawson writes, "but the terrified baby howled lustily for his ‘mummy." The children's reactions demonstrate how, in order to be a good mother and protect her family, the drover's wife must ironically become practically unrecognisable as a woman. She "loves her children," but she also "doesn't have time to demonstrate" tenderness to them. Because of the harshness of her environment, she is obliged to reject stereotypically feminine tenderness in addition to adopting the external trappings of manhood. Surviving takes precedence over acting in a way that society would consider appropriate for a woman.

Despite the bush woman’s deviations from traditional female gender roles, Lawson stresses the importance of such roles by demonstrating how fiercely individuals adhere to them even when they are cut off from society. Every Sunday, the bush woman dresses up herself and her children to go for lengthy walks with a stroller, taking "as much care to make herself and the children appear smart as she would if she were going to do the block in the city." Gender is thus tacitly presented as a performance, one that includes donning a costume and displaying it in front of an audience. The bush woman wants to remind herself of her femininity even when there isn't "a soul to meet" in the forest. This, combined with the fact that the bush woman cries after particularly draining experiences trying to protect her family, complicates the story's rejection of gender roles by implying that there may be something innate about femininity or masculinity; on the other hand, the bush woman’s complicated character may imply that neither role in rigid isolation can entirely encompass the human experience; on the other hand, the story's rejection of gender roles may imply that neither role in rigid isolation can entirely encompass the human experience.

Finally, Lawson emphasises the artificial nature of gender roles while also emphasising that gender stereotypes, no matter how socially manufactured, nevertheless have the capacity to impact behavior—and can have real-world implications for women. Despite the obvious ridiculousness of gender norms in the outback, the bush woman is nevertheless bound in certain respects by her gender in terms of what she can do and what she may anticipate from her life. While her spouse goes away for months at a time and "forgets occasionally that he is married," she is stuck at home with the kids—her independence is inevitably limited due to her sex. She also faces certain dangers as a result of her gender, which women face whether they live in cities or in complete isolation: occasionally, a dangerous man will come by her house, and she must lie that "her husband and two sons are at work below the dam" to protect herself from potential intrusion or assault.

Lawson's depiction of gender is nuanced, as he emphasises that life in the Australian outback put early white European migrants into situations they would never encounter in towns or cities. Lawson illustrates the socially constructed nature of gender and highlights women's potential when freed from restrictive stereotypes by showing how the bush woman defies traditional gender expectations as well as depicting how out of place certain performative practises of gender appear in the outback. The bush woman’s interest in the Young Ladies' Journal, her Sunday walks, and her sentimentality, on the other hand, imply that she is concerned with retaining her femininity. Her tears at the end of the storey could indicate the strain of being forced into a more male role; Tommy's resolve to never be a drover after seeing his mother weep could also indicate the significance of shifting to a more equitable allocation of labour in the future, regardless of gender.

Q4. What do you understand by the term ‘Jindyworobak’? How did the movement affect Australian Literature?

Ans) Authors tended to focus on specific political goals at the turn of the century, but the best work was done in laying down markers that helped define the Australian character. The authors went out with an inner purpose in mind: to dive into the mentality of Australians. The Jindyworobak movement exemplified a yearning for a truly Australian niche. In 1938, Adelaide writer Rex Ingamells founded the Jindyworobak club and published Conditional Culture, the organization's creative philosophy. They dubbed themselves "Jindyworobaks", an Aboriginal word for people who are deeply connected to their surroundings. Their chief spokespersons were Ian Mudie and Rex Ingamells. They rejected all European mythology in favour of a society based on Aboriginal mental processes and traditions. Although this was too unusual to succeed, their example is still being followed today.

Every year, literary works claiming to comprehend the nation through Aboriginal themes like Dreamtime or attempting to resuscitate well-known Aboriginal legends are published. Jindyworobak is an Aboriginal word that meaning 'to annex, to link,' and the movement's purpose was to free Australian art from foreign influences and restore it to its natural state. The following was Ingamells' creed: a thorough understanding of environmental principles, the debunking of many disinformation, and an understanding of Australia's ancient, colonial, and present history and culture. They found an appropriate emblem in the Aboriginal Dreamtime of Alchera or Alcheringa - the storey of the beginning of time, the time of creation itself, and the foundation of all Aboriginal knowledge.

The Jindyworobaks’ intended to steer Australia's literary growth through confined nationalistic channels in order to break free from colonial limitations and to reject the global influences that had breached Australia's isolation in the 1920s. They saw Australia as a nation devoid of white people. They called it "the genuine Australia," despite the fact that a railway train, a sheep ranch, a windmill, or a city were becoming as much a part of the natural backdrop as "the haggard outback valleys, lonely deserts, and straggly scrublands."

They insisted on employing Aboriginal jargon that the majority of the readers didn't comprehend, and the 'indigenous' spirit was strained and affected. The initiative, which gathered a lot of support at first, was symbolic of a genuine yearning to recognise and express a feeling of national identity. It was, however, phased out since it was antiquated – and internal – in nature, as well as isolationist and provincial. The Jindyworobaks' naivete was swept aside by the winds of change that blew in after WWII, as though it had no real significance in the new world. Ingamells penned a number of poems that encapsulated the movement's essential values.

Q5. How does Voss deal with issues related to the land?

Ans) Voss's voyage is more than just an adventure for an explorer. It's possible that it's a search to understand the nature of individual identity in an unfamiliar environment. Voss and his team mates begin to define their identity inside a certain framework of contextuality as they attempt to discover this country. In consequence, the entire voyage becomes a linear movement into the psyche - a journey towards the self. However, the question of identity can be correctly determined by considering the feeling of totality. Despite the fact that the settlers themselves feel cut off from the spirit of the land, Voss, an adventurer, may be associated with it. While Radcliffe claims that Voss does not own the country, Laura asserts, "It is his by right of vision."

Only this privilege of seeing leads to a sense of belonging to the land. As a result, the unknown exotic world that Voss sets out to explore gets ingrained in his personality. "I am charmed by you," Laura exclaims ecstatically. "You are my oasis." This right of vision facilitates a better understanding of the country and its people. Despite the fact that whites in New South Wales are well-established in the country, they are culturally and psychologically separated from it. They arrived as either £ice settlers or convicts, thus complete assimilation into the culture is still a work in progress. Despite the fact that they have settled in Australia, the country they left still looms in the backdrop. Their fundamental flaws originate from their desire to recreate in Australia the value systems that they left behind in England.

They forget that England is in their past and part of their memories, whereas Australia is in the present and shapes their entire perspective of their immediate reality. As a result, Laura's boast, "I was born in England," appears to be self-defeating. Australia, on the other hand, is the governing emblem that exists in a peculiar timelessness. The final stage of Voss' journey is ostensibly racist, but there is a layer of ritualism beneath it. The journey's surface design portrays a conflict between whites and blacks. The explorers are repeatedly interrupted and disturbed by the blacks. They take their compass, their animals, and eventually Judd and Voss; and Voss is killed.

The horse's death, as well as the mention of the snake-king, appear to be part of a ritualistic performance in which Voss is eventually assimilated into the land's original native perspective. Perhaps there is a suggestion of utter self-extinction as a means of being absorbed into the land's original purity. As a result, even before his death, he recognises the archetypal pattern of native life: "The men had painted their bodies with the warm colours of the soil, which they understood totem by totem, and which had finally triumphed over the cold, nebulous country of the stars." Let us now take a quick look at Laura's predicament, as Having looked at Voss's sense of self.

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