Spirit and Belief Commentary - aiss-english-10

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Spirit and Belief Commentary
Bradley Flanders, Spirit and Belief is a poem about a mother with her kids and the
encounter with the police just before they were taken away from her. She could see it
coming and didn’t try to fight it very hard, but rather, hope that she would be able to
see her children again. This poem was written for almost all ages as it uses basic
language, easy to understand and it doesn’t use much colloquial language.
The dominant reading of this text is the mother telling the story of her children being
taken from her. She describes ‘The Tracker’, “how he can hunt his own kind.” showing
that he is also Aboriginal. Why would he be working with the police? This is an
interesting question as the Australian Aboriginals banded together to try and fight off
the white settlers during colonisation, and now they are helping the whites, track down
their own children and take them away from their families. This goes against the view
and culture of Australian Aboriginals as they were a race that tried to help each other. It
points marginalises this by actually stating that ‘The Tracker’ is aboriginal. This is also
going against the stereotypes of Aboriginal communities working together to get rid of
the white settlement.
A language technique which is used to set up the reader is first person perspective. This
shows the story from the position of the mother of the children and what she thought
and felt at that time. It allows the reader to gain an insight into the tragedy of the police
taking away children. An example of this is, ‘But I know I will get them back one day.’
This shows that she has hope and is showing it using first person making us feel for the
mother. This emotion cannot be shown in any other person as successfully. This helps us
to understand what happened when the police came to take the kids.
This text does help us to understand the Australian culture. It isn’t necessarily a positive
side of the culture but is still part of it. It shows us how the Aboriginal people were
treated and how they might have felt during the time of the stolen generation.
Foregrounded - Children, Parents, Police, Haste, hope, road, Tracker being aboriginal, Fright, questioning
heritage/culture, Tracker not liking this, Heartbroken, Hope (again), grief,
Back grounded - Why is the tracker doing this?
- Why do they have hope?
- Why are the children singing as they are taken?
- How many people are there?
- Why is he called 'The Tracker'?
- How long have the children been taken for?
- How many children are there?
- What were they doing before the police came?
- Where are they?
- The children that were taken were the narrator's?
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