How do I write this? Compare the representation of Australian identity as foregrounded in the two poems and how is it achieved?I have to compare the poem by Noonuccal 'Last of his Tribe' and 'On...

How do I write this? Compare the representation of Australian identity as foregrounded in the two poems and how is it achieved?

I have to compare the poem by Noonuccal 'Last of his Tribe' and 'On the Death of Ronald Ryan' by Dawe. How do I represent the Australian identity as foregrounded, and how is achieved?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In both poems, I would pay attention to the question that might unify your course of study:  In what direction is Australia moving?  In "Last of His Tribe," one can analyze what is to become of the indigenous people of Australia as modernity begins to settle into its hold.  Where will the notions of Australian identity lie in a growing cosmopolitan and globalized setting into which Australia so eagerly seeks to ingratiate itself?  I would look at the "traditionalist" notions of identity that are expressed into the poem and see how these answer the question of future progress of Australia and how it reconciles aspects of Australia's past.  This can also be seen in Dawe's poem, as you might want to pay attention to how the speaker views the issue of capital punishment and the justice system's treatment of criminals.  As Australian identity is further forged, how will elements of its justice and economic systems reflect what it means to be "Australian"?  In the poems, I would pay attention to these traits and qualities that seem to be reflective of "Australian" identity and examine how the poets see these elements display themselves in the modern conception of Australia.