My Place Journey
The novel “My Place” reveals that the consequences, changes and the purpose of a journey can only be understood by insight. Initially, Nan is portrayed as a petulant woman, distant from the reader, as there is no emotional connection created. As Nan’s journey progresses the reader’s perception of Nan is altered as they become aware of the injustice she experienced as an Aboriginal person.
This is demonstrated when Nan goes to hospital, and is examined by a group of medical trainees who humiliate and disrespect her because she is aboriginal. “I’m never going back there. They treat you like an animal”. The simile deepens the reader’s sympathy, as the reader understands the awful injustice that she suffers from. The simile reveals the depths of mistreatment that Nan endures, as it explains that the hospital staff were ignorant of her feelings, and didn’t even recongnise her as a human being.
The emotional connection made between Nan and the reader, allows the reader to change their original perceptions and form a genuine understanding of her journey. When Nan’s traumatic life experiences are revealed, the reader discovers that Nan is extremely ashamed of her aboriginal heritage, which is why the truth to their family history has been hidden with constant deception. From these experiences, the reader feels sympathy and pity for Nan.
However, in the final part of Nan’s story, she reflects on her desires for the future of her grandchildren. “I want you grandchildren to make something of yourselves. You all got brains…I hope you’ll never be ‘shamed of me”. The optimistic tone represented in the quote suggests that she has finally accepted her aboriginal heritage, as she believes in the potential of her aboriginal grandchildren, knowing that her heritage had brought her some disadvantages before.
The tone also suggests that she wants her grandchildren to embrace their aboriginal heritage, being proud of it rather than being ashamed of it. The reader’s original response to Nan’s journey is changed as they develop a strong sense of respect and admiration for the perpetual hope and spirit of the Aboriginal people. The novel “My Place” enables the reader to gain the genuine realisation of the journey’s value by allowing the reader to explore the journey itself, with insight.