The Shifting Heart

The play ‘The Shifting Heart’ was written by Richard Beynon. By analyzing this play, it is evident that the characterization and various scenarios display relevance in modern Australian history. This is shown particularly through racism, as well as through violence, stereotypes, and relationships within family members. Although these are evident, some elements such as the language – which is generally outdated, and the perception of a family household/neighborhood is no longer a true representation.

‘The Shifting Heart’ was set in the 1950’s in a community where people did not accept migrants. In this play, the ‘Bianchi’ family – consisting of Momma, Poppa, Gino and Maria, moved to Australia from Italy, which ultimately generated problems regarding their lifestyle in Australia. Incidentally, one major problem was racial discrimination. Gino Bianchi, the son of Poppa Bianchi and Momma Bianchi, is often discriminated against and accused by the community for situations he never committed, primarily based on his heritage background. Gino is accused for queue jumping at work and is involved in fights at the dance, which consequently lead to his death – being violently attacked by a group of Australians.   Although racial discrimination has diminished over the years due to the Racial Discrimination Act introduced in 1975; racism is still a major issue in Australia and many other countries around the world. With ongoing bashings, bullying and “stereotyping” which leads into the second point of relevance.

Although stereotypes are not as mean and cruel, people still use them in modern Australian history. Though one may not be particularly be aware, things such as “Smart Asians” and “Indian Taxi Drivers” are stereotypes used every day. Which is evident when Mr. Wilson - who works at the shop - finds it amusing to refer Mr.’s Bianchi as “Momma Macaroni” and Mr. Bianchi as “Poppa Spaghetti” this is discrimination as it is not only an insult but also prejudice. Though...