Module 1: Representing Australia
Deadly Unna? By Phillip Gwynne (1998)
1. p.2. “He’s [Carol, the first ruck] about the same size as a what silo.” How does this simile create uniquely Australian imagery?
2. p. 5. When Blacky describes how the “Nungas” (the Aboriginal players) “infuriate” Arks, he says that “they just love to buggerise around on them flanks.”
a. How does Blacky’s use of colloquial language remind you of Arks?
b. How does the word “bugger” contribute to an/the Australian identity? Provide a specific example of how this word was used recently in advertising.
3. p. 9. IMAGERY: Describe the humour when Blacky describes his imaginary life-saving tale that ends at his ‘funeral.’ What does this reveal about Blacky and his community?
4. p. 21. Read the two paragraphs that begin with “Even though the point was…” to “it was just the way it was.” How does this microcosm of the world represent Australia today? Do you think much has changed?
5. p. 26. What’s a cliché?
6. p. 27. Why use such short, simple sentences at the top of p. 27? Think about the impact this has on the responder (you).
7. p. 29. THEME: “’Don’t shake hands with no boongs,’ said Mad Dog.”
a. What is a “boong,” and why won’t he shake their hands?
b. What’s interesting about how the next paragraph is structured?
8. “nukkin’ ya, BDumby” – How has this friendly good-bye reflect Blacky and Dumbys’ growing relationship?
9. p. 31. What words indicate that Blacky doesn’t like his father drinking?
10. p. 31. How does Blacky’s mum fulfil stereotypical gender roles?
11. p. 32-33. How is this stereotype challenged?
12. p. 32. Rewrite the simile that humoursly confuses Blacky.
13. a) p. 33. What does the mismatched cutlery reveal about Blacky’s family?
b) p. 32. What reinforces this?