ÃÂInheritanceÃÂ by Hannie Rayson is a play about the war between two families, the Delaneys and the Hamiltons, over property. Rayson questions the authenticity of Australian values, due to the human weaknesses the characters present in the play. The Australian values Rayson challenges in this play include ÃÂa fair go for allÃÂ and ÃÂstrong family tiesÃÂ.
In this play, not every character is entitled to equal chances. Nugget is an example of this. He is the bastard son of Farley Hamilton, and an aborigine. His adopted mother, Dibs Hamilton, disowns him immediately after his father passes away. She also denies his promised land by tearing up Farley HamiltonÃÂs legal will, because of his origins.
Julia Hamilton works for a multicultural company, with colleagues from ÃÂdifferentÃÂ heritages. She is pregnant with a ÃÂtall Indian bloke named GrahamÃÂ, meaning she will have a ÃÂbrown babyÃÂ. However, her efforts to ÃÂgive a fair go to allÃÂ are shadowed by her sister-in-law, Maureen Delaney.
Maureen is a politician, campaigning to assimilate, or eliminate if they refuse, immigrants and aborigines to her standard of the true ÃÂAustralian way of lifeÃÂ.
It is a typical Australian value to have strong family ties. In this play, the cracks in the Hamilton and Delaney families begin to show. This is because of the different lifestyles they have lead over a long period. Farley Hamilton betrays his wife by having an affair with a younger woman, producing a child in the process. He betrays her again when he changes his will without DibsÃÂ notice, giving the property to his son Nugget instead.
The whole family is usually arguing, and fighting. There are even characters who ÃÂwhisper in othersÃÂ earsÃÂ. Almost every character acts for their individual interests, and not for the family. Sometimes a family member might stand up...