An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow by ‘Les Murray

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In the poem, ‘An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow’ by ‘Les Murray’ reflects upon a different type of society as feelings and emotions are kept secret. In the first stanza of the poem Murray uses imagery to paint a picture in the readers mind of a busy city coming to a halt, ‘Pitt Street is baked up for almost half a mile. ’ At the end of the stanza Murray again uses imagery to make the readers see a man crying. People walk by him and see him crying but they do not stop him. The man in this poem is not crying of regret or remorse but to cleanse himself of all the bad things he has experienced.

In the seventh stanza of the poem a young woman reaches out to console the weeping man, by making him stop crying, but instead he passes the weeping onto her and others around her. Through their weeping they console the man and cause his weeping to come to a stop. Murray wrote in the eighth stanza that, ‘people join in and weep so that they could also be accepted but others do not weep for fear of all acceptance’. The reason why the women started to weep is so that the man wasn’t the only person, she wanted to feel as though she belonged.

In the ninth stanza and final stanza of the poem the man stops weeping and walks away as if he has been renewed for the tears he was weeping where tears of cleanliness and self-purification, cleaning himself of all impurities. The poem, ‘An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow’ is just one large metaphor as the man is a rainbow, people stop to look and are in awe that the fact that a man is crying and showing his feelings and emotions, as the society that we live in today, keep emotions secret.

In the contemporary aboriginal play, ‘Rainbows End’. The composer explores that the need to belong is not necessarily consistent with age. The composer explores this assumption through three main characters, Dolly, Gladys and Nan Dear. Nan is apart of the stolen generation and therefore has not known belonging since she was a young child and she only knows a sense of belonging to her birth place Gladys is different, she is though Nan Dears daughter but she however feels belonging in a much different way.

Gladys feels belonging to people rather than places. As long as Gladys is with her family she belongs Dolly on the other hand is a mixture of both Nan Dear and Gladys. Dolly feels as though she belongs to the aboriginal community of the ‘flats’ but she also feels as though she belongs to the white culture that surrounds her and her family The three main characters all from different generations and all have different views on belonging with some similarities

Dolly being the youngest of the three doesn’t necessarily feel as though she needs to belong where as Nan Dear on the other hand feels that she must belong or there’s no point in being there In the play, ‘Rainbows End’, the composer explores very complex concepts of belonging through the assumption, that the need to belong is not necessarily consistent with age, through the lives of Dolly, Gladys and Nan Dear.

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