This poem "Half Caste Girl" by Judith Wright is about a mixed-race girl who has died. The afterlife for this girl, who was half Aboriginal, half white, is a purgatory for the Aboriginal side of the girl who wants to stand on the hill “and beat with a waddy on the bright moon like a gong.”
Even in death, the girl does not belong to the white afterlife or the Aboriginal afterlife. Although she belongs to some aspects of both cultures, this ghost girl just wants to stand on the hill "And beat with a waddy on the bright moon like a gong / Across the hills, the hills that belong to no people / And so to none are foreign.”
One textual analysis of this poem seems to ponder whether the mourning spirit will sever her ties with the dead (a race that is dying out, being killed) and finally join the living (for more on this, see the book The Unknown Judith Wright). As during her half-caste life, I think that her soul, too, is in limbo because a decision must be made about which direction to go—does she have an Aboriginal death, a white woman's death, or does she have to create her own story?
Judith Wright describes how the ghost “climbed high to find the native cherry." She goes onto describe how, in this instance, the girl finds herself dressed for love and is “Singing the songs of women, / The songs of love and dying.”
However, even in chasing the Aborigine traditions, the girl cannot break free from her purgatory and is stuck restless between two worlds—in this case, that of the living and that of the dead.
In conclusion, several interpretations of this poem seem to suggest that, in addition to little Josie's dilemma with her identity, she is stuck in purgatory because the Aboriginal side of her is either a dying race (The Unknown Judith Wright) which she cannot sever ties with or is stuck in limbo (see Adam Shoemaker's Black Words White Page). Due to the colonizers' lack of atonement for invading the indigenous land, the Aboriginals' souls remain restless. Like little Josie, they all would like to be a part of nature, but their souls remain bound between the land of the living and that of the dead due to the wrongs which the invaders have not made amends for.