Black Rock Essay

2390 words - 10 pages

Anthony Lowe
Blackrock Major Essay AssignmentBlackrock by Nick Enright is a drama piece constructed to challenge dominant social ideology of twentieth century Australian youth. The text presents a very critical attitude towards Australian society in particular the notion of mateship is criticised and exposed in a negative light, as are the justifications, and outcomes of youth independence, and the marginalisation of females. Blackrock, being inspired/based on a the real-life rape and murder of schoolgirl Leigh Leigh (in Stockton, near Newcastle, Australia on 3 November 1989), provides powerful, direct, criticism of dominant Australian (male) youth culture, and highlights how seemingly harmless attitudes and ideologies can lead to the most severe loss, loss of life. Many aspects of Australian cultural identity are presented in the drama piece including emphasis on physical as opposed to mental achievement, and the concept of mateship, the role of violence , classless illusion, and the fair go, each representation encouraging the reader to question the overall moral righteousness, logicality, and rationality of Australian society. To present these ideas and connotations dramatic conventions are employed - characters, dialogue, stage directions, non-verbal elements, symbolism, plot, and setting. The writer uses Blackrock as a representation of Australian society, and through his creation of realistic characters enables the teenage audience to easily identify with the themes and ideas. Enright suggest the flawed values of mateship, marginalisation of women and youth independence present within Australian culture are detrimental to those that subscribe to these beliefs and behaviours.The marginalisation of women is barely acknowledged in Australian society even today. Women, by law, have equal rights and status to men in Australia, presenting an egalitarian image. Despite this fact, detrimental attitudes towards women in society are still prevalent, portraying them as mere sexual objects of male conquest and desire. As with many ideologies and attitudes, this is perpetuated through the media(TV, radio, magazines, books, plays) and their display of attractive, desirable women, a strong implication that a beautiful appearance is a woman's ultimate asset, and that women should aspire to achieve this appearance in order to be desirable to men, and appear successful to peers. Through Blackrock this attitude is presented as a matter of concern, where young women compete for the attention of men through provocative attire and sexualised behaviour to achieve status above their peers. I believe the play suggests this behaviour is partly responsible for the rape and death of Tracy. Enright positions the audience to sympathise with Tracy through the character Cherie who defends the innocence of Tracy and challenges the patriarchal ideology in an attempt to break free of society's constraints in the Blackrock community. The character Cherie is constructed to...

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