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MEG-09: Australian Literature

MEG-09: Australian Literature

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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 2022-23 session students studying in MEG, PGDNLEG courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: MEG-09 / TMA / 2022-23

Course Code: MEG-09

Assignment Name: Australian Literature

Year: 2022 - 2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


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Q 1. What were the issues that Australian writers had to grapple with before they could forge a literature of their own? (20)

Ans) Australia's literature, perhaps more than that of other countries, expresses collective values. Even when the literature deals with an individual's experiences, those experiences are almost always estimated in terms of the ordinary, typical, and representative. Overall, it aspires to represent integration rather than disintegration. It does not value individual heroism unless it is accompanied by tenacity in the face of certain defeat. Although it expresses a strong ironic disapproval of collective mindlessness, it is the mindlessness that is being criticised rather than the conformity.


This general proposition applies to both Indigenous Australians and those descended from later European arrivals, though their perceptions of what constitutes the community differ dramatically. The white Australian community is united in part by their sense of having derived from foreign cultures, particularly that of England, and in part by their awareness of themselves as a settler society with a continuing celebration of pioneer values and a deep attachment to the land. Story, song, and legend served to define allegiances and relationships for Aboriginal peoples in their traditional cultures, both to others and to the land that nurtured them. For modern Aboriginal people, written literature has served as a means of claiming a voice and articulating a sense of cohesion as a people facing real threats to the survival of their culture.


Aboriginal Narrative

Australian Aboriginal peoples did not have written languages when Europeans first encountered them. Their songs, chants, legends, and stories, on the other hand, formed a rich oral literature, and because the Aboriginal peoples had no common language, these creations were vastly different. Non-Aboriginal people have long been denied access to or misunderstood their oral traditions, which appear to be of considerable subtlety and complexity.


Aboriginal oral literature serves primarily a ceremonial function. It reinforces fundamental Aboriginal beliefs that what is given cannot be changed and that the past exists in an eternal present, and it serves to connect the individual and the landscape to the ongoing spiritual influence of the Dreaming, also known as the Alcheringa (or Altjeringa) by the Aboriginal peoples of central Australia, a mythological past in which the existing natural environment was shaped and humanised by ancestral beings. While the recitation of the song cycles and narratives is prescribed to some extent, it can also incorporate new experience and thus remain relevant—both part of the past summoned by the Ancestors and part of the present.


Aboriginal oral tradition can be either public (open to all members of a community and frequently used as a form of entertainment) or sacred. Public narratives range from stories told by women to young children (mostly elementary versions of creation stories—also appropriate for tourists and amateur anthropologists) to song cycles recited in large groups (known as corroborees). Even the most basic Dreaming narratives introduce fundamental concepts about the land and what distinguishes right from wrong behaviour. The stories become more elaborate and complex as children grow older and prepare for their initiation ceremonies. Among the sacred songs and stories are those that are for men and those that are for women; each is forbidden to the other sex's eyes and ears, as well as to the uninitiated.


The land is the central theme of Aboriginal stories. As Aboriginal people travel from place to place, they name each location, telling the storey of its creation and its connection to the Ancestors' journeys. This practise serves at least three important purposes: it reinforces their knowledge of local geography—that is, the location of water holes, places of safety, places of danger, the terrain of the region, and so on—it also serves a social function, and it serves a religious or ritual function.


Many of the stories revolve around the Ancestors' journeys and the "creation sites," where they created various clans and animals. Other stories are about Ancestor figures competing for power and knowledge. A storey track or song line—a sequence of stories or songs—identifies the precise path taken by an Ancestor figure. The totemic clan of each totemic figure is responsible for the knowledge and recitation of that figure's journey. Because an Ancestor's journey is frequently traced across vast swaths of land, only a portion of the entire song cycle or storey is known to a specific group. These are exchanged at gatherings, and while the songs may be sung in a different language, an Ancestor's storey contains musical elements that make it clearly identifiable to all members of that totem, regardless of where they live in the country. Song lines and storey tracks can be found all over the country. Oral literature maintains a sense of continuity between clans as well as between the present and the time of creation in this way.

Q 2. What do you understand by the term ‘aborigine’? How is their point of view represented in Australian literature? (20)

Ans) Australian history and literature reveal the many tensions that have shaped the Australian nation. The tension between settlers and Indigenous Aborigines; the tension between early waves of settlers and more recent immigrants; the tension between British literature's old language, images, and literary forms and the idiom, images, and literary forms taking root in Australia's new environment. All of these conflicts influenced the themes and forms of Australian literature.


Most previous histories of Australia ignored Aboriginal peoples, women, and other minorities. The so-called "settler society" was the result of white invasion and dispossession. Aboriginal people were not considered Australian citizens and were not counted in censuses. People assumed they would die out or assimilate into the white population. Australia's selective immigration policies prevented Asians from settling in large numbers. The Australian colonial government limited settlement rights to Europeans as one of its first acts. This policy reflected the island-desire continents to maintain a predominantly white population profile. State-Federal officials took Aboriginal land without compensation. Since colonisation. Aboriginal people were violently removed from their land and segregated in government reserves or church missions. Their children were forcibly adopted by white foster parents or placed in institutions to help them assimilate into mainstream Australian culture. They had no land rights or titles and could not own or farm it. Some officials and policymakers said Aboriginal people were not ready for freehold land. When asked about the Aboriginal struggle for land rights in October 1982, Ken Tomkins, Queensland's State Minister for Aboriginal and Island Affairs, was racist.


Meanwhile, in the 1950s and 1960s, Aboriginals began to organise against official government policies of paternalism — which assumed that Aboriginal people as a race needed to be cared for like children — and assimilation. Leaders such as Charles Perkins led movements for land rights and empowerment beginning in the late 1960s. Soon after, this mobilisation bore fruit in the form of social reform, expanded civic rights, and increased public awareness of Aboriginal issues. Aboriginal people were granted the right to vote in the national election on May 10, 1962. The Institute for Aboriginal Studies was founded in 1962, and in 1965, reforms such as the establishment of the Aboriginal Welfare Conference went into effect.


The 1967 referendum granted Aboriginal people citizenship rights, allowing them to be counted in the national census. However, there was strong opposition to this type of social reform that empowered Aboriginal people from vested interests in Queensland and Western Australia's state governments, as well as mining companies and the landed rural population. This was because it was believed in these areas that such reforms would eventually result in the return of land to Aboriginals. Because farming and mining were important in these areas, this posed a significant threat to the people who worked in these industries.


The evolution of Australian short fiction. Early settlers' records, diaries, annals, and journals became short fiction, novels, biographies, autobiographies, and annals. At the time of the first Botany Bay landing in 1788, writers were preoccupied with the landscape. Their main themes were the environment—differences and similarities to their home country, seasons, flora and fauna, and local residents.


Some in this vast body of writing promoted emigration to Australia, while others decried the harsh, hostile environment. As more natives arrived, other issues arose. Because most transported men and women were convicts, prison-related stories were written. Free settlers were often poor servants. Several stories were written to teach these people, especially women, Christian values. Australia's Aboriginal people also inspired writers. They were called "noble savages" or subhuman.


Ursula's love for the child causes strange fate twists that seem mad. The child's rescue and flight into the bush causes hysteria and delirium. When she is alone, tired, and thirsty with the stiffening child, she cannot steal an emu egg. She imagines the robbed bird distraught over its nest and returns the egg. Her life's meaning is Andrew's baby, and its death causes her to lose touch with reality. Andrew and an Aboriginal person save her. Her hysteria drama takes place in the Bush, where "nature was brutal." Baynton's defines maternity as an instinct that transcends natural laws. Ursula's maternal instinct may rise "like spring sap in a young tree"


Many novels have focused on Australia's early history of British colonisation and the relationships between white Poetry settlers and native Aboriginal people. Although they were portrayed as savages in nineteenth-century fiction and poetry, their portrayal has evolved, though they remain a mysterious and unfathomable people. However, the writings of the Aboriginal people themselves have produced a more realistic and credible portrait of the Aborigines. Kath Walker's collection of poems We Are Going was the first major work written by an Aboriginal in English.


Her poems, like those of others, frequently express a fervent revival of self-esteem and a demand for opportunities (including land rights) that had previously been denied to them. Aboriginal rights were recognised after the 1960s, when they were granted full citizenship, the right to vote, and were included in population statistics for the first time.

Q 3. What does the depiction of the Bush in stories/poems tell you about Australians’ attitudes towards their country? (20)

Ans) The English of British settlers in various parts of the world reflects the history and culture of their respective societies. As colonists spread to distant lands, they encountered natural environments that were very different from those of Britain. As a result of new landscapes, the English of British settlers in various countries has changed. Individual landscape terms do not always have exact translations in other languages, or even in dialects of the same language. One example is the term "the bush" in Australian English. The term "bush" refers to a landscape zone in Australia, but it has also come to refer to culture and human geography. This study investigates the semantics of the bush in Australian English in relation to Australian culture. These bush meanings are described using the Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) approach to linguistic analysis. According to the research, the bush is an important concept in Australian culture. Overall, the study shows that understanding the meanings of national landscape terms in Australian English and other settler English can shed light on the relationship between settlers' cultures and their new environments and ways of life.


Along with the conflict that can be found in early Australian literature between the values of the British and the values of the Irish, a divide between city and bush culture quickly emerged. After the first settler communities began to exploit the agricultural, pastoral, and mineral potential of the land in Australia, it was only a matter of time before urbanisation occurred. According to Ken Goodwin, the cultural differences that existed between city dwellers and bush dwellers first became apparent in writing produced in the latter half of the nineteenth century. According to the author, "the expression 'Sydney or the bush' is the result of an urban choice for the easier life of the city and contempt for the discomforts and lack of pastimes in the bush." "Either Sydney or the bush." This distinction or dichotomy has historical roots as well as contemporary cultural implications.


The earliest legends and folklore of white Australia centre on the sociocultural values and traditions of the early settler communities, which were mostly based in the country. The widespread dissemination of bush ballads, the image of the wandering bushman, and pioneer legends all serve as cultural symbols that contribute to the development of an inherently Australian view of the bush and the nation. This was crucial during the time in question because the primary impetus at the time was the construction of a national identity based on distinct "white" cultural symbols and myths. However, as the cosmopolitan face of multicultural Australia is projected over its more conservative rural counterpart, which has, in any case, come a long way from the images immortalised by traditional Bush lore, the city is gradually taking that place in the cultural consciousness. As the cosmopolitan face of multicultural Australia is projected over its more conservative rural counterpart, the city is gradually taking that place in the cultural consciousness. Russel Ward discusses this historical shift in his book "The Australian Legend."


It appears that up until the year 1900, the bushman held more prestige than the townsman. The man from "up the country" is almost always portrayed as a charming and romantic character in both real life and folklore. In some ways, his treatment was reminiscent of the attitude toward the "noble savage" in the eighteenth century. In general, he had more influence on the city dweller's manner and meres than the latter had on his own. Between the years of 1900 and 1918, the tide began to turn in I Literature. Even today, the "noble bushman" tradition lives on in literature and folklore, but not since the publication of Oil Our Selection in 1899. This is true despite the fact that the book was written in 1899. It serves beer and maintains the countercultural tradition of addressing people as "Dad and Mum, Dave and Mabel."... Capital cities' prestige and relative share of state populations have grown rapidly since the early days of federation. As a result of this expansion, bushmen are now generally willing to be mistaken for city dwellers, whereas previously this was not the case.

Q 4. Discuss Gig Ryan’s work in the context of the notion of Australian ‘mateship.’ (20)

Ans) The social context of Gig Ryan's poem is a deal feminist protest against a gender-conditioned world. The poem questions the arrogant assumption that women's roles—as lover, sex object, or councillor—are determined by biology, while men's roles are determined by mend ability. In other words, the poem deconstructs a cultural stem type based on double standards, in which men are discussed in terms of their abilities while women are dismissed solely based on their physical characteristics. It is a protest against a phallocentric society in which everything, including social codes, cultural conditioning, and people, is mated to provide instant gratification for men. nature sexual, emotional, or psychological the poem is an attempt to transition to a gynocentric context that focuses on women's needs. Its social and cultural concerns have been defined in response to the following issue.


In late-nineteenth-century Australia, the concept and practise of 'mateship' signalled the dominance of masculine authority on the new continent. In its constant chronicle of nature's conquest and the formation of a new nation, the history of the arrival of the Whites, and the establishment and strengthening of their colonial outpost in the naturally hostile landmass of the new continent, never mentions a single woman.


Mateship is an Australian cultural idiom that means equality, loyalty, and friendship.

The First World War heralded a new era of comradeship. Men needed to be shaped into a formidable fighting force. Indeed, as Garton points out, war played a role in "constructing specific masculine ideals in Australian culture." The Gallipoli campaign, perhaps more than any other event, established mateship as an important component of the Australian male self-image.


Mateship is said to have numerous benefits. It means "supporting one another in life and death situations," according to Bruce Ruxton, president of Australia's Returned Soldiers League. Your friend is someone you can count on. It is a bond formed between people who are fighting or living in civilian life. Mateship implies that for many Australian men, loyalty to one's mate is more important than observance of the law.


While male bonds have been used as a foundation for male solidarity in many countries, Australia may be the only country where the romanticization of male bonding has provided such a useful foundation for national ideology. So, it is more than just an Australian approach to male bonding. Instead, such bonding has been used to support myths of national identity among Australian men. While male comradeship is common in most cultures, Bell believes that it is exaggerated in Australia, "almost as if Australian men were constantly in a state of emergency where they needed one another."


While mateship is frequently presented and promoted as healthy and positive, Marston has identified several aspects of mateship that are "unhealthy, oppressive, and ultimately destructive." While one of its virtues is mateship, it can also be used to justify violence against women, gay people, and indigenous people. In fact, the image of different 'others' was used to construct Australian manhood and masculinity.


Several authors have written about the emotional poverty of Australian masculinity. Mateship, according to Colling, embodies toughness and a dislike for 'weak emotion.' Meanwhile, Webb sees Australia's celebrated culture of silence and emotional repression as the most pressing issue confronting men. Indeed, the nature of men's relationships that emphasise sports and communal drinking shows that silence is regarded as the essence of traditional mateship.


Homophobia is also prevalent in Australian masculinity, with men widely condemning homosexuality, as evidenced by hostility and violence directed at gay men. Homophobia, according to Tacey, is the most recently discovered aspect of Australian mateship. Men adore their mates, but no obvious caring, touching, or outward display will occur. As a result, while male bonding is essential for the development of masculine identity in Australia, many men are concerned that too close bonding will destroy heterosexual identity and confuse it with homosexuality. Mateship, on the other hand, has a very close homosocial proximity. Mateship as a social relationship and homosexuality as a sexual relationship have many parallels. Mateship, according to Dixon, entails "powerful sublimated homosexuality."


Mateship is also based on the image of indigenous men, immigrant men, and non-Caucasian males in Australia. Mateship's 'virtues' are thus reserved for white men of native birth.


Q 5. Elaborate on the way Patrick White structures time in Voss. (20)

Ans) Set in nineteenth-century Australia, Voss is the story of the secret passion between an explorer and a naïve young woman. Although they have met only on a few occasions, Voss and Laura are joined by overwhelming, obsessive feelings for each other. Voss sets out to cross the continent, and as hardships, mutiny and betrayal whittle away his power to endure and to lead, his attachment to Laura gradually increases. Laura, waiting in Sydney, moves through the months of separation as if they were a dream and Voss the only reality.


The novel revolves around two characters: Voss, a German, and Laura, an orphaned young woman new to the colony of New South Wales. It begins with them meeting for the first time in the home of Laura's uncle and Voss's expedition patron, Mr Bonner.


In 1845, Johann Ulrich Voss sets out to cross the Australian continent. After gathering a party of settlers and two Aboriginal men, he leads his party inland from the coast, only to face unending adversity. The explorers travel through drought-stricken desert and waterlogged lands before retreating to a cave where they lie for weeks waiting for the rain to stop. Despite Voss' absence, Voss and Laura maintain a connection, and the storey intersperses developments in each of their lives. During Voss's absence, Laura adopts an orphaned child and attends a ball.


The travelling party splits in two, and nearly all of the members perish. The storey concludes 20 years later, on the day of the unveiling of a statue of Voss, at a garden party hosted by Laura's cousin Belle Radclyffe. Laura Trevelyan and Mr Judd, the last member of Voss' expeditionary party, also attend the party.


The novel's strength stems from the explorers' passion, insight, and doom, rather than the physical description of the events in the storey. The novel heavily relies on Voss's complex character.


Voss continues White's exploration of personal meaning in The Tree of Man. Voss has a similar setting in Australia, but it is much larger. The novel's interior landscape description is a triumph. Voss juxtaposes personal quest and expedition, investigating the literal landscape and the metaphysical desert of the mind. Voss has more epiphanies, as if White is more sure of his universal theme and its impact. Voss shows that White believes personal salvation is possible through the expression of love, and that love is the result of insight and illumination. In this novel, White introduces the idea of great suffering as a prerequisite for enlightenment and divine purpose. Voss fictionalises Ludwig Leichhard's final journey. Johann Ulrich Voss, the expedition's reader, is a German like Leichhardt. Search parties will investigate his disappearance and mythologize his exploits. Voss' allegorical journey through the Australian wilderness ends in the desert, where he finds enlightenment. Laura Trevelyan, his lover, and later fiancée, has her own emotional and spiritual quest in her mind. Through her love for Voss, Laura, a rationalist, regains her faith. His love for Laura converts him from an unbeliever who only saw his own abilities. Both have self-discoveries. Thus, human and spiritual love can be established.


Ludwig Leichhardt was born in Prussia and studied in Germany, England, and France before moving to Australia in 1842. In March 1848, Leichhardt left the Condamine River and disappeared. Boats leave Sydney. After visiting two nearby properties, the group leaves Hunter Valley's civilization. Voss's intransigence and megalomania divide the party, with Voss and two companions continuing the journey only to die from Aboriginal entrapment. Judd is the only survivor from the other party. Voss met Edward Bonner's adopted daughter Laura Trevelyan in Sydney. The two can communicate intellectually and later telepathically while Voss is in the hinterland; Voss requests and is granted Laura's hand in a mystical 'marriage.' The novel's historical narrative is strong, but not its main focus.


White explores the psychological and metaphysical aspects of his characters in 'the bush' and Australia's interior. White satirises the early Sydney society in colonial New South Wales, but the expedition members' search for self-realization and redemption is central to understanding the novel. In The Mystery of Unity: Theme and Technique in Patrick White's Novels, Patricia Morley calls the novel a comedy and Voss a "comic character." Morley uses "comedy" to describe the disparity between Voss' ideals and his expedition leadership. Because his flaws and shortcomings caused the expedition's failure and his men's deaths. Morley compares Voss to Dante's Divine Comedy.

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