Black Diggers

Black Diggers


Tom Wright

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A disorder in people who have experienced traumatic events frequently relive those events and their emotional impact. Although it is a recent technical term, the disorder was first brought to public attention after World War One, when it was commonly referred to as “shell shock,” the classic symptoms of which included a blank stare, constant panic, and loss of normal functions (like sleeping, talking, and/or eating). A number of the “black diggers,” including Bertie, Tommy, and Nigel, clearly suffered from PTSD or shell shock during and after the War.

PTSD Quotes in Black Diggers

The Black Diggers quotes below are all either spoken by PTSD or refer to PTSD. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Australian Nationhood and Indigenous Dispossession Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Playlab edition of Black Diggers published in 2015.
Act One Quotes

And the worst of it is that Ollie is still alive, he’s in the hospital and he hasn’t got a face but he’s alive Aunty May. But he hasn’t got a face Aunty May, he hasn’t got a face.

Related Characters: Archie (speaker), Aunty May
Related Symbols: Letters
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:
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Black Diggers PDF

PTSD Term Timeline in Black Diggers

The timeline below shows where the term PTSD appears in Black Diggers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
End Matter
War, Violence, and Shell Shock Theme Icon
History, Memory, and the Archive Theme Icon
...the war, something the government failed to do—and this failure contributed to the prevalence of PTSD among Indigenous World War One veterans. (full context)