Lee Scott 's That Deadman Dance Begins With Bobby Wabalanginy 's Poetic Imagination
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Kim Scott’s That Deadman Dance begins with Bobby Wabalanginy’s poetic imagination illustrating the Australian ocean shore (Scott, 1-5). Throughout the whole novel, the landscapes of Australia are described by an Aboriginal entertainer, Bobby, who tells his story through the eyes of both the natives and British settlers, depicting two very different portraits of the land; a bountiful home and a deadly unknown place. Similarly, Kate Greenville’s Secret River describes Australia as a harsh environment in the point-of-view of her protagonist; a reluctant colonist called William Thornhill.
This essay will focus on the descriptions of Australian landscapes in the views of two different communities: of the inhabitants of this land and of the new settlers, and how this influences their interaction with living in this country. Then, it will discuss how appropriation of the land by the British colonists influenced the environment and how the settlements affected both the settlers and the natives.
For the men who came from ‘over the horizon’ (Kim Scott, 61), the Australian landscape was vast and yet Gothic—it was a strange, harsh environment.
At the start of That Deadman Dance, when the Chaine family first arrives to Australia, the land is described as if to dominate them. The rocks “rose majestically from the sea”, some “balanced high above, some perversely shaped”, and “ready to roll” and crush the boat. “The passengers looked around nervously, wanting to recognize the scent of