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Rainbows End by Jane Harrison

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  • Pages 4
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  • Views 860
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    It can be said that the moment we are born we are trying to belong. That moment at birth where the yearn for that first connection with someone, or something that can create a sense or security and acceptance. This leads us to belive that a sense of belong can emerge from the connects made to people or places. This concept will be evaluated and discussed with textual reference and quotes from “ rainbows end” by jane Harrison, and “ the year my voice broke” by rainbows end talks of the conflict and descrimination of the aboriginals in white society.

    The main idea explored is that the indigenous community does not belong on the same margins as white society, even though they rightfully belong as an equal part of it. The play talks of 3 women living in the flats, this lays segregated from the town as it is . the aboriginals live separate from the tosn on the flats as they do not belong . this is expressed when gladys goes to see the queen, but is unable to , as a wall of hessian has been erected to block the queens view of the flats. Gladys the expression “ like a band aid over a sore”.

    This emphasis how she wants to live in a better house, to improver her standard of living by venturing outside the flats. They live in an area of lower socio-economic status. The protagonist nan dear refers to her home as a humpy( a run down kind of house). Dolly nans granddaughter however refers to a home as “ a place where there are people looking out for each other Gladys another one of the main characters has a much softer attitude to white society and longs to participate in community activities. Nan dear tries to discourage her from doing so.

    She distrusts the whites as she was forced to leaver Cummeragunja, her place of belonging, because of the descrimination she was shown from the whites. Gladys never having experienced such things, and see’s nothing but opportunity in the white society, and strongly believes that her ethnicity shouldn’t hold her back or where she lives. The differenet attitudes are expressed when discussing a job for dolly. Nan dear ‘ a girl from the flats ? I don’t even see the town aboriginals work in stores” to which gladys replies, “ why should her address stop her in life” you cant teach a old dog new tricks” expresses how Nans attitude isn’t going to change any time soon. The introduction of errol however takes all three by supprise. He’s pollite and respectful in talking to gladys, by cally her “ma,am”. They had not experienced this kind of formality and respext from a white man before. He is of german background and I naive of the racial conflict between the whites and aboriginals. He talks of how he was discriminated against himself. How he had to change his name from “vischer” to “fisher to stop the discrimination. This helps Nan dear finally accept errol better. Errol helps Nan dear’s identity grow.

    He makes her see that not all white folk are the same, and to better accept white society. He does does not belong in the start ( textual reference proof needed) but starts to build relationships with dolly and gladys . Gladys uses Errol to build up her confidence. She comes to trust him enough to inform him that she is illiterate. This is also hinted previously, at the bank, when asked by the bank manager to “add her name and address” to the application list, but fails to do so. She ends up having him fill it out for her. Glady develpoes a sense of belonging through errol , teaching her how to read and write ( textual reference).

    This helps better reflect her intelligence that was demonstrated earlier, in the radio quiz show scene ( quote). It developes her confidence, and makes feel more intune with society. This also better ables gladys to express herself more openly at public events. Such as the council meeting and the petition signing. (quotes for whole paragraph). In the last scene, it is expressed that even though Gladys and papa dear don’t share a blood relation, gladys still has a very close bond, and belongs through papa dear. She demonstarites the same attitudes and traits as he does.

    A crowd vagrant says” she’s papa dears daughter alright”. This shows the irony of the situation. The setting changes when “the flats” get ruined by the storm, and everyone is forced to move to “Rumbalara”. This is “supposed to be a better standard of living accommodation, but these “concrete humpies” as refered my gladys, are cold and lifeless, worse than what they had before. This is ironic as “Rumbalara” literally means “Rainbows end” in indigienous language, when it is far from it, Throughout the play, a serious of dream sequences are used for dolly, gladys and Nan dear, to convey their aspirations.

    Such as gladys meeting the queen and going on the quiz show, and dolly winning the miss sheparton competition. but is then contrasted with the reality that they will not attain them. This is due to the fact of their racial background, and separation from the white society. However Nan dear’s dream sequence, conveys how her attitude has completely changed about Errol and dolly being together. It shows them walking down the Aile. With Nans blessing, this sequence is much more attainable, and ends the play on a happy resolution.

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    Rainbows End by Jane Harrison. (2016, Nov 04). Retrieved from

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