The 7 Stages of Grieving

The 7 Stages of Grieving


Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman

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The 7 Stages of Grieving: Scene 20: Wreck / con / silly / nation Poem Summary & Analysis

The Woman, fresh and clean and stripped of paint, returns to the stage. The words wreck, con, silly, and nation are projected around the stage—each word is written in a childlike script. The woman delivers an abstract poem in which she describes a wreck on arrival, a changing nation, a con, silly pride for sale, and a nation that knows her identity. She finishes the poem with an image of sun, land, and people traveling.
The abstract poem the Woman shares in this scene breaks down the word “Reconciliation”—the Australian movement to repair relations between white Australians and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people—and points out the ridiculousness of the concept by mocking the four smaller words that “reconciliation” breaks down into (wreck, con, silly, nation). Colonialism is a “con,” the woman asserts, which has “wreck[ed]” her people’s land. The “silly” pride of colonists and a “nation” built for only a select few are subjects of the Woman’s contempt—yet as the scene closes, she chooses to invoke some pleasant images which speak to a hope she still harbors in spite of everything.
Colonialism and Oppression Theme Icon
Memory and Family Trauma Theme Icon
Aboriginal Identity, Pride, and Resilience Theme Icon