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Issues of Australia Cultural Items - Essay Example

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The essay "Issues of Australia Cultural Items" focuses on the analysis of the main cultural trademarks of the Australian nation. For many years, Waltzing Matilda has become a famous trademark of Australian culture. It has served its purpose as a facet of the country's roots, a facet of its history…
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Download file to see previous pages Wharton’s Waltzing Matilda portrays the author’s character, Knughy, as the one who conducts a social reading of the text ‘Waltzing Matilda’. While doing so, he attempted to explore the relationship between the two aspects of the popular folk story: history and literature.
In the story, Knughy deeply explores the characters of the story, all of which play different roles in creating the story itself. Knughy tried to answer different questions: How could the swagman be so jolly? More interestingly, how could the homeless, hungry, and tired swagman be so jolly? If he was so jolly, why would he want to drown himself?
While analyzing the questions popping in his head, he recalls a time by the Combo Waterhole when the folk story of the Waltzing Matilda was discussed by him and his friend. He remembered conferring to his friend that the story needed to be truly Australian. Hence, it should be originally written with Aboriginal words. Only when verified the authenticity of the story as purely Australian, can they conclude whether the swagman was pulled down by the spirit of the water after being hunted by policemen, or he was drowned because he jumped to the water with a full stomach.
Wharton’s version was debated by many as to whether it portrays a social reading of the text ‘Waltzing Matilda’ or it simply shows the main character as a critic himself of the folklore. Although several critics believe that the story does not show any sign of social reading, I believe that it substantiates the folklore via social reading, as it satisfied the criteria of social reading.
Social reading is the act of evaluating a particular work of literature, in the context of its impact on society. In the time when most people regard 'Waltzing Matilda' as a mere folk story, it is indeed considered a social reading to evaluate the relevance of the story of its factual roots and historical bases. According to the text, the character's mind was in turmoil as it was debating what to believe in 'Waltzing Matilda'. ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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