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“Wake In Fright”: An Honest Critique Of Australian Society

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“Wake in fright”: An Honest Critique of Australian society

Australia, the average assumption would think of this continent as a hot, tropical, beach stricken paradise with many wonderful attractions. And they are right. Yet within this beautiful continent there are many obscurities filtering this so called “paradise” into one of the most dangerous places on the earth. Attractive beaches are asking to be swum in with their perfect waves; not showing that over the next break is an 18 foot Great white shark. The Outback is the heart of Australia possessing many amazing attractions, but where unbearable heat and unchanging environments combined can cause strange things to happen. Wake in Fright portrays the Australian outback in a rather peculiar way highlighting its ruthlessness, linking to horrible incidences showing that this so called “paradise” contains hidden impurities. Therefore Wake in Fright is an honest critique of Australian society.

Tourism is everywhere, you may be serving a tourist at your work place or even be lucky enough to be yourself a tourist. Australia is considered a paradise with many beaches and a desolate outback in the centre of the continent. According to The Tourism Forecasting Committee (TFC) forecasts for Australian inbound arrivals to decrease by 0.5 per cent in 2006 to around 5.5 million. The predicted 5.5 million is a huge number and a quarter of this number visit parts of the outback. Uluru in Alice Springs and Coober Pedy(opal mines) are the most visited areas in the outback welcoming tourists from all over the world. Tourists often visit the outback with high expectations thinking that it’s going to be a great adventure by experiencing the high heats and great natural attractions, and they are right. But what they don’t know is that the Australian outback can also be one of the most dangerous and frightening places.

Danger can come in many forms and in some way or another we experience danger everyday. Crossing the road, walking around and even driving in your car you experience risks taken that involve dangerous circumstances. The book Wake in Fright delivers messages of danger throughout different incidences, which somehow refer back to the outback. The outback can be described in many different ways that often highlights the positives or negatives. “The Aussie outback is a lyrical land of Banjo Patterson's poems and Frederick McCubbin's sun-washed paintings, misty valleys and billy tea.”

Or “It can't compete with the immediate terror of the ocean's sharks and stingrays, but it’s the heat and remoteness of the outback that can fry you”

John Grant experiences many risky and dangerous activities throughout the book and he blames it on the outback. While staying in this rather peculiar township he meets many new faces, distinguishing between friends and foes. Grant experiences many instances in which his life is put in danger. From the daily overdose of alcohol, to the most disturbing sequence in which Doc Tydon and his buddies take their guest on a night-time kangaroo hunt where John enthusiastically joins in the drunken bloodlust of his companions. Throughout this kangaroo hunt there are countless instances of insanity and violence, but yet again the Outback is renowned for these kinds of instances.

Violence is a very disturbing thing that we see everyday. Wars, sports and even obtaining food involve violence. Throughout chapter 3 in the book “wake in fright” there is a major scene in which John Grant, Doc Tydon, Joe, Dick set



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