Analysis Of James Vance Marshall's 'Walkabout'

938 Words4 Pages
Marie Choi-Schattle 11/3/17 Section 3
The values and beliefs about culture that we are surrounded by as children stay with us throughout our lives. This is shown in the novel Walkabout by James Vance Marshall, which illustrates the discrimination and prejudice that people had rooted in them, using characters from very different cultures. This novel is about two American children, Mary and Peter, in a plane crash, in the middle of the Australian desert. There they meet an Aboriginal boy of about thirteen or fourteen on his walkabout, or test of fitness and wit, who helps them survive and find food. Mary is thirteen and Peter is eight. All three characters’ views of other cultures are very different. Walkabout shows that different upbringings influence the way that people think about other cultures by illustrating Mary, Peter, and the Aboriginal boy’s point of view through their treatment of the other characters’ cultures. To begin, Mary has a negative view of the Aboriginal culture. She thinks that the culture is primitive and unacceptable. In the text, James Vance Marshall states, “The thing that she couldn’t accept, the thing that seemed to her shocking and indecently wrong, was the fact that the boy was naked.”(Marshall, 41) This shows that she can’t accept that it is okay for them to not wear clothes, and the word “indecent” implies that his behavior violated everything she had learned. These thoughts are caused by her upbringing, where she learned that not wearing
Open Document