Joan Makes History- Kate Grenville Essay

1273 Words Oct 13th, 2005 6 Pages
Kate Grenville's episodic novel Joan Makes History (1988) is also "good to think with" in term of national identity. Grenville deviates from exploring Amanda Lohrey's suggestion of a "suitable past" (1996). Instead of celebrating what Lohrey describes as "mindless nationalism" (1996, p 150), in the invented traditions of Australian society, national identity, political progression and territory, Grenville explores the key periods of Australian history through the first-person narration, presenting subjective perspectives on the cultural ‘turning points' of the past century. The episodic structure of the story allows Grenville to fully explore the diverse cultural perspectives of these events, as thus communication the message of how …show more content…
This identity is "good to think with" in terms of national identity, as it highlights a sense of place in the remoteness of Joan, and also provides an unpleasant image of the bush in contrast to the popularized invented myth of the ‘bushman'.

Furthermore, the floor plan of the home allows for the politics (or lack of) within the home to be both overtly and covertly demonstrated, just as Williams claims use of communication leads to displays of public and private aspects of culture. Craik highlights, "The construction of regional identity has involved specifically the relationship between the house and its occupants", which corresponds with the relationship of culture and society. The relationship is ever changing as social identity is ever changing, dependent upon the consumption of the variables of material culture.

It is ironic when Joan doesn't make her ‘desired' history, but through this Grenville shows that history is continuously made, great or small, and it all impacts on our personal and larger public and historical cultures. "I, cool Joan, woman of destiny, was reduced like all the women I had laughed at to a bulging mother-to-be in washed-out cotton flowers." (220) In an interesting social comment in lieu of the theme of feminism, Joan finally learns to find comfort in "the parameters of

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