Formulations of New Zealand identity : re reading Man alone, The bone people and Once were warriors (2001)
AuthorsStachurski, Christinashow all
John Mulgan's Man Alone (1939), Keri Hulme's the bone people (1983) and Alan Duffs Once Were Warriors (1990) are considered in terms of developments in settler acculturation. These three novels' contents and implications can be thought of as marking distinct stages in the general formulation and experience of collective Pakeha identity through cultural discourse: the late colonial disregard and distancing of Maori; the anti-colonial embrace of the Maori as a means of claiming indigeneity; and the stage of internal de-colonisation in which Maori are once again cast as other and scapegoated. My study focuses upon personal identity in tandem with collective identity, as representations of race and/or ethnicity are commonly enmeshed with constructions of sex, gender and sexuality (as well as what can loosely be called geography) in these novels. As a part of this process, I test in particular the thesis that the various versions of Maoriness represented in Man Alone, the bone people and Once Were Warriors are a crucial factor in these novels' cultural significance for Pakeha. At the same time, I focus upon the ways in which these various versions of Maoriness signify both the concept "Pakeha" - or otherwise - and complexities within Pakeha.