The Shifting Heart. In the sass’s; coming to Australia was a very big step for Italian immigrants considering the recent ” White Australia Policy’ of that time, but also because of the simultaneous battle between the Italian’s rights to live in Australia and the Australian society’s attitudes towards them. Different reading strategies give rise to very different interpretations.
In reference to the drama text “The Shifting Heart” written by Richard Benson, interpretations such as Gendered Readings, Power In relationships and lastly, representations of the Australian Stereotyped Society groups impaired to the Italians, can all be the result of the reading strategy of using Personal context to relate to the characters. An interpretation such as a gendered reading can be built up through the use of the reading strategy of personal context, which is relating in certain aspects to the characters in the text or the situation of which the characters find themselves in.
Personal context can be used to build a gendered reading, because being a female in the sass’s was difficult enough, never mind being a female immigrant to Australia. Maria was the first of the Fiancé’s to move to Australia, and therefore one the raves of her family. Using the opinion of a female, one would relate to Maria, if they were to be an immigrant themselves, they could relate with Maria when she says “Not quite the same, is it?
I mean, out here, it’s a new world.. ” Richard Benson uses this comment to relay to the readers the difficulties of having to leave ones home because of terrible circumstances and move to another country where the inhabitants are prejudiced, racist and completely against their heritage, to make a better life for herself and her family. A gendered reading can be built by personal Monnet in this circumstance if one were to be in the same or similar situation.
There are many ways in which the drama text in question can be interpreted through the use of the reading strategy Personal Context, one that is more popular in relation to the White Australia Policy which was very recently abolished before the Fiancé’s immigrated to Australia, however the views of many Australians did not change. So power in the relationships between Italians and Australians is a very strong and popular interpretation that is has been given rise.
Who has the power between the Australians and the Italian immigrants is made clear by the conversation between the Fiancé’s and Lucie, “It’s a good honest-to-god German” This is where Lucie makes it transparently clear, the views and opinions of Australian society towards immigrants; such as the Fiancé’s. He makes it absolutely obvious who holds the power in the relationship. It is the superior race – the Australians.
A fellow immigrant from modern times could relate with the obvious shift in power, from when they leave their home country, to when they enter new grounds. It is unclear why people eave the Australian society and such views against non-white immigrants, other than the fact that they wished for an all white Australia, however this is not what they were given; so they placed it upon themselves to show anyone whom was not of the superior race – Just who was and still is to this day “Boss”.
In the text “The Shifting Heart” stereotypes have been used too tremendous extent. Stereotypes that both make fun of a heritage and challenge a culture that has been set in and out of time. Personal context can be seen to have considerable influence and shape of this interpretation, as it is happens in every country and every culture. Each culture, each age group, each religion; has a certain stereotype that fits the characteristics.
In the Shifting heart, these certain stereotypes that are used are in relation to how Italians are always eating Spaghetti or a type of pasta, Momma and Poppa are the representations of these stereotypes set for Italians all over the world. In the drama text, the Bianca parent’s are referred to by the shop keeper as “Momma Macaroni and Poppa Spaghetti” This example is a clear representation of how Australians see the Fiancé’s and all Italian immigrants compared to how they see themselves. In Australian society’s own eyes and opinions, their social groups can do no wrong.
Which can be seen also, through the use of the conversation between the police officer Lucie and the Fiancé’s, when Going was lying in hospital in a very critical condition, Lucie, in a very pleasant and patronizing way makes it his duty to inform the Fiancé’s of Gin’s condition and at the same time, makes the whole incident out to be Gin’s fault. “l wouldn’t call a bloke who tried to bash his way into somewhere he wasn’t wanted, I wouldn’t call that normal” and using the “He couldn’t claim to be a native, could he?
These two sentences from the text, make it completely and utterly clear, that in the Australian civilization their boys, no matter what age or stereotype, they could do no wrong. By doing this, personal context comes into the scene, by ones own experiences with the kind of prejudice displayed by the Australian culture. In some ways this is how Australia has challenged their stereotypes. Australia has an easy go lucky stereotype that represents them as the laid back type of country; where in reality it is the Italians that fit this stereotype more than any Australian ever really could.
In the sass’s is it was a very difficult time to be an immigrant. Especially one of Italian heritage. Using personal context, may different interpretations arise. Three of them include gendered readings, where one can relate with a character of the same gender and their situation, Where the power in the relationship lies between the Italian immigrants and the Australian Society, where it is made very clear by Australians Just how relevant immigrants are to them, and lastly how representations of the Australian Society’s stereotypes compared to the Italians, all of these are the result of the reading strategy; Personal Context.