The novel ‘Dougy’ by James Moloney is intended to capture the attention of young readers. It talks about Racial Conflict, Racial Discrimination, Family support, and Determination which is experienced by all the people in the world especially in multi-cultural countries. The story also deals with a range of issues facing Aboriginal society. It tells the readers the fear and misunderstanding between Aboriginals and white Australians that has existed for decades. In the first chapter of the novel, the first sentence says “There’s always one picture in my head when I think about what happened to our town. It shows that the story is shaped from Dougy’s own perspective because of the use of first person “I”. This technique is used so that it makes us feel that Dougy is talking to us and making us part of the story. He also uses colloquial language to communicate with young readers. In this chapter, Dougy talks about his family and the Moodagudda. Much of this story revolves around the retelling of the Aboriginal legend of the Moodagudda, an evil spirit that lives in the nearby river.
Dougy is a thirteen year old aboriginal boy who lives in a small Queensland town comprised of both black and white communities where racism is the main cause of all conflicts. The Aboriginals live mainly in houses that are financed by the government which causes some angst amongst the whites. Although there is an uneasy harmony in place, there is an obvious division between the two cultures. In the beginning of the novel where we first met Dougy, he introduced himself with the use of language with negative connotations that shows his feelings of worthlessness, “My name’s Dougy.
I’m nobody much”. It shows that Dougy has a very low self-esteem. He sees himself as a “nobody” and believes that he is “irrelevant” in this world. He also criticises his poor academic ability and social skills by saying ‘I am not good in reading nor writing eh! Not much good at anything. ’ He doesn’t play with others near the river and is quiet. Dougy’s way of introducing himself shows that there is a need for change but even though he isn’t good at reading and writing, he understands relationships and has insight.
Thus enables him to be a good storyteller. He has an older brother and sister. His sister, Gracey, is fourteen years old and she’s the fastest girl across the ground. Raymond is their older brother. They live with their mother. Their father is a drunkard who lives a nomadic lifestyle and only comes home about once or twice a year. Dougy and Gracey don’t know much of their ancestral heritage. They are Aborigines who seem to know nothing about the legends and culture of their ancestry.
The conflicts and racism all began when Gracey got free money from the government to go to the state championships. This made all the white people angry because the government never gives them free money. They have to work hard for it while the aboriginals get things for nothing. That is the reason why the whites hate the black people. Despite all the racism and oppression, Dougy remains strong and accepts the challenges of life. When you read the novel, you’ll see that the story is all about racism but if you excavate further, you’ll see other strong messages come across.
Some of the messages are about finding yourself, appreciating all the things that we have, and lastly, having an open mind. In conclusion, a study of change allows us to expand and broaden our understanding of the concept and related issues that are relevant to change. Change is a process which is inevitable and can occur on a number of interrelated levels. The process can be made through one’s choice which can lead to either a positive or negative effect and can influence the lives of other people or the whole society.
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