Dougy Book Essay Examples

 

Dougy

Chapter OneIntroduction to the town – small town with an aboriginal population. We hear the story of theMoodagudda, a dreamtime story about a spirit in the river. Introduction to the characters –Gracey (Dougy’s big sister and his friend, a runner), Raymond (loves rugby, big brother, tryingto sneak a drink of grog), Johnny Warren (another aboriginal kid, a bad reputation amongstthe white community), Dougy’s dad (a drunk, hardly ever around, tells the story of theMoodagudda), Dougy’s mother (strict, doesn’t like it when dad is drunk, but in first chapter she is laughing along with the story, doesn’t believe the Moodagudda is real), Cooper (drivesa red panel van, white guy, his dad lives by the river in a shack, has many visits from the localpolice because he keeps bashin’ his dad), Dougy (an aboriginal kid, feels that he is invisiblebecause people seem to look straight through him, a bag of bones, a no-hoper, scared of thestory about the Moodagudda, walks his drunk father home – too scared to put his back to theriver, he tells us he is the only one who gets to see the Moodagudda).Chapter TwoLive near Cunningham – about an hour (two stubbies) away. Mr Jenkins comes everyweekend to train Gracey in her running. Paddy O’Shea comes to pick up the rent from thehouses along ‘Sesame Street’ – always gets his money from Dougy’s house. Mr Jenkins tellsGracey about the State Championships in Brisbane, and starts trying to organise somefunding. All Gracey’s friends are celebrating her good news until they tell their parents – theparents tell the children that it isn’t fair, that the government gives too much money to theblack people. Dougy’s family are all going to go to Brisbane to see Gracey race.Chapter ThreeOn the train to Brisbane. Dougy uncomfortable but happy to be experiencing new things.Very excited to be on a train and is constantly looking out through the window. Dougy has avision of yellow faces staring at him from the field (sunflowers). On arriving in Brisbane,Dougy is concerned because they are the only aboriginal people he can see. They catch ataxi to their hostel. The taxi driver asks for money before they ride because he thinks theywon’t be able to pay. Steve meets them at the hostel, and offers to drive them around. Hetakes them to the running track for Gracey to have a practice. Steve takes Raymond andDougy to look at Lang Park (the rugby field). Raymond thinks the trip to the field is the bestthing ever and tells them that he will play there one day. Merv gets upset that they wereallowed into the park and tells them to leave. Dougy is upset because there is no way thatRaymond would have done anything to harm even a blade of grass in the ‘holiest of holies’.Chapter Four Steve offers to drive the family to the track for the first race – but they end up running late.Gracey goes straight to the starting line and registers to race. She is nervous about the raceand blows chunks on some random lady. Her shoes, a gift from Mr. Jenkins, are designed for racing on grass not on the special red surface of the track and she is not allowed to race inthem. She races barefoot and wins. Gracey makes a new ‘friend’, Tanya, who came secondin the championships last year.Chapter FiveGracey and Mum sit up late talking about the race. Gracey is concerned that there are highexpectations of her because she is an aborigine. There are nine girls in Gracey’s final race.Mum, Raymond and Dougy go to the finish line so that they can see who will win the race.The whole crowd is watching and even mum is yelling for Gracey. Gracey is State Championand everyone celebrates – except for Tanya, who is upset to be beaten again. Gracey isinterviewed by some journalists and the boys get in the photo for the newspaper. MrsGranello offers Gracey a scholarship to Hamilton College in Brisbane, the same schoolMelissa Brodie has been going to. All her school fees will be paid, and even travel home inthe school holidays, as long as Gracey will train and race for the College. The newspaper article comes out the next day and everyone is very excited. Gracey sees another article inthe paper that shows a drunken Melissa Brodie being taken away by police after sneaking outof school.

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Dougy (ISBN 0702224995) [1]) is a young adult novel written by James Moloney and first published in 1993 by University of Queensland Press. By 2013 the National Library of Australia listed 18 editions of the novel in a variety of formats including book, audio book, braille and e-book.[2] It is the first book in the Gracey trilogy, followed by Gracey (1994) and Angela (1998) In 1994 it was an Honour Book in the category of Older Readers in the Children's Book Council of Australia Awards.[3] James Moloney taught for 2 years in outback Queensland and his observation from that time developed into the novel. "I watched aboriginal children growing up, the difficulties they faced, the close family relations that mean so much and the ingrained prejudice of the dominant white culture around them." [4] The book is dedicated to Douglas Collins, a student Moloney taught, who collapsed and died during a rugby game.

Plot summary[edit]

The story as told by Dougy tells us about an aborigine family living in southwest Queensland, Australia. Dougy is thirteen years old and lives in government subsidised housing with a seldom seen alcoholic father. His sister Gracey is a talented runner who wins a scholarship to a private school and this leads to resentment from the white community who see it as another government handout. The blacks and white live an uneasy co-existence but when an alarming incident occurs the underlying racial tension surfaces and violence erupts.[5]

Themes[edit]

The are several themes in the book relevant to teenagers and these make it useful as a set text in senior schools

  • Relationships : between Dougy and Gracey and their family, mistrust between black and white communities; the closeness and support within the black community[5]
  • Identity : Dougy and Gracey lack of knowledge of and interest in their Aboriginality[5]
  • Racial issues : the uneasy co-existence of the black and white communities; resentment by white of blacks receiving government money; stereotyped attitudes[5]
  • Aboriginal Spirituality : connection to the land and stories through the legend of the Moodagudda[5]

The Gracey Trilogy[edit]

The Gracey Trilogy includes:

References[edit]

External links[edit]

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