Store to which he replies or doesnt the train was

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store”, to which he replies (or doesn’t) “The train was full tonight” highlights and summarises their conversations, of constant ignoring which symbolises the different mindsets or ‘worlds’ Ray and Sylvie are on. Rays pragmatism “Your imagining things” and Sylvie’s dillusionment “She’s playing again, can you hear her?” are symbolic notions of the two types of mental states people adopt when they lose a child, either over-analysis or idealic hope. Sylvie’s use of pills is symbols of the level of emotional and physiological turmoil a person goes through. Cameron is displaying a character which the audience should pity rather than judge in order for his audience to be sympathetic towards others in these positions of grief, Sylvie and Ray’s personal concerns are examples of the horrific ‘play’ which real people go through due to loss or worse in Cameron’s eyes, the ambiguity of death. The issue of a changing suburbia is one which Cameron professes strongly throughout his play; the Chamberlin disappearance, Beaumont children, Wanda Beach murders, etc are, for Cameron, unfortunately are inspirations to create a play about and symbolising the changing Australian society of innocent and safe to one filled with sexual predators, identity theft and abduction. The ‘wizard’ is a scapegoat for Ruby’s predator, Sylvie irrationally says “He spirited her away into the night, playing his magic pipe”. This is just one example of the numerous hints Cameron gives to the audience concerning that the play is a dysfunctional fairytale. By basing Ruby on Little Red Riding Hood, ‘wearing a ruby red dress’ and ‘and the apparent ‘safety’ of suburbia or symbolically Little Red
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Riding Hoods ability to travel on her own in a perfect forest, are links to yet again to a large symbolic nod to the realistic nature of these situations. Ruby was never saved by a heroic woodcutter. This raw realism for the audience engages their connection to Ray and Sylvie in their quest for finding their daughter. The episodic narrative creates large symbolic play, symbolising the constant struggle parents of lost children have in finding closure. As many of The Brother’s Grim or Walt Disney’s recreations of fairy tales are very well known to Western audiences, this itself engages the audience to understand the issue of child abduction, mental health issues and the safety of our neighbourhoods which Dulcie condescendingly states “one does fear for the little lambs gone astray when one considers the elements of the neighbourhood”. This line summarises Cameron’s outlook on a rapidly cyber-advancing Australia where the ambiguity of identity can possibly lead to an ambiguity of someone’s safety. The audience is definitely engaged in the personal concerns of Ray and Sylvie but more importantly, are given numerous symbols and dialogue to understand the Australian and international cultural issues we are facing. They are united by sympathy.
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  • Fall '19
  • Indigenous Australians, Matt Cameron, Sylvie, Stolen Generations

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