Miles Franklin Analysis

Discussion Topics

To what extent is My Brilliant Career about a “brilliant career”? How do you think Miles Franklin intended the title to be interpreted?

Do you believe that Sybylla could ever find a “helpmeet” (helpmate) suitable to marry? Explain.

Some critics believe that All That Swagger really ends with Danny’s death and that Brian’s triumph does not “save” the novel. Do you agree? Explain.

Speaking of his father, Harry in All That Swagger says: “Perhaps when all our hides are in the tanyard, it will be difficult to say who were the failures and who the successes.” Is Danny, Harry’s father, a failure or a success? Explain.

Identify the successful marriages in All That Swagger and My Brilliant Career. What characterizes them?

Danny and Brian are the bookends of All That Swagger. Why is Danny a more interesting character?

Bibliography

Barnard, Marjorie. Miles Franklin. New York: Twayne, 1967. A useful introduction to Franklin’s life and works.

Coleman, Verna. Miles Franklin in America: Her Unknown (Brilliant) Career. London: Angus & Robertson, 1981. A literary biography that uses excerpts from Franklin’s works to illuminate her life and character.

Green, H. M. A History of Australian Literature, Pure and Applied. London: Angus & Robertson, 1984. Useful critical analyses of Franklin’s work (but also include outdated comments on the identity of “Brent of Bin Bin”); is appreciative of Franklin’s unusual voice.

Hadgraft, Cecil. Australian Literature: A Critical Account to 1955. London: Heinemann, 1960. Useful critical analyses of Franklin’s work (but also include outdated comments on the identity of “Brent of Bin Bin”); a decidedly academic (and unenthusiastic) evaluation of Franklin within Australian literary context.

Mathew, Ray. Miles Franklin. Melbourne: Landsdowne Press, 1963. A brief but refreshing analysis of Franklin’s works that also provides valuable insights into her fictional characters.

Roderick, Colin Arthur. Miles Franklin: Her Brilliant Career. New York: Rigby, 1982. Provides critical interpretation of Franklin’s works and a biography.