Ernest Solomon Scat: The Settlement Of Australia

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Ernest Solomon Scat, the grandfather, portrays a white way of defining history and history writing. There is one passage that particularly emphasizes what history meant for many settler Australians. Apart from his ambition concerning breeding out the colour of people, he expresses the dream to open a Bed and Breakfast inn on his land, offering ‘cultural’ and ‘historical’ information alongside the board and lodging.

This quote not only confirms the assumption that white history excludes Aborigines and their view on the past, but it also offers examples of what history in some people’s opinion should contain to make it worthwhile: “Adventure, enterprise, vision”… (24) It also suggests motivations some people had for writing history. The settlement of Australia is of significant importance for the settler population of Australia, as they needed to reconstruct their identity as well. Being part of reconstructing, documenting and presenting this history of settlement is depicted as one of the major reasons for many of the white characters in Benang. Another example for the white understanding of history can be found on page 155f, where Ernest takes his family to the photographer. Photographs, as presumably most authentic documentations of
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Even though the character of Harley never actually meets the character of the Constable in person and can thus only imagine what might have happened at the meetings, the above quoted passage still questions the credibility of official accounts. Even if in this particular case the fictive critique of the Constable’s attitude towards accounts is wrong, the general critique nevertheless remains eligible. And even if it is taken into consideration that both the narrating I and Constable Hall are nothing more than characters in a novel, invented by the author Kim Scott, the critique doesn’t forfeit its

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