Dr Mark’s The Meaning in a Nutshell

Philip Hodgins, Dispossessed: A Tale of modern Rural Australia (1994)

Philip Hodgins’ poetic novel in unrhymed blank verse Dispossessed: A Tale of Modern Rural Australia (1994) tells the story of a farming family that is evicted from their land because they fail to meet the interest payments on loans from a bank.  Consequently, the text presents a protest against the federal government’s deregulation of the banking sector and the ruthlessness of the banks whose lending policies devastated rural Australia. 

In addition to this, Hodgins’ text critically contrasts traditional farming attitudes and practices with more progressive approaches that are more politically correct and environmentally aware.  This provides a basis for him to mount a critique of the kinds of conservative and nationalist attitudes and beliefs associated with the rural-based National Party and pre-war Australia. 

Hodgins’ story of rural hardship is in the social realist tradition, highlighting the injustice experienced by the ‘have nots’ in the face of the ‘haves’.  While doing this, he employs the Australian vernacular to give the text a distinctly Australian flavour even though its Marxist-influenced theme of ordinary people facing injustice in the face of ruthless finance capitalism is universal. 

Student resources by Dr Mark Lopez

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The purpose of the concise notes of Dr Mark’s The Meaning in a Nutshell is to provide much needed help to students seeking to unlock the meaning of the texts with which they have to deal.  (More elaborate notes are provided in lessons as part of my private tutoring business.) 

Subject: Dispossessed meaning, Dispossessed themes, Dispossessed analysis, Dispossessed notes