Please give an analysis on "Half Caste Girl" by Judith Wright.

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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...

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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.

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This poem concerns "little Josie," the half caste aboriginal girl of the title, who in this poem is presented as a restless spirit. Having died and being buried under the earth, the spirit of this girl dwells in some sort of Purgatory that she is not able to flee from. Note, for example how the poem ends:

Little Josie buried under the bright sun
Would like to open her eyes and dance in the light.
Who is it had covered the sun and the beautiful moon
With a wallaby skin, and left her alone in the night?

What is interesting about the poet's presentation of Jodie is that she both belongs and is not allowed to belong to the landscape of which she is a part and to which she has such a profound link. On the one hand, this quote suggests she wants nothing more than to "dance in the light," and to be at one with nature. However, there is a "wallaby skin" that has covered her that isolates her and prevents her from becoming united with nature in the way that she desires. In one sense this poem can be read as exploring the challenges of the peculiar hybrid identity of half caste people. At the same time, Josie simultaneously belongs and is prevented from belonging. She is both aboriginal and white, and therefore occupies a curious position that rules out completely identifying herself as aboriginal. Josie therefore symbolises to a certain extent the victims of white colonial oppression in Australia and the way that they have been treated so terribly by the whites. Even in death, it is suggested, they are unable to return to nature in the way that they would like because of the consequences of the actions of the whites who have oppressed them.

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