Details of Thesis

Title Fear Under their Feet: Anzac icon of heroes, regional perspectives
Author Fox, Noela Mary
Institution Australian Catholic University
Date 1998
Abstract Aims: This thesis is centred in the question of the Australian image of the heroic. The European settlement in a land geographically alien to, and distanced from, those lands which had been left, and the convict beginnings of the Australian society would have had an impact on the Colonials, their view of themselves, and their relationships between each other and the land. The often violent nature of the contact between the new arrivals and the original inhabitants, and the various turning points of history, such as their involvement in World War 1, have all influenced Australia's concept of the heroic. This thesis examines an historic event to which Australians turn again and again, an event which has become mythologised and ritualised to give Australians their heroes, and a "blue-print" for living. Some of the questions, which emerge, are: What is the Australian experience of the heroic? Does this differ from that of other countries'? Does the celebration of the heroes have the potential to provide Australians with a mystical experience? Could it enable them to live in an "I-Thou" relationship with each other? Scope: An attempt is made to answer these questions by examining the Anzac experience and its commemoration, exploring its impact on the original Anzacs and subsequent Anzacs, and on the Australian people in general. The myth and ritual of Anzac day, from their inception to the present period, are analysed to assess what image of the hero emerges. This image and its celebration are juxtaposed against those of several other nations, to ascertain if differences emerge. The nature of mysticism is reviewed in an effort to see if any of the elements of mysticism can be applied to the Anzac myth. Conclusion: It is argued that the Australian concept and celebration of the heroic differs from that of other countries'. I believe that, although the Australian hero figure was conceived in the "bush" culture, he/she came to birth on the battlefields of World War 1. Moreover, since Gallipoli, the heroic image has been imprinted on the Australian psyche through the myth and ritual of Anzac, which has the possibility to provide a mystical experience for those open to its spirit. Furthermore, the Anzac hero has become the prototype for all Australian heroes.
Thesis 01front.pdf  286KB
02chapter1.pdf 3,897KB
03chapter2.pdf  3,193KB
04chapter3.pdf 2,554KB
05chapter4.pdf  2,536KB
06chapter5.pdf 1,668KB
07bibliography.pdf  904KB
 

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