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Wandering Girl, What Insights Essay

1125 words - 5 pages

From your study of "Wandering Girl", what insights have you gained about the challenges Glenyse faced as a young person? "Wandering Girl" by Glenyse Ward tells her story of a young Aboriginal girl living a life of many challenges. She was taken away from her mother at the age of three and was brought up in a Catholic mission called "Wandering" until the age of 16. From there Glenyse went to work for the Bigelows, a white family who lived on a farm in the remote outback of Western Australia. The Bigelow's house was very grand and luxurious compared to her home at the mission. She thought she would really enjoy living on the farm, however she did not realise how much she would eventually come ...view middle of the document...

He was a kind and caring old man who treated Glenyse as a person."I felt very happy that I found a friend… he told me to call him Bill and not to forget - If I ever needed him I knew what to do." (Pg.66) Glenyse lived in an unfamiliar environment where she was not familiar with the equipment the Bigelow family had in their house. Glenyse had never used equipment like a telephone or a percolator when she lived at the mission and as a result she did not know how they worked. Glenyse was never taught what to do but she was just expected to know. However, if she did not do it correctly Mrs Bigelow called her "A very stupid girl!" On one occasion Glenyse had to take a flask of tea and basket of sandwiches to the shearing team half a mile from the house. Instead of walking right around the road Glenyse thought she would take a short cut straight down the hill and over a makeshift bridge. As Glenyse got half way across the bridge it broke and she found her herself in the water and the sandwiches floating beside her. Glenyse quickly got up and ran back to the house where Mrs Bigelow found her wet and dirty. Mrs Bigelow's son then pulled up in his car and handed his mother the wet basket and cracked thermos, which he found floating down the stream. Mrs Bigelow then turned to Glenyse in front of her son and yelled at her. "You clumsy, stupid girl! I can't trust you to do anything- that bridge was made for ducks!" (Pg. 143) Mrs Bigelow always humiliated Glenyse and she made Glenyse feel terrible.Discrimination was another challenge that Glenyse faced in the Bigelow household. This made Glenyse feel different. She drank from a tin mug whilst the Bigelow family ate and drank from fine crockery. She was not allowed to eat the same food as the Bigelows, for...

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