Cultural Cringe- England & Australia
Dorothea Mackellar’s “My Country” and Barron Field’s “The Kangaroo”
Cultural cringe is an internalized belief by people that their own culture is more inferior to that of another country. This mostly results in the act of comparing cultural practices in their country with those of other countries. Below is a discussion about cultural cringe in relation to Dorothea Mackellar’s “My Country” and Barron Fields “The kangaroo”
The poem “My Country” bases its setting around the land of Australia, where Mackellar uses juxtaposition in the first two stanzas to bring out the idea of the unique Australia’s wild land scape compared to the England’s wild land scape.The scenery of England is described as ‘grey-blue distance, brown streams and dim skies; on the other hand the land scape of Australia is described as a land of sweeping plains, of droughts, flooding rain and ragged mountain ranges (Mackellar). When we look at the description of the two countries we are convinced that the author loves her country much and she tells us that the savannahs, and the unpredictable weather season makes it beautiful. This makes us see a different look of things when we engage this poem from a cultural cringe perspective because Mackellar loves her land much and appreciates deeply its harsh conditions for they make it even more beautiful.
On the other hand Barron fields “The Kangaroo” presents a good picture of the restored nature of the land of Australia through this strange animal kangaroo. In the third and the fourth lines of the first stanza the author says ‘ That redeems from utter failure, From perfect desolation,” In the third stanza the author potrays an appreciated spirit that has been brought forth by this animal, that at first had been confused to different animals and brought contradiction in description (Fields). When we look at the poem from the eye of cultural cringe we come to conclusion that the author appreciates the value that the kangaroo has added to the nature for it is a perfect thing.
In conclusion we can say that the two poems “my country” by Dorothea Fields and “The Kangaroo “by Barron Fields depict a true love for one’s own country as the two authors show an extended love to what nature has brought to their eyes. Their works show a strong appreciation that restores the glory of Australia.
Fields, Barron. Kangaroo. Sydney: Barn On The Hill, 1786.
Mackellar, Dorothea. My Country. Australia: HarperCollins Publishers , 1908.