Extension English Essay: Barbera Baynton's Works

1199 words - 5 pages

A society’s culture & its corresponding values are represented through the societies subsequent texts, either covertly or overtly. This is exemplified in two short story excerpts from the short story compilation “Bush Studies” by post-colonial author Barbera Baynton, “Squeaker’s Mate” & “The Chosen Vessel”, & George Bush’s 2001 post-terrorism address to America “Axis Of Evil”. The common cultural value in both texts is othering, & its influence on its respective society. Baynton’s works covertly portraying psychoanalytical perspectives on marginalisation of a specific other through highlighting stereotypical ‘subject positions’, reflecting & challenging the views of a society that proceeds to reject or mistreat an ethnic, gendered or disabled other. Contrastingly, Bush’s speech is far more overt with its depiction of ‘othering’, blatantly objectifying the ‘terrorist’ community by allying himself with the public through an inclusive tone, connecting with them using colloquial terminology & emphasizing his point with deeply emotive connotations.Barbera Baynton’s works, the short stories “Squeaker’s Mate” & “The Chosen Vessel”, represent the notion of ‘othering’ using the ethics & values from the context of the culture in which she was part of. Baynton’s stories are both based upon the sexual objectification of women in a patriarchal society, focusing on a female protagonist, both of which are othered in their respective communities due to a certain personal characteristics. They explore the position of an ‘other’ as a victim of a localized, homogenous community or individual that, in turn, mistreats the outsider, due to fear or lack of comprehension to difference. They are played out in localized settings so as to expose the dark underbelly of the Australian ethos, normally presented positively & idealistically in the Australian culture.In “Squeakers Mate”, the protagonist, Squeaker’s Mate (SM), plays a more dominant role in her relationship with Squeaker (SQ), & this is a direct juxtaposition of the ‘norm’ as it challenging the socio-cultural values of Baynton’s society whilst depicting the manifestation of ‘othering’. The time’s beliefs & ethics are also questioned, & drawing comparisons with our own contemporary values. A primary example of this is during the orientation when Baynton associates SM with objects of power & significance (“The women carried the bag with the axe and maul and wedges”), whilst SQ – who is mentioned after SM at the beginning – is associated with smaller objects, signifying weakness (“the man had the billy and clean tucker bags”). The dialogue “There’s another bee! Wait, you go on wit the axe, an’ I’ll track ‘im”...

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