In the 1950’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 Beynon, interpretations such as Gendered Readings, Power In relationships and lastly, representations of the Australian Stereotyped Society groups compared 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 1950’s was difficult enough, never mind being a female immigrant to Australia. Maria was the first of the Bianchi’s to move to Australia, and therefore one the bravest 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 Beynon 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 context 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...
...Thesis: In The ShiftingHeart, the playwright RichardBeynon conveys ideas and representations of Australian identity through the use of narrative techniques, especially dialogue and characterisation. Each character represents an aspect of Australian society in the 1950's that Beynon perceives to be true. 1st published in 1960. Set in 1956. NUTSHELL-
1. Not accepting of other cultures; Abuse against Gino and failed assimilation halfway between identities. Cultural heritage is important in establishing identity
-Through the characterisation of Gino, Beynon shows the rejection of Australians towards immigrants and other cultures.
-Page 95 Australian citizenship Certificate shows the belief Gino had that he had been accepted into Australian society. Momma "This we gotta put in a frame, he says." It means something to him. Constant beatings he receives at the dance hall show that he is not accepted, as well as Barry shoving in the way in line "He tries to put his load straight on the scales- before us, so I told him..." Clarry: "You shouldn'ta told him (page 27). Eventual death of Gino via the beatings shows the extreme racism and prejudice in Australia during the time of production.
-Assimilation is encouraged to fit in
-He tried to assimilate into Australian society, Pg 34 "Clarry. If he's Australian, or..." and then continues on page 35 "Maria. Italian? (Pressing hard) What if...
...The ShiftingHeart Essay
The Shiftingheart is set in 1956 in the working class suburb of Collingwood, Melbourne. The play addresses racism treatment towards immigrants in post war Australia. Refugees were given jobs as labourers. The play is written as a response to the violent death of a polish immigrant, who violently took his own life at Christmas. The play itself is also set on Christmas Eve. An Italian family reaches boiling point, when conflict between neighbours of different cultures, arises. Various points will be made, dialogue between characters, setting and themes.
As the characters are all from different backgrounds and cultures, their way of speaking and their language is unique. The Australian in the story, Clarry displayed dialogue of a rather relaxed nature or tone, showing he is a true Australian. Clarry calls strangers "jack" and others "boy" or "mate". Slang is used. For example: youse, dago and wog. These are used as tensions arise. This effectively shows the type of person Clarry is and the characteristics he possesses.
The Italians of the novel occasionally talk in Italian to each other, as that is the language they are all most familiar with. Their English isn't the greatest and this is significantly obvious throughout the course of...
...‘The ShiftingHeart’ Analytical Essay- The use of Symbolism
“Racism is man’s gravest threat to man- the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.” (Abraham J. Heschel, Jewish philosopher). Richard Beynon’s ‘The ShiftingHeart’ was first published in 1960, and insightfully explores the impact of racism. It is based on the lives of the Bianchis, an Italian family living in the suburb of Collingwood, during the post World War II immigration boom. As a literary device, symbolism is the representation of a concept through underlying meanings of objects. Beynon portrays the message, ‘racism is a result of intolerance, not the specific races alone,’ through the use of symbolism as well as the various racial attitudes of characters. The set of the play, harmonica and Christmas Tree are all vital in depicting the play’s theme and message. The use of symbolism in ‘The ShiftingHeart” strongly highlights the contrasting racial attitudes towards the cultural differences of characters.
Firstly, the set of ‘The ShiftingHeart’ signifies the various racial attitudes of characters. The Bianchi’s house is positioned between two houses, both occupied by ‘traditional’ Northern European Australian citizens. In the home on the stage right lives a woman who despises the Bianchis. This attitude is emphasised by the fence that divides...
...The context of Richard Wright and Native son
Wright was born on September 4, 1908, on a Mississippi plantation 22 miles east of Natchez. All of his four grandparents were slaves. He would find it ironic that today there is a plaque in Natchez marking his birth, for his upbringing in the South was a bitter, fearful experience, not something he looked back on with any fondness. His father deserted his family when Richard was five years old. He was shuttled to different family homes in Mississippi (Jackson and Greenwood) and Arkansas (Elaine and West Helena). Wright had little formal education. He left school for the last time in the mid-1920s and went to work in Memphis, where he read voraciously. There was rarely enough food in the house. At six he became a drunkard, egged on by men who frequented a saloon. His grandmother was a Seventh-day Adventist who didn’t let Richard read books that strayed from this gospel. He was beaten severely for various infractions. He started school late because he
didn’t have presentable clothes to wear. He never graduated from high school. And from a very early age he was abused mentally and physically by racist employers. In his memoir, Black Boy, Wright described those early years as “dark and lonely as death,” causing him to reflect as follows about black life in America. He migrated to Chicago in 1927 at the age of nineteen, finding a job as a postal clerk and continuing to...
...• Essential questions
• Emotional and sense memory
• Eight efforts (Punching)
As a student actor, I apply Stanislvaski techniques of essential questions, emotional and sense memory, and Laban’s techniques of eight efforts to create a representational characterization of Clarry in the play ‘The ShiftingHeart’. The character Clarry is exposed to the prominent racial theme of the Australian 1950s. Clarry is married and deeply in love with Gino. However, the racial themes amongst Australia in the 1950s resists Gino from being taken into Clarry’s steel business. Clarry believes Gino is unguided and ‘looking for trouble’, amongst a society filled with hatred amongst Italians. Clarry must guide and protect Gino, however, despite his best efforts, he is attacked outside a dance hall and dies in hospital. It is from this experience that Clarry’s heart ‘shifts’ from strong dominant racial views to acceptance and an advocate for Italians.
My performance was towards the end of scene 2 act 2, where dispute erupts between Maria and Clarry over concerns on Gino. Prior to the performance, I applied my knowledge of Stanislavski’s essential questions. I identified my ‘Super Objective’ to guide and protect Gino, an Italian man who believes he is equal in a racial discriminating 1950s Australia. I also identified my ‘objective’ the purpose of my actions in the scenes and how they aid the Super Objective. In my scene, Clarry’s...
...Italian and Asian migrants after World War 2. Our history is riddled with numerous accounts of racist behaviour and our literature reflects as much, racism is evident not only in our history but in our present time, the message portrayed through both present and past literature is that racism is not something that needs to happen and is therefore unnecessary. Other cultures also have examples of racism and degradation in their pasts and literature. The message transcends cultural barriers and is relevant out of its original context. The ShiftingHeart by RichardBeynon and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini are two texts which come from not only different time periods but also different cultures, but still presents an insight into the psychology of racism and its victims and that the use of racist oppression and degradation is unnecessary and bears a negative effect on both the people and the society which it stems from.
The ShiftingHeart by RichardBeynon focuses on the oppression of Italian immigrants in Australia, in the 1950s after the end of World War Two. Focusing on that of a family who wish to integrate into Australian society, it seems as though the society they wish to integrate into is mostly unaccepting of them. The two fences are representative of the two sides of the society they are integrating into, one side is completely closed...
Richard Gunn: A Servant HeartRichard Gunn was a man that grew up in Kansas City, Kansas but after passing the BAR exam moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 1948 to practice law as an attorney, there he became well ingrained in the Cleveland community and saw the Negros around the area go up and down with the jobs and positions that were being held by these people. It was a trying time for these people as they were trying to get their civil rights more established in American society and not just words on a paper. Gunn wanted to help these people that could not fend for themselves and through that he became involved in the educational change in the Cleveland school district trying to get Negro teachers to be allowed to teach at private schools, get young negro students into private schools, that quality education not just be given to the white people, and then getting into the business world of Negros starting their own companies. Richard Gunn was a driven man that fostered changes in how the school system works in Cleveland and along with helping Negro business owners succeed; he did this through his work with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Congress of Racial Equality.
With that being said, Dunn gave up his job as an attorney to help the civil right movement in Cleveland. He had a passion for education and was set on making all education equal for everyone...
...Alan had a problem.
Three of his friends wanted to punch him. Not because he was tall, or because he was skinny, not because he was he was the captain of the swimming team or the class clown. In fact, Alan was so great; he had women sitting at his table every day for lunch. Alan had a problem because Alan wasn’t kissing these girls, and if he wasn’t kissing these girls, what was he doing sitting at their table?
By year 10, Alan had been given the nickname ‘big gay al’ partially because he was tall, but also because his platonic relationship with the girls, allowed his friends to see him as gay. You see, a virtuous male in his friends’ eyes was a man who possessed dominance and control, who related to women as objects, designed to cater for a mans every need. Confused at how someone so tall could lack this kind of masculinity, Alan’s friends made it clear to him that being gay was not an option. Alan’s carefree nature created a rubber glue relationship with these friends. They became threated by Alan’s ability to reject the comments and provide a mirror of reflection to each of them. And out of fear, they continued to tear down the mirror Alan was presenting to them.
Drowning in a sea of social norms and suffocating in the crowded spaces of society’s expectations, how are we expected be ourselves when we are hiding behind this constant pressure, the pressure to be beautiful, the pressure to be youthful, and the pressure to be straight? It’s as though society...