Pension Day notes (in relation to conflict)

Essay by StephiHigh School, 11th grade June 2005

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PENSION DAY by Archie Weller

-Although internal conflict is within the individual, it is brought on by social and cultural pressures

-Conflict is strengthened by cultural differences, ideological differences and different beliefs

-The lack of understanding between groups or individuals is the main cause of conflict

-This often leads to physical conflict eg. acts of violence or aggression; which can lead to detrimental consequences

-Pension Day explores the devastating impact of racial and internal conflict on the certain individual

-The bigger picture: The impact of European invasion of Australian, which result in conflict, and in effect results in loss of lives and loss of culture

Types of conflict:

Racial conflict: The mistreatment of the Aborigines by white people

-Cause: Different cultures and beliefs à dispute in ideas, laws, values and customs (racism)

-Technique: Word choice - Referred to as the "Old Wongi"

-G'day, ya silly ole black bastard"

-The invasion of white, European settlers

-Effect: Leads to the Aboriginal people feeling contempt in return to the white people

-White people = protagonists (cause/create the conflict amongst the tranquillity of Aboriginal community)

-White men created the conflict as the Indigenous people were purely living out their lives harmlessly, not causing anyone any problems - "Taking him by surprise as he sat, singing softly...

dogs barked, the children screamed, his young girl-woman already full with a child-spirit cried.."

-Technique: Juxtaposition of images - chaos is created (tranquil life of the indigenous juxtaposed with the chaotic invasion of the white settlers)

-The white people saw their actions as a victory over the Indigenous people - "The sergeant clipped on the handcuff's triumphantly" while their actions in turn resulted in the turmoil and suffering of the Aboriginal people - "A tear slid out of his frightened, puzzled eyes"

-Technique: Word choice eg. triumphantly

-Technique: "The cruising police van that, like a gardener, is searching for a few weeds to pull up by the roots and throw in the bin" Ã shows that the white policemen are the protagonists; and the weed symbolises the Aboriginal man

-They took them away from their traditional land - "The white men had torn him away from his red land's breast"

-They imposed white lifestyle and customs on native Aborigines

-As a result of this action, he was forced to neglect his culture and lifestyle and adopt the customs and beliefs of the white people, as White law overruled Indigenous law, and the only way he could live a peaceful life was to become one of them - "There was no room for yesterdays people"

-Technique: Short, abrupt sentences to create a greater impact on the responder à very powerful

-"At last he was one of them.. his belly was full of white man respect."

-Technique: Metaphor's

-By imprisoning the Aboriginal man and removing his from his tribe, the white people effectively took away his home, his freedom, his family, and his happiness

Constant struggle with society and its ideals:

-" A life for a life. That's how the law had worked since before everything. The law was the law."

-Technique: Imagery & symbolism: "The ground swept away before him.. his whole universe disappeared in a blur." They took away his life

-He never truly fit into society; ultimately "He had no country. He had not home."

-He must accept the values of the society he lives in, even if it means giving up his culture and changing his identity

-Causes him to become angry and aggressive "He used to grow angry sometimes, and picking up the stupid sheep up by their shaggy necks he would have thrown them into the yard, sometimes killing them"

-Referred to as "The angry giant."

-Symbolism - The redback people à compares them with spiders "who hug the dark corners and scuttle hideously from rusted hiding place to rusted hiding place. Away from pale blue eyes that are like the sun, who burn everything away."

-Similes - "Pale blue eyes that are like the sun." and personification of war cannons - "He sits in the park, the old man, like one of the war cannons that guard the perimeter and stick their long green noses out threateningly"

-Demonstrates that the Indigenous people must hide and keep a low profile due to the White people in order to avoid losing their culture

-Effect of society: Loss of Indigenous culture as seen through the characters of the Aboriginal youth - "Now they have no tribe, and he has no ways."

Internal conflict:

-Cause: Due to society's pressures, he is forced to reject his culture and forget his past, and become someone he is not in order to fit into society and achieve a more peaceful life

-Torn between the Aboriginal culture that he was raised into and stripped away from, and the white Australian culture, which he is forced to become yet not really wanted to do so

-Effect: He ends up becoming depressed and missing his past life à turns to drinking excessively, becoming violent and throwing his life away -"But soon he fell down, forever."

-Technique: Abrupt sentences

-Technique: Word choice - powerful words

-Constant reminders of his past life cause him to become depressed

-Technique: Single word sentences; only on syllable (very effective) - "Once." & "There's no room for yesterdays people." (ABRUPT SENTENCES)

-Despite this, he essentially ends up in between the two cultures, not wanting to forget his past while still trying to assimilate into the white society (also, unable to return to his past life, and never fully accepted into white society)

-He "Tried to remember before.. But this was hit life now." Ã He has lost the memories of his past

-Cause: The death of his much loved wife; and the loss of his children who were taken away from him

-Effect: A state of self destruction - drinking, violence, lost all sense of value in life & ultimately in death - "So lost, even his pride, and gave up"

-Technique: Symbolism à The rain symbolise death, and sky symbolises his life - "The sky gets more dark and oppressive. Then it rains"

-"The rain runs in streaks down his face and body" Ã Symbolises his life taking him over Ã

-"He just has the rain now, turning the sky grey and the world cold.. He just has the rain, and his tears" Ã All he has left is death

-"The rain has taken him away from his useless, used-up life"

-Technique: Sentences and words that play on peoples emotions to cause us to sympathise with the Aboriginal and to make us aware of the negative effects that conflict has

-Technique: Results in death "Time to sleep."

Physical conflict:

-Cause: Pressures of society; emotional turmoil; other individuals; alcohol

-Acts of violence or aggression towards other people, other things and towards themselves - "But he used to grow angry sometimes" "He became roaring drunk and smashed up his house.. and started a brawl... his huge angry fists but three men in hospital"

-Technique: Descriptive and powerful words -Burning, threateningly, torn, glittering sea of broken glass, whipped

-Technique: Military references eg. old war cannons, army slouch hat

-"Devils dance out of the boys black eyes"

-Technique: Imagery eg. "Body snapped in two by powerful hands"