The Construction of Derby Boxer-Divine Wind

1116 WordsOct 23, 20085 Pages
The Divine Wind – Q1 The Construction of Derby Boxer In the years preceding the First World War, Australia was rife with racism, sexism, suspicion, and class prejudice. However, Broome in Australia’s north-west, was a place of notable exception. Its inhabitants of Japanese, Aboriginal and European lived in a semi-balance of equality. This relationship was needed because; only as a symbiotic society could the community develop and grow in such an isolated and remorseless environment. Gary Disher’s Book the Divine wind portrays the clash of Broome’s unconventional attitudes with that of the attitudes of that era. An important character entangled in this conflict is Derby Boxer. He is an Aborigine and thus is subjected to the…show more content…
Thus the reader is positioned to be prejudiced to these people and their views, before the characters have even spoke a word. In regards to Derby Boxer, this means that the reader is positioned to be unbiased and even sympathetic towards his aboriginal status. An example of when Gary Disher uses Derby’s Aboriginal status and position to evoke sympathy in the reader is in the chapter ‘Come to grief’. In this chapter Derby is accused of having carnal knowledge of girl whilst drunk, which from previous excerpts in the book we find a sceptical claim as it would be out of character for Derby. Though he is known to ‘unwind with a cheap wine’ (pg 16) he is not ‘un ugly or viscous drunk’(pg 16). As the chapter progresses our doubts of the how Derby’s confession is obtained increases as it becomes clear that Derby is forced into a confession. The discriminatory behaviour of the police is intended to shock the reader who would feel that the police have a duty to protect and serve all people, regardless of their race. Gary also uses Michael Penrose as a catalyst to fuel our emotions. As Penrose becomes increasingly distressed and outraged at Derby’s treatment, so does the reader. Derby Boxer was a victim of his time. Unable to vote and not counted on the census he wasn’t recognised as an Australian citizen. An example of these racist practices was that Derby Boxer was made to sit in the area of the cinema ‘unofficially

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