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Harry Back Story – Review

By : Fajar Sukmana

Differences among the society are certain, but the way how people

discriminating other people by looking at race, religion and others is the wrong way

of thought that people have. Harry is one of lots of black skinned people that has ever

felt how rude and hurt racism is. Aboriginal has ever felt the dark past where they

were treated so bad in the past in Australia. Here is a story about how does racism

exist in a society in the past. Then, there are two big points that need to be reviewed

in this short story.

Harry Back Story is a short story about how Harry (Aboriginal) through his

life in racism. This story takes place in Australia when the World War I happened. In

the story, racism feels so hurt for Harry to be through. “Listen Here, did you think

that I would believe that you blacks actually got accepted and fought for the country?

Hah, that’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all day. Now move the fuck along, I still

have thousands of people to organize.” This part of the story strongly shows how

rude Australian treated the Aboriginal in Australia in the past.

When it was colonized by Europeans, Australia was declared terra nullius;

there were no formally binding treaties made with Indigenous Australians, so there

was no recognition of the rights of the Indigenous inhabitants. The Defense Act of

1903 stated that all males aged from 12 to 25 would receive military training; as

Aboriginal Australians were not of European descent, they were exempt from
military service. (It was not until 1949 that all restrictions were lifted, enabling

Indigenous Australians to join the Australian military forces.1

The setting in the story is not clear enough for the readers. The writer does not

put the setting of place clearly, for example; “Harry strides over the counter...” the

exact place of the counter does not write clearly. The setting of time is also not clear

enough for the readers. The writer writes the setting of time looks jumping. When the

plot is changing from present to the past, the writer only put a symbol without writing

the exact time. However, the setting of nuance is described well in this story. The

writer makes the readers can imagine how life that Harry being through in the story.

“He sits up on his makeshift bed; an old sleeping bag, pillow, and a pile of last

week’s newspapers.” This part of the story describes the nuance of the story well,

making the readers can imagine the condition at that time.

There are lots of writers styles in writing. Using a jumping plot is one of

writers style of writing. The writer of Harry Back Story makes the plot of the story

not boring by arranging the plot from present to the past and then go back to the

present again. It catches the attention of the reader to read the story. And also, the

writer has a good choice of words which makes the story can be imagined by the

readers well.
The writer hits the story by writing the story by her own way. The racism that

Harry being through can be described well untill the readers can feel how hurt and

rude the racism is. The nuance of the story touches the readers deepest feelings. But

then, it would be better if the writer put the clear setting of place and time in the story

to make the readers understand well about the story. Overall, the story catches the

reader attention to read in term of the feeling.

1
https://www.awm.gov.au/about/our-work/projects/indigenous-service.com