Inside The Island

The time of 18th century and onwards, aspects of Australian life, attitudes and values reflected European origins. Views of the landscape, xenophobic attitudes, powers struggles, relation with the original inhabitants and different class are dealt with in Louis Nowra's Inside the Island. This play deals with the survivors of post-colonial Australia’s legacies of class inequality, imperial racism, native dispossession and the cultural displacements of a multicultural migrant society.
Set in a farming district of western New South Wales in 1912, it is demonstrated how a matriarchal imitation of English society is destroyed by an outbreak of ‘holy fire’, madness from a wheat fungus.
The character;s attitudes towards the Australian landscape are of a realistic kind. Lillian Dawson, the central character, makes numerous comments on Australia having a ;dreadful climate; and how everything seems so exaggerated around her;. Mrs Dawson has family in England. Her lace and lemonade, her church-going, her charitable works and hospitality hide a cruel streak and a snobbish, hollow heart.
The notion of colonialism is further developed by Lillian;s view of the land, and the treatment of the Aborigines. We learn from Lillian;s dialogue with the Captain that a portrait painting of Lillian;s father was painted by an Aboriginal youth who in doing so has rejected his own Aboriginal culture by portraying a trait of European culture. The juxtaposition of his resulting suicide and Lillian;s welcoming of refreshments shows her complete disregard for Aborigines. We can also see that Lillian is delighted as she effectively ;converted…one of the lubras; by influencing her to sing hymns and admiring Lillian;s fair skin, making an exact contrast with their own dark skin.
Once a colony has been established, it has to defend itself from outsiders. This is how Lillian and perhaps many other Britis


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