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Volume 1 Issue 11

April 2015

Marginalization and Dispossession in Australian Aboriginal Writings: A Study in Sally Morgan’s My Place
Mr. Haroon Rasheed, 
Researcher, 
Department of English, 
Lucknow University, 
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
Abstract
Sally Morgan’s My Place can be read as a ‘counter memory’ of colonialism. Aborginal oral history produced in the form literature, serves as what Focault would call a ‘counter memory’ of the violence dehumanization deculturation and dispossession to which Aboriginal people have been subjected, which has been omitted from official ‘White’ Australian histories. My Place challenges colonial history by bringing to the fore issues such as paternalism, loss of family relationships, land and language rights and the suppression of Aboriginal history post 1788. Sally Morgan uses autobiography as a mode only to allow the emotional elements of experience such as love, suffering, displacement, the search for meaning and identity come to the foreground. My Place is Sally Morgan's journey into her past and an effort to highlight the silence of the marginalized and repressed aborigines. She relates her own story, beginning with her childhood, she tells the life histories of her Aboriginal grandmother — Nan, her mother - Gladys, and other aboriginal relatives like uncle Arthur Corunna, her grandmother’s brother. The book records the marginalization, dehumanization and dispossession of the aborigines of Australia. My Place is the story of the loss of their place, in their own country. They were dispossessed of their land, their place, their culture and forced into assimilation. It was the politics of wiping away aboriginal identity. They were never included in the mainstream of economic and political life. Sally records this obliteration in three generations of her own family. Her grandmother who knew her past and was afraid to talk about it, her mother who had married a ‘White’ man, and did not tell the children about their aboriginal roots, and Sally herself, who never knew her true identity.
Keywords
Marginalization; Dispossession; Australian Aboriginal Writings; Sally Morgan; My Place.
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