Rainbows End

Belonging and not belonging are concepts defined by the individual experiencing them. Conflict between perceptions of belonging in families, communities and relationships can create tension for the individual and their journey. In Australian society the Indigenous population has been traditionally disempowered and sidelined and many were removed from their place of origin, severing their original belonging to family and community. The play Rainbow’s End by Jane Harrison discusses the journey of an individual and how their sense of belonging influences that journey. This essay will discuss the ideas and issues surrounding belonging as well as how Jane Harrison has portrayed them in the text.  

Rainbow’s End explores the key ideas and issues surrounding belonging and how they are received and portrayed. The concept of belonging in this text is developed through the characterization of three Aboriginal females who all come from a different generation over the course of an Indigenous struggle. Harrison has explored the hardship of the Aboriginal community through issues such as family, discrimination and the harshness of society. She uses the family of three to expose the past treatment and how a sense of belonging can be formed among the marginalized.
The family all have different points of view and opinions on white community and their position as an aboriginal. Harrison forms the characters view point through the use of dream sequences. She lets the reader look into the characters sub-conscious mind. It is during these dream sequences that the reader is shown the characters longing for acceptance from white society, this technique not only portrays the characters longing for acceptance but also the characters acceptance of their situation, as Harrison has intentionally not given Nan Dear a dream sequence. Nan Dear is against white society and uses this to form her identity as an Aboriginal. Gladys desperately wants to be white as she is a product of the white...