My Place Sally Morgan

My Place Sally Morgan - An emotive and shocking story about Aboriginal Culture that all Australians should read!


Whilst this is not the best written book, the story is absolutely shaming.

The ill treatment of Aboriginals is clear to see in this story by Sally Morgan.


Plot

My Place Sally Morgan



My Place by Sally Morgan is a story of 3 generations of Aboriginals.

Sally is the youngest of the three generations, being brought up by her Mum and Nan.

Her family keep secrets from her and eventually Sally wants to find out about her ancestors and family.

Her family have told her that she is Indian, but she discovers that she is in fact Aboriginal.

The stories about her Mother, Gran, Uncles etc are absolutely shocking and will stay with you a long time after reading the book.

Themes

My Place Sally Morgan


The Jesuits told us, "Give me a child until he's seven & I will give you the Man." Our formative years fashion us for life, so well illustrated here through Sally. She will never, for instance, marry a drinker or drink herself.

And she knows from an early age the value of saving money for a rainy day. And so on.

Secrets

Perhaps the major theme of the book is not to have secrets within the family. There are so many secrets in Sally's early life. Why are her Nan & her Mum so tight lipped? Why is her Nan so ashamed at being seen as black?

She has to find the answers to these questions & feels so much better when she does so. The secrets influence her whole life.

Family Life

Sally learns the value of the family & sticking together through thick & thin from an early age. There is so much evidence of this & it forms another major theme of the novel. Her Mum & Nan give Sally & her siblings such stability when life is far from easy for either of them.

General Effects of War

Sally's early story illustrates the wider effects of War, taking in whole families & friends as illustrated through Sally's father. He suffers very badly as a result of the 2nd W W; he's in & out of hospital, has terrible nightmares & is tyrannical with his family, drinking away the money they badly needed for food & bills. So as a girl who should have had a carefree childhood, she feels responsibility for her family in such a way that she grows up before her time. She worries about her parents' constant quarrels & an ongoing shortage of money.

Education

Her feelings of responsibility at home prevent her from taking education seriously. On the other hand, her sister, Jill, protected from alot of the problems, loves school. We also learn how at school there weren't always enough books & there was regular humiliation in the classroom.

Aboriginees & Whites

This is the most upsetting part of the book. Rarely has a book brought out such deep emotions in me: anger, sadness, tears etc. Arthur's, Nan's & Mum's stories are so upsetting & moving. The White's take their land & then treat very badly. I cried when Arthur was taken from his Mum, never to see her again. And again, when Gladys is taken away from Mum at the tender age of three. When Gladys is ill she HAS TO SEEK PERMISSION to go to see her!!!! Such terrible hardship. Nan speaks bitterly of white hypocrisy; they "take" Aboriginal women whenever they want, BUT when the Aboriginees do anything wrong, they are told, "You niggers don't know right from wrong." AND ALL THIS IS IN THE 1960's!

There is however laughter & a great feeling of togetherness in the family. Their laughter at the cinema is infectious & there is a lot of laughter & joy when the family is together. But a truly hilarious episode is when Sally's Mum tries to sort out the front of the house ready for the latter's wedding.

Questions?

My Place Sally Morgan



Can you remember an early experience which has had an effect on your life, for good or bad?

Do you think Nan is justified in how she feels about doctors and the government?


The stories in My Place Sally Morgan are shameful and shocking. Which one shocked you the most? Why?

Has My Place made you think differently about Aboriginals?

How would you describe the writing style? Did it add or detract from the quality of this novel?

Like?

My Place Sally Morgan



Our Book Club gave My Place Sally Morgan 7/10.

The story is one that you will remember way after reading it

It would have scored higher if not for the shortfall in its writing style.


it is only almost halfway through the book that the stories start to be told. The first part is not at all well written; We found it pretty banal.

BUT it is a successful read because eventually, she has such a good story to tell. I don't think I will ever forget the stories we are told, stories which I couldn't get out of my head days after finishing the book. That's why the book is a winner.

The messages to all who read the story, far outweigh its poor literary merit

Top of My Place Sally Morgan

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