English Assessment 2
“How does the power of a text generate change?”
The conflicts and inequalities experienced by the Indigenous Australians are dilemmas that are shown in various texts. Feelings of profound sorrow and grief are felt and are expressed in the picture book, “The Rabbits” written by John Marsden and illustrated by Shaun Tan, the film, “Rabbit Proof Fence” directed by Phillip Noyce and Kevin Rudd’s 2008 “Sorry Speech”. These texts have the capability to exert personal change within the reader as well as the viewer.
The Rabbits, is an allegorical picture book that incorporates the unfair treating and complete domination of the Indigenous Australians territory by the British. It generates emotional response in the reader and highlights the pain, loss and suffering of the native Australians. It extends the readers knowledge of the way in which force was imprinted upon the identity of the pioneers of Australia and considerably changed the way they interacted and survived within their environment. As the book progresses and the story of colonisation develops, Shaun Tan uses white rabbits to represent the symbolism of a rabbit as something that rapidly spreads and destroys the land, the white of the rabbits allows a contradictory viewpoint as white is usually considered a perfect colour when in reality, the British are far from it. Tan makes use of a double page when he illustrates the tall, protruding surreal ship that had arrived on the land and had carried the rabbits, he has exaggerated the size of the ship to point out the dominance between the rabbits and the possums. These ideas can generate change within the reader as it demonstrates the fear and powerlessness that must have engulfed the Indigenous Australians emotions. It is intended to make the viewer anxious and provoke thought as to what the fate of the rabbits is going to be.
The first image in the book, Shaun Tan depicts a pristine Australian landscape with an impeccable blue sky and red ochre earth, this points out the fact that everything is still normal and nothing has been touched. This can be contrasted later in the book when shades of black and brown are used to extenuate the invasion of the rabbits and the degradation of a once peaceful land. As the British continue to further colonise the land, the blue sky slowly and surely fades as the pollution of the industrial changes that the British have brought to the land start to pollute the sky. Symbolism is evident in various parts of the book and can help the reader to change personally, the British have placed flags all around the land that have arrows on them showing the compass points. This symbolises their plan to take full ownership of the land. Tan also illustrates scientific and mathematical formulae, test tubes and blueprints to allow the reader to see that the British are putting an effort into learning about the land. The power of these symbols can change our perspective on the colonisation situation as...