The Autobiography


The Autobiography ‘My Place’ By Sally Morgan Essay, Research Paper

The autobiography ‘My Place’ by Sally Morgan explores Sally’s experiences in her own life, growing up in surburban Perth in the fifties and sixties. Through the memories and images of her childhood and adolescence, vauge hints and echoes begin to emerge, hidden knowledge is uncovered, and a fascinating story unfolds-a mystery of identity complete with clues and suggested solutions. There were many influences in Sally?s life, the main ones were people she knew, places she went and events that took place at that particular place with that person. These influences were all revealed through the author?s choice of words.The two most important figures in Sally?s life were her mother (Gladis corooner) and her Nan (Daisy Corooner). Since her father was not around at all in her teenage years, which were her most critical years for a role model, she looked towards her mother for every answer. Her mother was kind and loving. Although, when Sally?s father died Sally?s mother had to work, so Sally?s Nan became her new rolemodel. Sally?s nan did not stay Sally?s rolemodel for long, because as Sally grew older she realised that Nan and herself had not much in common. The only thing they really had in common was their love for nature. Both nan and Sally had a soft spot in their hearts for nature. When Sally was a small child, Nan would wake her up in the crisp of the morning to listen for the call of wild animals. Nan and Sally would sit for hours listening and waiting to hear those beautiful sounds of the Earth. This influenced Sally?s life because later on in her life she became very loving towards nature and any stray animal would find a home in their house. This was revealed through repetition because Sally Morgan constantly talked about the asapects of nature and Nan.

Now with Sally?s mother finding a job she had more money to spend so Sally?s life became much more luxurious. Sally and her family enjoyed their time spent together. Sally believed that a families closeness towards eachother was very important. Sally?s mother was an influence in Sally?s life because Sally?s mother was really the only female Sally could look up too. She could look up to Nan, but Nan and Sally had their differences. So Sally?s mother had an important role in Sally?s life because she helped Sally find her place and identity in life. This was revealed through Sally?s repetition of the events which occured between Sally and her mother.From a very young age of five years old, Sally had a feeling she was remotly differently. “I was a grubby five year-old in a grubby environment” (p.11). She felt this way as she walked through the hospital which she described with all the negative thoughts she could think of. Sally felt different because she was full of secret fears. Fears because her father was always sick, always being assured that he would get better when Sally knew he would not. As time progressed she was enrolled into school. School was a turn around for Sally, as it opened up a new world, and she began to look at the world with new ideas and thoughts. She learnt to read, and by far, was one of the best readers in her class. Reading also opened a new window for her, but unfortunatly, her teacher Miss Glazberg was prejudice towards her, and shut that window. When Sally?s mother asked that Sally be given a new book, Miss Glazberg refused for no other reason than prejudice. Miss Glazberg was too short-sighted in Sally?s reading ability to realise that Sally should be given a new book. Miss Glazberg was not very appreciative towards Sally?s reading ability.When Year 2 arrived, Sally started to get more of an idea that she was different. Sally couldn?t prevent herself from wetting her pants one day. “You dirty, dirty, girl” Miss Roberts took her and pushed her out the door. This influenced her life in a negative way. Her attitude towards school took an even rapid downhill turn after that incident. It made her feel different from the other children in her class. She felt isolated and alone. This was revealed that it was an important influence by Sally Morgan because she wrote two and a half chapters about it, which shows that it stuck in her mind and she will never forget it till the day she dies. Now everything that she does, that has some resemblance to her schooling life, she will remember feeling alone, distant, and not wanted by others.In 1959, when Sally was in Year 3, her identity began to matter. Kids at school were pestering her brother Billy, sister Jill and Sally about what nationality they are. Whenever they told the other children they were Australians, the other children would tell them they?re not. Sally asked her mother and her mother after a lot of pressure told Sally they were Indian, (but they were really Aboriginals). Sally felt good to finally have answer. She was actually excited about being Indian. Half way through year 4 Sally?s father died. He actual didn?t die-he committed suicide. Sally managed to overcome this incident as her family didn?t really talk about it, it came as sort of a relief for Sally, and she started to feel better about herself because she didn?t feel sacred at night and there were no more hospital or ambulances. Her father dying was not a real influence in her life, because her father was not really spoken of and after he died he was not mentioned at all.Sally had a real hard time coping with her family because of the way her father was. She consistently lived in fear because her father was a alcoholic and suffered mentally from a war he was involved in years ago. Sally felt sorry for her father and blamed herself for being to young. After her fathers? suicidal death Sally?s family began to get back on track. Sally?s mother found a job and therefore the family had an income coming in. Sally?s uncle Frank and auntie Lois help Sally and family get back on track. Her father was a negative influence on her life because while he was alive she was full of fears, and she was often scared of what might happen-exceptionally when he came home very drunk. After his death her auntie?s and uncles help was a good influence on Sally because it gave her something to hope for. They gave her a new light for her dark tunnel, it showed that there was hope to a happy, safe life.One of Sally?s biggest battle was overcoming secondary education. Sally was placed in the lower class of the professional stream. “I didn?t know whether I wanted to laugh or cry. I hated school, yet, at the same time, I didn?t want people thinking I was the sort of kid who didn?t have a brain in her head.” (p.83). This is what Sally said when she was told she was in the D class. When Sally turned 14 she was becoming more aware that she was different from the other kids at school. She felt she had little in common with the other girls. Slowly, she would start wagging school. As time passed wagging school become more frequent for her. This wagging of school sums up what Sally was like at that point in her life. The influence this had on Sally?s life was rather negative. It should that she came be irresponsible and that she obviously does not what to get a good education and make something of herself. This was relied has a negative influence on her life through Sally Morgan writing how she skipped school and particular events that occur through her skipping school.At school, Sally was warned and warned about strangers. On one of Sally?s summer vacation she experienced a rather upsetting event. While on holidays an uncle and auntie come to stay at their place for a while. Sally?s uncle was very friendly towards Sally and her sister Jill and often told them how nice they both were. Eventually after time, Sally?s uncle tried to sexual abuse her. This had a negative influence on Sally?s life because has she grow up she learnt not to trust any family members. Also whenever she was around that uncle, Sally always felt rather uncomfortable. This was reviled as a influence because she explained the event in very high detail.In conclusion, Sally main influences occurred between the years when she was a baby to throughout her teenage years. This is shown to us in the book by Sally acknowledging and comparing herself to others to show how different she really was. Her main influences occurred with people she meet, places she went and events that occurred at those places.

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