The theme of Struggle in the Australian national identity and literature

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Australian literature covers a wide range of works and genres with diverse subject matters, yet among these works, common themes can be discerned. In particular, the concept of struggle has been occupied widely by writers as a means of documenting Australian society and attitudes towards national identity and gender. Not only does Australian literature cover a wide range of components, but so does the Australian National Identity (ANI). Just like the concept of struggle has been highlighted in Australian literature, struggle can also be found in the ANI. Struggle—specifically seen in the landscape and war has been incorporated into the works of well-known Australian authors, Miles Franklin, AB Facey, and David Malouf. The first…show more content…
237). Australian weather is very extreme and quite unpredictable—when it’s dry, there is usually a drought, and when it rains (which is never expected), there is flooding. Not only is the struggle of the environment seen in Franklin’s novel, but this idea can also be seen in Henry Lawson’s (1867-1922) poem, “Up the Country” (1892). Lawson paints an unwelcoming portrait of the bush landscape writing of “those burning wastes of barren soil and sand” and claiming that “the country’s rather more inviting round the coast” (Lawson cited in, 2002, lines 11-12, line 7). Lawson sees the bush as unpleasant and doesn’t know why anyone would live there. The irregular, intense, and often dry weather makes living in the bush and Australia in general difficult and that is why the struggle of the environment has become such a big element highlighted in the ANI and Australian literature. The struggle of the landscape present in the ANI and Australian literature can also be seen in the autobiography, A Fortunate Life (1981) by Australian writer and World War I veteran, A.B Facey (1894-1982). Facey spent most of his childhood fending for himself in the bush and he documents his own experiences with the tough and dry weather, and the difficulty of relying on the land for food and harvest. His life was in no way glamorous, and this is seen when the hot weather
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