Themes and message

Racial conflict

The theme of racial conflict plays a significant role in the short story “Going Home” by Archie Weller. The story suggests that the Aboriginals living in the Koodup camp are subjected to prejudice and racism by the white community. Both the barman and the police treat Billy with superiority, assuming that he was in jail (p. 113, l. 10) and that he was involved in the robbery because he is Aboriginal (p. 117, l. 22)

The story touches on various problems in the Aboriginal community, such as alcoholism, poverty, violence, and crime. These issues are, in large part, a consequence of the discrimination and inequality that Aboriginals were subjected to as a result of Australia’s colonization by Europeans, leaving many Aboriginal people trapped in a cycle of poverty.

The story also explores Billy’s contempt for his own people. While he takes pride in his heritage (p. 108, ll. 10-11), he looks down on other Aboriginals – including his family – because he perceives them as undignified and ignorant. This can be noticed most clearly in his attitude towards his uncle, whom he sends away (p. 10...

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