The 7 Stages of Grieving

The 7 Stages of Grieving

by

Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman

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The 7 Stages of Grieving: Scene 13: Mugshot Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The Woman delivers a long, emotionless monologue in the style of a court report. She describes an incident which takes place on November 7th, 1993, when a group of nine young Aboriginal men go out together in Southbank, a populous area of Brisbane. One of the men, Daniel Yocke, gets into an altercation with an unknown person. The group heads for another neighborhood, where they purchase alcohol and drink together in a public space called Musgrave Park. Two constables patrolling the area allegedly receive reports of the group being rowdy or even “abusive.” When the men leave the park and split up into smaller groups, the constables follow the largest group to another nearby park. The constables call for backup, and two more officers arrive.
In this scene, the Woman uses a real-life story of racial profiling and police brutality to illustrate the racism, prejudice, and structural inequality that her people must face on a daily basis. She chooses the style of a court report to relay the story of Daniel Yocke, just as she used the style of a stand-up comedy routine to relay her own story of racial profiling. Only by distancing herself from the material can the woman divorce herself enough from her grief and rage to deliver the facts—the emotional truth of the cruelty her people face is too much to bear otherwise.
Themes
Colonialism and Oppression Theme Icon
Feeling vs. Numbness  Theme Icon
As the group of Aboriginal men enter the park, the officers follow them. At this point in the story, the Woman stops abruptly and looks out at the audience for a moment before continuing with her report. As the group in the park disperses and runs from the constables, the police arrest Yocke and drive him to a nearby hostel, where they engage in a struggle with a group of youths. The Woman finally breaks down, crying out that Yocke was called “Boonie,” a racial slur used against Aboriginal Australians and Pacific Islanders. The woman quickly reels herself in and continues her report.
As the Woman continues telling Yocke’s story, she finds herself breaking as she gets to the most difficult, emotional parts of it. While the Woman has employed emotional distancing measures to tell the stories she needs to tell, she ultimately finds that she cannot hide her grief and pain, even though she hasn’t told the most difficult part yet.
Themes
Colonialism and Oppression Theme Icon
Feeling vs. Numbness  Theme Icon
Other officers arrive on the scene, patrolling the area for any other “offenders.” The police car carrying Yocke leaves the hostel and arrives at the Brisbane City Watchhouse (or police station). Upon Yocke’s arrival, he is in bad shape. The guards at the watchhouse soon notice he has no pulse and call an ambulance. When the ambulance arrives, the paramedics attempt to resuscitate him, then they take him to the Royal Brisbane Hospital where he is pronounced dead.
As the Woman concludes her story, she pulls herself together and delivers its tragic ending in the flat, disconnected monotone she originally adopted. The Woman is determined to share with the audience the hard facts of Yocke’s story, highlighting the apathy and brutality with which he had to contend in his final moments.
Themes
Colonialism and Oppression Theme Icon
Feeling vs. Numbness  Theme Icon
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