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Coonardoo and My Brother Jack

             a) "Critics have commented on the absence of love in Australian fiction. Even though most novels include heterosexual relationships, these are usually secondary to other relationships and are rarely a novels central concern." Discuss in relation to two of the novels studied this semester.
             *Coonardoo and My Brother Jack.
             Written by Belinda Adam.
             Both Australian fictional works; Coonardoo, by Katherine Susannah Prichard and My Brother Jack, by George Johnston deal with the idea of love. It is however said that Australian fiction is mainly absent of love, apart from the typical heterosexual relationships which are usually secondary to other relationships that are the novels central concern. I find that this statement is quite true, in regard to the previously mentioned works. The love theme running throughout the works is strongly marginalised by the more prominent and profound ones such as that of the racism, cultural and social boundaries in Coonardoo and the theme of displacement in My Brother Jack. .
             Both novels do contain as the statement confirms, heterosexual relationships but these are secondary to the main concern of the stories. In fact both novels seem to use the absence of love to their advantage, heightening the feelings of unhappiness and hardship, which are common themes in Australian literature.
             My Brother Jack is the story of Australian life as seen through he eyes of Davy Meredith, who grows up in the shadow of his older brother Jack. Davy's displacement in society, his relationships with his family and his brother, are the main themes throughout the story. The idea of 'love' or 'romantic love' rarely seems to be brought up. It is through the absence of love that the feeling of the story is really brought to life. Each of the characters is made to lack in emotion, and this is what develops the story and Davy's life. It may be said that the theme of hate or contempt would be much stronger themes throughout this novel than 'love'.

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