Deadly Unna? By Phillip Gwynne - Racism, Discrimination and Stereotyping of Indigenous Australians

Essay by mitchthebitchHigh School, 10th gradeB-, September 2009

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Deadly Unna? By Phillip Gwynne is a novel based on the fictional one year life of a fourteen year old boy named Gary 'Blacky' Black. The story shows a developing friendship between Gary, an Anglo-Saxon boy and Dumby Red, an Aboriginal boy. With this friendship Gary begins to understand his own morality with lessons of human dignity, racism, justice, death, courage, family and most importantly friendship. The story is structured around AFL and shows how sport can bring a divided community together every winter.

One of the main structural themes in this novel is racism, discrimination and stereotyping of Aboriginal Australians in society. Indigenous Australians are one of the most disadvantaged communities in Australia and they are subject to many racist stereotypes in everyday life.

A stereotype is a trait of one or more people that is attributed to a social or racial group. In the novel an example of a stereotype is when Gary is talking about how he and Pickles had never been to the Point before because they both had heard stories that there were 'Abo's' with spears and boomerangs being thrown everywhere.

This story scared them both - in effect making them and others think that ALL Aboriginals are like this.

Racism is the belief that one race is superior to another (better then another). Many examples of racism can be seen throughout the story such as the comment from the character Mad Dog 'I don't shake hands with boongs' on page twenty nine. Boong being a defamatory term used against Aboriginal people, referring to their race. The term was also used again in the novel on page one hundred and twenty one when Gary and Clarence (Dumby Reds sister) were together and Clarence sat directly under graffiti on a wall exclaiming 'Boongs Piss Off' in...