Still Hoping for Reconciliation: Reading Alexis Wright’s Carpentaria as a Critique of Reconciliation

Virender Pal

University College, Kurukshetra University Kurukshetra, Haryana. India. Email:

 Volume VII, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.25274/bcjms.v7n1.en-v7-01-04


Australian government started the policy of reconciliation in 1991. The Aborigines were very optimistic about the policy in the beginning. The optimism is evident in Alexis Wright’s Plains of Promise, but in her second novel Carpentaria; she revises her point of view and she demonstrates the reconciliation has made no difference in the lives of the Aborigines. The novel demonstrates that racism is still strong in the small towns like Desperance, the town described in the novel. The novel also shows that the Aboriginal culture faces the most important threat in the era of reconciliation. In the novel, Wright makes it clear that the Aborigines are trying to reconcile with the oppressive white Australian policies, but the whites are still hesitant in giving human status to the Aborigines. The minds of the whites are still frozen in the assimilation era where the Aborigines were supposed to acquire the etiquettes of the whites. The Aborigines are still the worst sufferers of white racist policies. The novel makes it clear that reconciliation has become an oppressor centred policy rather than an oppressive centred one.

 Key Words: Alexis Wright, reconciliation, racism, culture

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