Contrasting Australian Visions

One of the texts that illustrate distinctive Australian vision is the poem by Dorothea Mackellar titled “My Country.” The author’s vision of Australia is about the physical nature of the land that she holds near and dear to her heart. Even though Australia may have its hardships and difficulties, she thinks that the beauty is well worth more than that. Mackellar used multiple personifications of the Australian land to emphasize her unique vision. For instance, she described Australia as “A willful, lavish land.” The author’s choice of words shows that even though she thinks the land is stubborn, it is also very generous to the people living and working in Australia. The poet wrote, “For flood and fire and famine, She pays us back threefold.” It can be seen from the word “she” that the land is like a woman to the author, both beautiful and beneficial. This beauty surpasses all the disasters that come with the land. Thus, using the language features, the poet envisioned Australia to be an eccentric splendor that gives so much to the people.

On the other hand, the song titled “I Am Australian” written by Bruce Woodley and Dobe Newton describes a different vision of Australia when compared to Mackellar’s “My Country.” Woodley and Newton envisioned a united people of Australia even though they may have varying backgrounds. The composers use certain pronouns that are first person, second person and third person but mostly first person. The use of first person pronouns are repeated but from different points of views. For instance, the first stanza is from the point of view of the aborigines while the second stanza is from the point of view of European convicts. However, both stanzas still use pronouns that emphasize the varying backgrounds of the people. To show unity, the composers say, “I am, you are, we are Australian.” The pronouns are used to highlight that everyone is Australian, not only the aborigines or the Australians trying to make a living but everyone in Australia. Therefore, it can be seen that Woodley and Newton have visions of the togetherness between Australians and these visions are in fact different from Mackellar’s visions of the Australian land.


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