Importance of the Setting

Use this forum to discuss the April 2018 Book of the Month, "Ironbark Hill" by Jennie Linnane
Tbunde5
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Importance of the Setting

Post by Tbunde5 » 04 Apr 2018, 22:22

This story takes place in Australia, with Natalie’s heritage being aboriginal. The place and time setting, combined with the history of aboriginals in Australia, play a huge part of Natalie’s life and life choices. Her race decides her place in the social hierarchy of the day and make her even more vulnerable in some ways. The question is this: If we take Natalie and her story out of this setting and put her in America today, is the story still relatable and believable? How might the story change?

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Post by FilmStar » 05 Apr 2018, 12:44

I think it's possible that Natalie would still get some hate for being part Aboriginal as people are cruel against anyone who isn't white. But I think they would be more accepting of her now compared to the setting of the story.

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Post by mingyums » 05 Apr 2018, 14:50

Agreed with above, I believe Natalie being non-Caucasian would expose her to a similar vulnerability in the setting you propose, ie America today. Also, it's important to note she's part Aborginal, and therefore faces all the societal problems that mixed race people face constantly, that of not ever belonging to or being fully accepted by one race. So we can't even hypothetically transpose her and her story into a situation where she'd be part of a majority race.

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Post by lesler » 05 Apr 2018, 19:00

Yes, I absolutely think this story would be relatable if the setting was America. This story reminded me of the deep south at the turn of the 20th century, when poor farming families struggled to survive.

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Post by JLS » 07 Apr 2018, 08:47

I could also see people in America lumping her into different groups just as a knee jerk reaction. Race is not an exact science, to be completely honest it isn't a science at all, leading people to decide she's Black, Latino, or Asian before she gets the chance to tell them her own story.

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Post by turtledonut » 08 Apr 2018, 10:39

I think that this story could definitely be relatable in America today. The friction of race is still exacerbated in America even if it is a little more covert than overt. Any person of colour would find themselves facing struggles. And as JLS said she could be mistaken for a different race and characterized with negative stereotypes.

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Post by zilizopita1998 » 08 Apr 2018, 23:51

Since mixed race people are rare anywhere on on the planet, Natalie would still face racial prejudice in America and even in any part of the planet.

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Post by zilizopita1998 » 08 Apr 2018, 23:53

turtledonut wrote:
08 Apr 2018, 10:39
I think that this story could definitely be relatable in America today. The friction of race is still exacerbated in America even if it is a little more covert than overt. Any person of colour would find themselves facing struggles. And as JLS said she could be mistaken for a different race and characterized with negative stereotypes.
I equally agree with this.

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Post by Libs_Books » 09 Apr 2018, 12:15

I agree that Natalie would face prejudice in almost any country, but I do think there are important differences and I suspect that there are significant differences between the USA and Australia in this respect. To take just one example, as far as I know, there is no person of Aboriginal descent who has achieved the same respect and recognition as Martin Luther King.

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Post by Bomisope » 09 Apr 2018, 15:03

Libs_Books wrote:
09 Apr 2018, 12:15
I agree that Natalie would face prejudice in almost any country, but I do think there are important differences and I suspect that there are significant differences between the USA and Australia in this respect. To take just one example, as far as I know, there is no person of Aboriginal descent who has achieved the same respect and recognition as Martin Luther King.
I agree with you on this.

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Post by Javier Campos » 10 Apr 2018, 13:30

I think yes because the setting will always play a major role in every story, you change one little detail and a great lot can change.

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Post by Jmteachmom » 11 Apr 2018, 17:38

Setting is so important to any story. If we took Natalie and placed her in America today I believe she would still face racism as she did then. I think her actions and choices would change due to the laws of this country today.
I could most likely see her in the pre civil war time period of America when compared to the 1950's in Australia.

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Post by CheyenneR » 11 Apr 2018, 18:21

I think if we dropped Natalie in America today she would be much more easily accepted. Depending on where she lived she might get some grief but I think for the most part she wouldn't get close to the treatment she got in her town.

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Post by Zain A Blade » 12 Apr 2018, 09:47

I've lived in Australia, and I think the Aboriginals there have it easy compared to the African-American community in the USA. I don't like to think that racism is something others do to another group, rather it is has a lot more to do with how we portray ourselves to society and the feedback we get from society. I mean, every immigrant in the US will face a certain degree of discrimination, but those who don't let it become a stumbling block on their path tend to achieve success.
The black community in the US still views itself as seriously oppressed (perhaps even worse than the Mexicans in their view), so yes I think if the novel's setting is changed the same events can play out - if not worse.

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Post by becsimpson » 12 Apr 2018, 15:22

I think if you were writing this story set in america, you'd possibly make her from a mexican or native american background

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