Discussion questions

These discussion questions are designed for use in teaching from the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature.

General questions

  1. Discuss Indigenous poetry in terms of Aboriginal identity OR recording history OR talking about sense of place.
  1. Choose one Indigenous author in any genre and discuss the style of their voice as compared to a non-Aboriginal writer of your choice.
  1. What would you consider the roles of Aboriginal literature in Australia? Give examples to substantiate your claim.
  1. Discuss the claim that Aboriginal literature is ‘post-colonial’.
  1. Discuss the evolution of Aboriginal literature as seen in the anthology from Bennelong’s letters up until Alexis Wright’s Carpentaria.
  1. What do you see as the major themes of Aboriginal literature?

Specific questions

  1. Discuss the style of Kim Scott’s novel Benang? Is it conversational, 'postmodern', antithetical, revisionary, historical, political, reactionary? Something else?
  1. How would you describe Lionel Fogarty’s poetry? What other writers internationally could be classified in the same way as Fogarty?
  1. Discuss the most challenging aspects of the novel Rabbit Proof Fence for you as a reader. Also consider how ‘typical’ the experiences of Molly, Daisy and Gracie were for other Stolen Children.
  1. What did Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Kevin Gilbert and Jack Davis have in common as Aboriginal writers? Explain.