Aboriginals` Writings and Biography of Judith Wright

Essay samples

Aboriginals’Writings and Biography of Judith Wright

Aboriginals’Writings and Biography of Judith Wright

Aboriginalwritings are briefly concerned with the effects of white racism,colonization and cultural imperialism on both Aboriginal culture andindividuals more widely. Cultural imperialism is the forcedobligation of European social meanings, cultural forms and values onthe indigenous populace and the consistent denial of the value oftheir own culture. Aboriginal writing also describes how Aboriginescould fight at their state of culture for a new sense of history,value and identity (Webby, 2000). The Aboriginals’ writings alsodealt with the experience of camp and urban life, as a result ofhistorical perspectives which account why fringe-dwelling and urbanAborigines came to be in the geographical region in which they live.Some texts from Aboriginal writings are concerned with the history ofAboriginal. There was culmination of Aboriginal activism for over 20years, which gave Aboriginal people full self-determination and civilrights. The recent writing is about the product culture.

Thekey themes of aboriginal writings include the problem of mixed-racechildren, quest for identity, spiritual and material poverty and therelationship between the past and the present. The themes areexplored from different situations of tribal people on fringedwellers, reserves and poor urban blacks (Shoemaker, 2004).

Biographyof Judith Wright

JudithArundell Wright was born in New South Wales, near Armidale, into awealthy and old pastoral family. Her mother died in 1927 where hergrandmother took the responsibility of educating her. In 1934, shewas admitted at Sydney University. She studied philosophy,psychology, history and English without graduating. Between 1937 and1938, Wright travelled in Europe and Britain (Wright, 1999). At thattime, she started working as a clerk and secretary-stenographer until1944. Wright was also a statistician at the University of Queensland,St Lucia, between 1944 and 1948. Wright got married at the age of 30by unorthodox philosopher J.P. MicKinney, who was 23 years older thanher. She wrote most of her poems in southern Queensland’smountains, but later left to the town of Braidwood, in Canberra,where she later wrote many nature poems.

Inher career as a writer, she produced hack work, school plays forchildren’s books and Australian Broadcasting Commission, for herliving (Wright, 1999). Judith Wright was a part-time lecturerlecturing at various Australian universities. In 1975, Wright wasappointed professionally in the Literature Board of the Arts Councilof Australia and as a foundation fellow of the Australian Academy ofhumanities. Wright died on June 26 2000 at the age of 85 due to heartattack in Canberra. Wrights’ ash was scattered around TamborineMountain cemetery.

Wrightwas widely praised for her treatment of themes such as the struggleof the poet to attain security and performance, humanity’s driftunderstanding of reality and time and the importance of overcomingtransience through love. Wright had two main volumes on poetry. TheMoving Imagerevealed the contours of Australia as an atmosphere, a place, and aseparate being. Second volume, Womanto Man, wasdealing with the creation, love, and the universe under femaleperception (Capp, 2010).

Abora ring was a sacred site for native Australians. The site heldinitiation ceremonies for indigenous gentlemen. In Wright poem “BoraRing”, she mourns about the loss of traditions of indigenousAustralians and their culture. Wright begins with describing how theAboriginal culture has disappeared as a result of Europeansettlement. In the first stanza, she describes the loss of dances,songs, rituals and stories of the Aboriginal Australians (Capp, 2010.Wright’s use of the adjectives secret, gone, lost and useless inthe poem portrays the disappearance of Aboriginal culture. Wrightuses metaphor “lost in an alien tale” to highlight how theEuropean culture has replaced Aboriginal culture as a result of whitesettlement in Australia. Use of “alien” stressed that thecolonists did not belong in Australia, but were foreigners.

Inthe second stanza, she describes the remnants of bora ring. TheAborigines are not present: “Only the grass stands up/to mark thedancing ring.” The reminder of the lost Aboriginal culture was thenature. The grass standing in the area encircling the dancing ring,seem like guarding the area. In the third stanza, Wright portrays hownomadic people were discriminated. From the poem, use of words “thenomad feet are still”, portrays that Aboriginal pastoralists nolonger grazed their cattle (Capp, 2010). The pastoralist no longerused their spears to guard their cattle and hunt. In the last stanza,Wright describes the suffering of the Aboriginal community as aresult of colonization by Europe. The Aboriginal people suffer oftheir ancient curse for the blood they shed for the struggle ofindependence.

Inconclusion, from the Aboriginals’ and Wright’s writings, there isa clear description on how the Aboriginal community suffered as aresult of colonization by Europe. The lands belonging to them waretaken away, their culture was interfered, racism, and suffered thestruggle to adapt the new colonial system. Aboriginal community isdescribed to have a populace with poverty. From Wright’s poem, BoraRing, some of Aboriginal people were pastoralists where they used tohunt animals to get food.


Capp,F. (2010). MyBlood`s Country: In the Footsteps of Judith Wright.Sydney: Allen &amp Unwin.

Shoemaker,A. (2004). Blackwords, white page: Aboriginal literature 1929-1988.Canberra: ANU E Press.

Webby,E. (2000). TheCambridge companion to Australian literature.Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.

Wright,J. (1999). Halfa lifetime.Melbourne: Text Publ.