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Inheritance

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Analysis of Hannie Rayson's Inheritance for study in VCE Units 3 & 4 English.

Published in: Spiritual, News & Politics
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Inheritance

  1. 1. Inheritance by Hannie Rayson VCE Unit 3 English Outcome One: Reading and Responding Nirvana Rose Watkins Sale College 2008
  2. 2. Key Questions <ul><li>What is this rural ‘crisis’ that we keep hearing about? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Key Questions <ul><li>To whom does the land belong? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inter-generationally </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Culturally </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Small and large scale </li></ul></ul>“ Mate, the land belongs to the people who work it” - Maureen
  4. 4. Key Questions <ul><li>What is the effect of endemic racism of the Hanson era? </li></ul>Pauline Maureen
  5. 5. “ I love…theatre that engages with the political and ethical forest in which we all lead our lives…” - Hannie Rayson, The Bulletin , 2002
  6. 6. Structure <ul><li>Short-faced paced scenes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quotations and ideas often linked between scenes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Centred on family reunion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is the narrative centrepiece from which all tension is derived and revolves </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Flashbacks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Whole scenes and within scenes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ghostly dimensions (eg. Act I, Sc. 20; Act II, Sc. 1) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>First Act ends with a crisis  Act II – Maureen’s ascension and the funeral </li></ul>
  7. 7. Symbolism <ul><li>Tossed coin = ‘destiny’ vs. ‘duty’ for Dibs and Girlie </li></ul>
  8. 8. Symbolism <ul><li>Two sides to Lyle: pigeons and weapons (gun and whip) = gentle vs. violent </li></ul>
  9. 9. Symbolism <ul><li>Nugget and Farley’s hat = connection between father and son </li></ul>
  10. 10. Symbolism <ul><li>Black dog = a euphemism for depression; a link between Norm Myrtle and Lyle Delaney, and the cyclical patterns within the family </li></ul>
  11. 11. Dramatic Conventions <ul><li>Flashbacks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer historical perspective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Show repetition of patterns over time (cyclical continuity) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Prologue and Epilogue </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Romanticising the past </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Providing closure? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Direct address to the audience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Asides, speeches, humour </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Dramatic Conventions continued <ul><li>Characterisation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Characters embody political views and values </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Language and vernacular </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shows contrasts between characters (eg. Felix and Lyle) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Off-stage noises </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eg. ‘Almighty crash’ of Lyle driving into the bank p.94 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Body language/stage directions </li></ul><ul><li>Silence/pauses, ‘beat’: Act I, Sc. 11; Act II, Sc. 12 = dramatic punctuation </li></ul>
  13. 13. Comic Elements <ul><li>Raucous jokes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Donger’ jokes; ‘faggot races’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lyle and Nugget’s impotent fight and subsequent joking at funeral: “You’ll keep” </li></ul><ul><li>Graveyard scene </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tragic comedy serves the purpose of both lightening the load of the tension and reflecting reality more accurately: Life isn’t all melancholia </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Themes: Family <ul><li>Conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Secrets </li></ul><ul><li>Cycles </li></ul><ul><li>Favouritism: winners and losers </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Sins of the fathers’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Norm  Dibs and Girlie (suicide, duty) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Farley  William, Julia and Nugget (illegitimate) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lyle  Ashleigh and Brianna (suicide) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Inheritance and entitlement: everyone has a claim </li></ul><ul><li>Fate and fortune </li></ul>
  15. 15. Themes: Clash of cultures <ul><li>City vs. Country </li></ul><ul><li>Religious </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Irish Catholic vs. Presbyterian </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Class </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rich vs. Poor </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Racial </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Aboriginal, European, Multi-cultural </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gender </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional male vs. female roles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sexual </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gay vs. Straight </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Age </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Old vs. Young </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Duty vs. Freedom </li></ul>
  16. 16. Themes: More terms <ul><li>Sub-themes or concerns could also be described as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prejudice and self-interest; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inheritance (and land) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Duty/Freedom (and Luck/Fortune) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Economy and society </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Race and multiculturalism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outsiders/insiders (favouritism) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Politics and political correctness </li></ul></ul>

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