Speech on 'Authority and the Individual'

Essay by lochlanHigh School, 11th grade June 2004

download word file, 3 pages 4.5

Good morning teachers and students. My Speech today will be on the topic of authority and the individual that is shown through the texts: "The chant of J Blacksmith", "Excerpts from various law documents" and a cartoon by Leunig called "First day at school".

The novel "Chant of J Blacksmith" by Thomas Keneally described a hierarchy of authority and the struggles of an individual to fit in. The hierarchy can be broken down to 2 major sections with the whites on top and blacks on the bottom. J is an individual that is caught somewhere in between these 2 groups. J is a half caste aborigine brain washed by the white society which had debased the Aboriginal culture to a bare minimum. J, under this influence, lost all respect for his black culture and rejected its authority as they were depicted as "beggars puking Hunter River Rotgut Sherry in the lee of hotel shit-houses" and ppl who would "lend out their wives for a suck from a brandy bottle".

Rejecting the blacks, J turned to pay his respect to the white authority. Setting out with white values and ambitions, J hoped to gain authority and status in the white society. However, he soon discovers that the white authority is filled with corruption and hypocrisy. Keneally's representation of this is Farrell who is an

Extreme of abuse of authority. He forces J to betray another Aborigine Harry Edwards and this led to his suicide which is caused again by Farrell's abuse of authority.

Despite wot he had seen, J still had hopes for the white society and later married a white kitchen maid, Gilda. J saw this as a chance to enter the white society however he was wrong. His employer, the Newby's, exercised their authority over J and G putting...