Australian Literature: Prominent Themes of Australian Literature

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Australian Literature

What is Australian Literature?

Australian literature is a literary piece of writing in oral or written form produced in Australia

Australian Literature
  • The Aboriginals did not have any written Literature
  • Literary writings began with European Settlers in 1788.

Prominent Themes of Australian Literature

  • Landscape and Environment
  • Australian Culture
  • Identity of settlers
  • Isolation and estrangement
  • Migration experience

Genres of Australian Literature

Four major genres of Australian literature are

  • The ripping yarn
  • Bush poetry
  • Twentieth Century Australian works
  • Indigenous Australian literature

The Ripping Yarn

  • Australia՚s oldest literary convention Tales of adventures and struggles of the settlers in an unfamiliar land
  • Stories about natural disaster there struggle to survive against all odds
  • This literature helped the European to gain knowledge about the newly found land of Australia

Bush Poetry

  • Most famous of Australian literature
  • The songs tell personal stories of life in the wide-open country of Australia.
  • Typical subjects include mining, raising and droving cattle, wanderings, war stories, class conflicts between the landless working class and the landowners.

Key Poets of Bush Poetry

  • “Freedom on the Wallaby” by Henry Lawson
  • “The Sick Stockrider” by Adam Lindsay Gordon
  • “Waltzing Matilda” by Banjo Paterson

Twentieth Century Australian Works

New developments, new themes emerged during this time like multiculturalism, feminism, and so on

Predominant writers include

  • A. D. Hope,
  • Judith Wright,
  • David Malouf
  • Patrick White
  • Kenneth Slessor,
  • Les Murray

Indigenous Australian Literature

  • Indigenous Australian literature is the fiction, plays, poems, essays and other works authored by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia.
  • Noticed recently in 1960s
  • Expression of culture, struggles

Major Authors

  • Jack Davis
  • Kim Scott
  • Kate Howarth
  • Kevin Gilbert