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Issue Details: First known date: 1998... 1998 Competing Discourses in 'The Kangaroo Hunters'
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Pope's detailed analysis of the novel, The Kangaroo Hunters, or, Adventures in the Bush, contends that while author Bowman 'makes her protest about received ideas regarding masculinity and empire, it is a modified statement which is itself subverted by the power of the dominant discourses which construct imperial discourse.' (46). Pope discusses the composition of Bowman's fictive constructions arguing that stories offer 'moral' truths rather than verifiable truths or probabilities and links this to the tendency of women writers to (traditionally) write in genres in which the 'truth status of the work was less questioned', such as nursery rhymes and fairy tales. In 1858, women writing about travel adventures for the young was rare and 'probably risky' considering that 'accounts of travel which demonstrated women as confronting and overcoming difficult circumstances in their own were presumed to be lies or gross exaggerations' (36-37). Pope critiques the text from the position that 'within imperial discourse other discourses circulate within their own systematic sets of ideas' and establishes how Bowman engages with discourses of race and (white) racial superiority, religion and Christianity, science and class in ways which 'frequently exceed or transgress the limits and conventions of what was accepted at the time' (37). However Pope argues that the discursive frameworks which the text attempts to challenge ultimately prevail in reinforcing the fundamental ideologies of masculine dominance (46).

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Last amended 3 Dec 2013 14:48:35
36-46 Competing Discourses in 'The Kangaroo Hunters'small AustLit logo Papers : Explorations into Children's Literature