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Word Count: 2,493
It is true that there is no one agreed voice through which Australia speaks about any topic Australia is a country of multiple voices and has a pluralistic outlook demonstrated by its culture population political spectrum and community leaders Australias richer tapestry of many identities means that that a multitude of voices contribute to its national identity - a topic that has been vehemently debated for years and will no doubt continue to be for years to come - as demonstrated by the texts An Open Swimmer by Tim Winton A Richer Tapestry of Many Identities by David Williamson Australia by AD Hope and In the Park by Gwen Harwood As the Australian identity becomes increasingly hard to define in these complex shifting times many are coming to believe that perhaps there is no such thing The issue of Australian identity is discussed in Tim Wintons award-winning coming-of-age novel An Open Swimmer through the Australian voice of Jerra Nilsam Set for the most part by the coast Jerra and his best mate Sean find themselves growing apart realizing they have different values and are pursuing different lifestyles Jerra is from a white working class family and is being pressured to go to uni settle down and find a career As he remembers the negative aspects of his past and talks to the old man who lives on the beach he comes to increasingly question these imposed values Tim Winton has approached the issue of Australian identity through the lens of young man finding his way into the world and by using an extended metaphor of the bush and the sea to describe Australians relationship with the physical landscape His view of Australia is very much tied up with its natural environment Some carefully selected motifs resonate throughout the novel including the notion of diving into the wreck which is established with a quote from Adrienne Richs poem Diving into the Wreck we are
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