MEG – 19
THE AUSTRALIAN NOVEL
MEG 19 Solved Free Assignment 2023
IGNOU MEG 19 Solved Free Assignment January 2023
Q 1. “Nineteenth century Australian women novelists delineated life in the outback from a perspective quite different from that of the masculinist pioneer.” Discuss with suitable examples.
Ans. The nineteenth century was a period of significant changes in the Australian society, especially for women.
Women’s roles and rights were undergoing a significant transformation, and women writers began to emerge as a prominent force in Australian literature.
Australian women novelists of the nineteenth century were among the first writers to capture the unique landscape, people, and culture of the Australian outback, from a perspective quite different from that of the masculinity pioneer.
One of the significant ways in which Australian women novelists of the nineteenth century differed from their male counterparts was in their perspective on the outback. MEG 19 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Women writers were not just writing about the physical landscape but were also keenly aware of the social, cultural, and psychological dimensions of life in the outback.
Women writers offered a more nuanced and sensitive portrayal of the outback, which included the experiences of women and children, as well as the struggles of Aboriginal people.
They portrayed a world where gender, race, and class intersected in complex ways, often resulting in injustice and inequality.
One of the most notable examples of an Australian woman novelist who delineated life in the outback from a unique perspective is Catherine Helen Spence.
Spence was a Scottish-born author, journalist, and social reformer who migrated to Australia with her family in 1839. MEG 19 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Her novel Clara Morison: A Tale of South Australia During the Gold Fever (1854) is set during the South Australian gold rush of the 1850s and offers a feminist perspective on life in the outback.
The novel follows the life of Clara Morison, a young woman who leaves her comfortable life in Adelaide to live with her brother on a goldfields.
Spence portrays the harsh realities of life in the outback, including the physical challenges of living in a harsh environment and the dangers of gold mining.
However, she also highlights the gendered nature of life in the outback, where women were often relegated to domestic roles and excluded from public life.
Clara Morison challenges these norms, asserting her independence and engaging in public life, much to the disapproval of the male characters in the novel.
Another Australian woman novelist who offers a unique perspective on life in the outback is Rosa Praed. MEG 19 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Praed was an Australian writer who spent much of her childhood on remote cattle stations in Queensland.
Her novel My Australian Girlhood (1902) is a memoir of her childhood and offers a rare glimpse into the lives of women and children on remote cattle stations in the late nineteenth century.
Praed’s memoir challenges the romanticized notion of the outback as a place of adventure and freedom.
She portrays the harsh realities of life on a cattle station, including the physical challenges of living in a remote location, the isolation from society, and the limited opportunities for education and socialization.
Praed also offers a unique perspective on the relationship between white settlers and Aboriginal people, depicting the violent and oppressive nature of colonialism.
Another notable Australian woman novelist who offers a unique perspective on life in the outback is Ethel Turner. Turner was an Australian author who is best known for her children’s book, Seven Little Australians (1894).
The novel follows the lives of the Woolcot family, a family of seven children living on a sheep station in New South Wales. MEG 19 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Turner’s portrayal of the outback is different from the typical male perspective in that it centers on the experiences of children.
She captures the sense of adventure and excitement that children experience in the outback, but also portrays the harsh realities of life on a sheep station, including the impact of drought and the dangers of bushfires.
Turner also depicts the gendered nature of life in the outback, where the girls in the family are limited in their opportunities and often overshadowed by their male siblings.MEG 19 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Q 2. Discuss Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career as an early feminist text.
Ans. Miles Franklin’s novel My Brilliant Career, published in 1901, is a seminal work of Australian literature that has often been described as an early feminist text.
The novel offers a scathing critique of the restrictions placed on women’s lives in the late nineteenth century and challenges the patriarchal norms that governed society at the time.
One of the ways in which My Brilliant Career can be read as an early feminist text is through its protagonist, Sybylla Melvyn.
Sybylla is a headstrong and opinionated young woman who rejects the conventional roles that society expects her to play as a woman.
She is determined to pursue a career as a writer and is frustrated by the lack of opportunities available to her. MEG 19 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Sybylla’s rejection of traditional femininity is evident in her refusal to conform to societal expectations, such as marrying for financial security or social status.
Instead, she pursues her own interests and desires, even if they run counter to the expectations of those around her.
Sybylla’s rejection of traditional gender roles is also evident in her relationships with men.
Throughout the novel, Sybylla resists the pressure to conform to societal expectations that she should seek a husband and settle down.
She is uninterested in the men who court her and rejects their advances, preferring to focus on her own ambitions. MEG 19 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Sybylla’s refusal to be defined by her relationships with men is a radical stance for a woman of her time, and her rejection of traditional femininity is a powerful statement of feminist agency.
Another way in which My Brilliant Career can be read as an early feminist text is through its critique of patriarchal power structures.
The novel portrays a society in which men hold all the power, and women are relegated to the margins.
Sybylla is acutely aware of the limitations placed on women in her society and is frustrated by her inability to control her own life.
Her father, uncle, and other male figures in the novel are portrayed as insensitive, domineering, and oppressive, with little regard for the desires and aspirations of the women in their lives.MEG 19 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The novel also critiques the way in which women are objectified and valued only for their beauty and marriageability.
Sybylla resents the way in which she is judged solely on her appearance, and her refusal to conform to traditional standards of beauty is a powerful statement of feminist resistance.
The novel challenges the notion that a woman’s worth is defined solely by her ability to attract a husband, and instead portrays a woman who values her own intellectual and creative pursuits.
Finally, My Brilliant Career can be read as an early feminist text in its depiction of the struggle for women’s independence and autonomy.
The novel portrays the difficulties faced by women who seek to chart their own course in life, particularly in a society that is hostile to their aspirations.
Sybylla’s journey is one of self-discovery, as she navigates the challenges and obstacles placed in her path and ultimately finds a way to pursue her dreams.
Q 3. “Patrick White’s novel The Tree of Man reflects White’s anxiety about the rootlessness and alienation of men and women in the modern age.” Do you agree with this statement?
Ans. Patrick White’s novel The Tree of Man, published in 1955, is a powerful exploration of the human condition in the modern age.
The novel is set in the Australian bush and follows the lives of a couple, Stan and Amy Parker, as they struggle to make a life for themselves in the harsh and unforgiving landscape. MEG 19 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The novel is widely regarded as a masterpiece of Australian literature and has been read as a reflection of White’s anxiety about the rootlessness and alienation of men and women in the modern age.
One of the ways in which The Tree of Man reflects White’s anxiety about the rootlessness and alienation of men and women in the modern age is through its portrayal of the human relationship with nature.
The novel depicts a world in which humanity has become increasingly disconnected from the natural world and is struggling to find meaning and purpose in a world that is increasingly dominated by technology and urbanization.
Stan and Amy Parker’s struggle to make a life for themselves in the Australian bush is emblematic of this wider sense of dislocation and alienation.
White’s novel is also deeply concerned with the role of the individual in the modern world. MEG 19 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The novel portrays a society in which individualism is valued above all else, and in which people are encouraged to pursue their own interests and desires at the expense of the wider community.
The Parker family, however, is shown to be deeply connected to the land and to the wider community of which they are a part.
Their struggle to maintain this connection and to find meaning and purpose in their lives is a powerful statement of White’s concern about the isolation and rootlessness of modern humanity.
Another way in which The Tree of Man reflects White’s anxiety about the rootlessness and alienation of men and women in the modern age is through its portrayal of the breakdown of traditional social structures.
The novel depicts a society in which the old ways of life are disappearing, and in which people are struggling to find new ways of living and relating to one another.
This is particularly evident in the relationship between Stan and Amy, which is fraught with tension and conflict as they struggle to find a way to live together in the modern world.MEG 19 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The novel is also concerned with the nature of human identity in the modern age. The Parker family is shown to be struggling to define themselves in a world that is increasingly complex and confusing.
They are confronted with a dizzying array of choices and opportunities, but are uncertain about how to navigate these challenges and find a sense of purpose and direction in their lives.
The novel is a powerful reflection of the anxiety and uncertainty that many people experience in the modern world as they struggle to find their place in a rapidly changing society.
Finally, The Tree of Man can be read as a reflection of White’s concern about the loss of meaning and purpose in the modern world.
The novel portrays a world in which people are increasingly adrift, and in which the old certainties and values no longer hold sway.
The Parker family’s struggle to find meaning and purpose in their lives is a powerful statement of the broader human search for meaning in a world that is increasingly fragmented and disconnected.MEG 19 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Patrick White’s novel The Tree of Man is a powerful reflection of his anxiety about the rootlessness and alienation of men and women in the modern age.
The novel is concerned with the breakdown of traditional social structures, the dislocation of humanity from the natural world, and the struggle to find meaning and purpose in a rapidly changing society.
The novel is a powerful exploration of the human condition in the modern era, and is a testament to White’s enduring legacy as one of Australia’s greatest writers.
Q 4. “Thomas Keneally’s novel Schindler’s Ark is a story of the triumph of humanity.” Comment on this statement.
Ans. Thomas Keneally’s novel Schindler’s Ark, published in 1982, tells the story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of over a thousand Jewish refugees during the Holocaust. MEG 19 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The novel has been widely celebrated for its powerful portrayal of the heroism and humanity of Schindler, and for its moving tribute to the many victims of the Holocaust.
One of the key ways in which Schindler’s Ark celebrates the triumph of humanity is through its portrayal of the Jewish refugees who were saved by Schindler.
The novel depicts these people as brave and resilient, even in the face of the most horrific acts of violence and cruelty.
Despite the dehumanizing conditions of the concentration camps, the refugees are shown to be able to maintain their dignity and their sense of humanity, and to find moments of joy and camaraderie even in the darkest of circumstances.
The novel celebrates their courage and their determination to survive, and pays tribute to the many people who were able to maintain their humanity in the face of unspeakable evil.MEG 19 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Another way in which Schindler’s Ark celebrates the triumph of humanity is through its portrayal of Schindler himself.
The novel depicts Schindler as a complex and flawed character who is initially motivated by self-interest, but who ultimately finds the courage to act on his conscience and to risk everything to save the lives of others.
Schindler’s transformation from a war profiteer to a hero is a powerful testament to the resilience and capacity for growth that exists within every human being.
The novel celebrates Schindler’s humanity and his compassion, and highlights the many acts of kindness and generosity that he performed in order to save the lives of so many people.
Finally, Schindler’s Ark celebrates the triumph of humanity through its portrayal of the many acts of kindness and heroism that were performed by ordinary people during the Holocaust. MEG 19 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The novel depicts a world in which the lines between good and evil were often blurred, and in which ordinary people were forced to make difficult and often life-threatening choices.
Despite the risks, however, many people chose to act with courage and compassion, and to risk their own lives in order to save the lives of others.
The novel celebrates the many small acts of kindness and heroism that were performed by these people, and highlights the ways in which their actions contributed to the eventual triumph of humanity over the forces of darkness and evil.
Q 5. Write short notes of around 200 words each on the following:
a. The multicultural novel in Australia.
Ans. The multicultural novel in Australia is a rich and diverse literary tradition that reflects the complex and ever-changing nature of Australian society.
From the early works of writers such as Chinua Achebe and Peter Carey, to more recent novels by authors like Nam Le and Maxine Beneba Clarke, the multicultural novel has played a vital role in shaping our understanding of Australian identity, history, and culture.MEG 19 Solved Free Assignment 2023
One of the key features of the multicultural novel in Australia is its emphasis on the experiences of people from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Many of these novels focus on the lives of immigrants, refugees, and people from non-English speaking backgrounds, exploring the challenges and opportunities they face as they navigate the complexities of Australian society.
These novels often offer a unique perspective on Australian history and culture, highlighting the ways in which different cultural groups have contributed to the shaping of the nation.
Another key feature of the multicultural novel in Australia is its commitment to exploring issues of race, identity, and belonging.
Many of these novels are concerned with the ways in which cultural identity is constructed and negotiated, and the ways in which race and ethnicity intersect with other aspects of identity such as gender, class, and sexuality.
These novels offer powerful insights into the lived experiences of people from diverse cultural backgrounds, and provide a valuable counterpoint to dominant narratives about Australian identity and culture.
The multicultural novel in Australia is also marked by its diversity of forms and styles. Many of these novels draw on a range of literary traditions, from the realism of the social novel to the experimental techniques of postmodernism.
Some of these novels also incorporate elements of folklore, myth, and spirituality, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of their authors and characters.
This diversity of forms and styles reflects the complexity and richness of the cultural landscape of Australia, and underscores the importance of recognizing and valuing the diversity of voices and perspectives that make up our society.
b. Intermingling of historical accounts with fiction in Peter Carey’s True History of the Kelly Gang
Ans (b) Peter Carey’s novel, True History of the Kelly Gang, is a powerful work of historical fiction that intermingles real historical accounts with imaginative retellings of events. MEG 19 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The novel tells the story of the infamous Australian outlaw, Ned Kelly, and his gang, and is structured as a series of letters written by Kelly himself to his unborn daughter.
One of the key features of the novel is the way in which Carey blends historical fact with imaginative fiction.
The novel draws heavily on real historical accounts of Kelly’s life, such as court transcripts, newspaper reports, and letters, but also includes a great deal of imaginative interpretation and invention.
For example, Carey uses his imagination to fill in gaps in the historical record, to create dialogue and interior monologue for his characters, and to embellish the events of Kelly’s life with rich descriptive detail.
Carey’s use of historical sources is complex and nuanced, and reflects his deep engagement with the history and culture of Australia.
By blending fact and fiction, Carey creates a rich and compelling portrait of Kelly and his world, and brings to life the social, political, and cultural context in which Kelly lived. MEG 19 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The novel is not simply a retelling of historical events, but rather a deeply personal and imaginative exploration of Kelly’s character, motivations, and experiences.
One of the key themes of the novel is the tension between history and myth, and the ways in which these two forces shape our understanding of the past.
Carey is deeply interested in the ways in which historical accounts are constructed and contested, and how different versions of the past are created and perpetuated.
Through his novel, Carey interrogates the mythology surrounding Kelly and his gang, and offers a more nuanced and complex portrait of the man and his world.