Inheritance by Hannie Rayson


Self discovery in Inheritance

Inheritance demonstrates ideas about self discovey. Choose and examine one of the scenes below to analyse the ways self doscovery is demonstrated in the text. You will need to identify the ways features of language convey meaning in the scene you choose. To help you with this, you can use the scaffold below.


Act (number), scene (number) develops the concept, self-discovery.
In this scene (character’s name) (describe what is happening).
Self-discovery is evident in this scene because (explain your idea).
The use of (name the relevant technique) in (quote from the text) allows (explain the meaning that is made).

Act 1; Scene 18

Act 1; Scene 20

Act 1, scene 20 develops the concept, self-discovery.
In this scene Girlie,Young Girlie, Young Dibs and Norm. Girlie is sitting on the porch sorting through her
old suitcase when she has a reminisces about her and dibs as little girls in 1934 with their father Norm.
Norm picks up a penny and gives it to Dibs, and says that she will marry a very handsome air man. He then picks
up another penny which has the face of a king and a kangaroo. The kangaroo represents freedom and the King
represents Duty. Girlie wants freedom, but Norm flips the coin as she gets duty, which represents hard work. Girlie
complains and Norm tells her her life is unfair and she will live with what she is given.
She has another reminiscence but in this one it on Christmas day, her and her sister go to the shed to find their
father hanging half dressed in a father suit from the rafters. They both scream.
Self-discovery is evident in this scene because Dibs ended up marrying an airman and Girlie does go through a lot
of hardship in he life. Also finding their father hanging from the rafters would have scarred them as children. They
have come to terms with it, and accept what he did even though they do not understand why he killed himself.
The use of Stage directions, 'The hardest lesson in life, i rekon. Accepting how the coin falls and making the best of it.' (Act1,scene20)
This shows the fate and symbolism of the sisters which decides how their lives will turn out.

Act 1; Scene 26

Act one, scene twenty six develops the concept, self-discovery.
In this scene William, Julia and Felix are walking down the street talking about the time Will lost his virginty to Beverly "fingers" McClure, they also accidently bump into Girlie and Maureen, who have set up a card table to petition a town bank.Self-discovery is evident in this scene because we learn about Williams confusion and attempt to hide his sexuality.
The use of dialouge helps to explain this, Julia: "William was considered as quite a stud, back then" William: "A stud with a guilty secret." this shows how intolerant and predjudice the town was back when William was young and how that impacted on him coming out ( as a homosexual) to his family and friends and most likely even to himself. In this scene self-discovery is also evident for Maureen, the use of tone in the quote, Maureen: " . . . . otherwise things might get very nasty around here." this shows her assertive attitude and has threatening undertones that are almost like a premonition, because as we learn later, things do get very nasty. Lastly, in this scene we experience a flashback to Girlies childhood, where Dibs and Girlie flip a coin for the ownership of Allandale, not much is shown about self discovery in this scene except gor the unforgiving nature of Girlie, when, instead of being depressed about her father's death, she is angry at him, this is evident in the quote: Girlie: .... As if he ever gave us a thought, when he strung himself up. Thats a sin against God, what he did. And i was punished for it. With the polio. Molly :)

Act 1; Scene 27

Act one, scene twenty seven develops the concept, self-discovery.
In this scene Nugget, Girlie, Dibs, Julia, William and Lyle discuss who has ownership of the farm and if they are going to sell it or not. Nugget and Lyle being to get very aggravated and aim insults at each other, it builds tension. Self-discovery is evident in this scene because Nugget and Lyle continue to develop a strong dislike to each other and their ideas. The use of dialogue in “You’re a cunning bastard, I’ll give you that.” allows the audience to understand their feelings. This explicate language demonstrates passion and that they both feel a strong connection to the family and who should receive the farm and who decides on selling it or not.

Act 2; Scene 6 develops the concept, self-discovery.

In this scene William discovers the Will from his father Farley, and finds out that the farm was given to Neville Hamilton (Nugget) who may be the blood son of Farley.
Dibs is shocked and shaken when she finds out that the will was done without her involvement or perspective. The technique that was used was mainly lots of short sentences from Dibs character; this is to portray her shock and disappointment. Later on in the scene Nugget joins the conversation and you can feel the tension between the characters. Self Discovery is conveyed in this scene through learning about Farley’s past (that he could have possibly cheated on Dibs) and we come to assume that Dibs character development takes a new turn by becoming very judgemental towards her adopted son Nugget e.g. His not family, his not. This is to emphasis her anger, and her true feelings to Nugget, also a sign of weakness and a way to try to convince herself his really not.

Act 2; Scene 19

Michela and Allyson

Act 2; Scene 11


Act 2; Scene 12


Act 2; Scene 13

Act 2, Scene 13 develops the concept of self discovery. In this scene Nugget is having flashbacks. He remembers the time when Farley helped him to gain self defence. The issue of equality and the inheritance of the farm are also talked about in this scene. Farley always considered Nugget as “no different to anyone else in the family”. Self discovery is evident in this scene because Nugget learns to defend himself & stand up for himself. He becomes stronger in himself. This boosts his self esteem and his self confidence in him. Nugget is also experiencing troubles in this point of the play. He feels that he should be the rightful owner of the farm because of his connection to the land. Because of Farley’s death, Nugget becomes unnoticed and his ideas and choices are ignored. This includes the scene when Dibs rips up the will and decides to give the property to Lyle. This decision would have greatly affected Nugget’s self discovery process. He may have felt alone, isolated or left out without Farley. Farley and Nugget had a strong relationship and got on well. Therefore Nugget’s sense of self, identity & who he thought he was would have definitely been questioned. The use of flashbacks in act 2, scene 13 shows the sadness and loss of connection that Nugget is feeling. He wants to be with Farley again, talking to him and explaining his problems. E.g. – “As he begins to speak, Farley appears”. The use of exploitive language such as “fucking” shows the seriousness of the issue and how Nugget feels. Nuggets emotions are clearly shown (frustration, anger and disappointment etc)

Act 2; Scene 14

Act 2 scene 14 develops the concept, self-discovery. In this scene Lyle is drunk in a lonely paddock, with a rifle, and his Ute. He is talking out loud about his life, and the people in it and the farm. Self-discovery is evident in this scene because Lyle is realizing that he is not progressing in life and that his family and friends no longer rely on him, and how useless he is becoming now that the farm is going under. Lyle negative attitude beings to take him over. The use of Expletive language, stage directions show his anger within his self, this is evident when he says “no fucking brains, Lyle Delaney”. This allows the audience to see that he has no belief in his self and that he thinks his life is worthless with no point in living.

Act 2; Scene 16

Act 2, Scene 16 develops a lot of self –discovery In this scene Ashleigh, Brianna and Felix are talking about the axe head that Brianna found with Nugget. As the scene goes on they talk about Nugget being shafted (they took something that belonged to him but if his name isn’t on it there is really no point trying to get it). Self-discovery is evident as Nugget realises that if your name isn’t on something you can’t have if you don’t have a leg to stand on. Felix clearly states what Nugget had once said to him. This is what Nugget had said to Felix “I don’t need to own it mate. That’s the difference between us blackfellas and your mob.’ But the truth is, Brianna, if you don’t own it- if your name isn’t on the title- they’ll shaft you.” This allows the audience to see that Nugget knows that if you don’t own it and if you name isn’t on it than they will find away to keep it that way.

Act 2; Scene 17

Act 2; Scene 20

Act II, scene 20 develops the concept, self-discovery.
In this scene, Ashleigh and Brianna wearing their blue school uniform, walk into the woolshed and find their father, Lyle, hanging from the rafters. Lyle has committed suicide. In the stage directions, you hear Dibs and Girlie driving along the highway, happy voices whilst singing “Two little Girls in Blue”. History has repeated itself, as Dibs and Girlie found their dad hanging in a shed whilst wearing blue dresses.
Self-discovery is evident in this scene because it shows Lyle has discovered he is inflexible at self-discovering himself. He has discovered himself negatively. Through the play he has adapted himself to erratic behaviour like drinking, exploitive language (“No fucking brains. Lyle Delaney. No fucking Brains” – pg 88). His stage directions “Taking a swig … Yelling at the ground …He takes the rifle and fires it into the night …He takes another whip at FELIX.” And his tone of voice, show the audience his negative discovery and proves that he is lost his saneness thus leading into his suicide in the woolshed.

Themes in Inheritance

Megan / Tiahna
Angela / Monique

The use of dramatic techniques in Inheritance

How does the technique you are exploring develop the narrative in the play?
Setting - Michela / Megan

The Mallee- the area in which the plot takes place. Significant to Maureen during her Political speech as she speaks on behalf of the people of the Mallee.
Allandale- The family farm and center of the contraversy that takes place throughout the plot. Bring about issues of 'who owns the farm?', 'who works the farm?', and 'who does the farm really belong to?'.
Woolshed- The site or Norm and Lyle's death. Significant to Dibs and Girlie as Norm was their father and Lyle's death follows Dib's decision to sign Allandale over to him.
Berriwillock Rd- Where Julia and Felix break down at the very beginning of the play. Represents the transition from a rushed city life to a laid back country lifestyle.
Rushton- The site of Maureen's political speech.

* Note: Some settings are real and some are fiction. This is to avoid creating a bad reputation towards towns where racism are present.

Character costuming - Karen / Mele

Line delivery - Molly / Chontelle

Stage blocking and movement - Sukmani / Lesley

-The use of stage blocking while trying to show the flashbacks of Dibs and Girlie. Younger cast come out to the front of the stage while the background is blacked out.
-Act one, scene 27 The Hamiltons dinner table, they are about to eat while Girlie comes in on a motor mower to the Hamiltons to discuss the Inheritance, her transport hints her attitudes about the discussion.
-Act one, scene 23 Stage direction- "Felix enters the kitchen wearing a shirt with sorry emblazed over the front. Felix walks around the room towards Nugget, the movement towards his uncle makes a statement.
-Act one, scene 12 Delaney's, Girlie's whiping down the table and making Maureen lunch, Brianna is on the varander and Ash enters with a box. This is a stage divided into a dinning room, kitchen and verander. To show movement within an odinary household scenario.
-Act one, scene 23 Stage direction "Felxiz picks up the mouse trap and walks out of the room watched by two men." This is used by Felix attempting to show his masculinity.
-Act two, scene 1 Maureen is riding on the back of a ute, rolling onto the stage. This symbolises a stereotypical country Australian society.
-Act two, scene 8 Stage direction- "The back doors roll open and the Delaney's ute piles high with their belongings, rolls down the stage towards the auidence. The truck comes to a stop and Lyle climbs down. The others wait in the car. The Hamiltons are gathered to meet them. This scene is empazing the idea of the fact without any notice or request someone is going to be staying in their house. And to prove it the director has chosen to dump the belongings towards the audience, for them to feel the same feelings in the situation.

Symbols adn motifs - Nikita / Maria
Images - expresses techniques
- Describes the expression of the dialouge by using an image. E.g pg 34 act 1 scene 20.
- Stero type of characters.
Land - Ownership and belonging
- Conflict between selling the farm, its part of their family, bought conflict to the family and the family inheritance.
Santa Suit - Family tradegy at the time.
- Links to the history to the present.
Suit Case - Movement from the land
- Pick up there suitcase and go to a new place.
-Tradergy moving from their heritage.
- Happiness moving on, success

Sounds-- Melissa and angela g.
sound is produced through stage directions/ dialogue. The use of dramatic language, irony and emotive language. It is used for the increase of tension in a scene.
Examples: The whipping of felix by Lyle
Car engines (roar)
Irony shown through the song two little girls in blue beginning and end of the play.

Conflict - Katie Mallett and Angela Psalia
Conflict is a major theme in inheritance. The story is based on conflict over who inherits the farm.

Man Vs man (Lyle Vs Nugget)

· Because Lyle has been drinking this causes racial conflict between himself and Nugget.
· e.g. "... Nugget and Lyle rolling around in the red dirt". p57
· The use of stage directions shows there is physical conflict.

Man Vs himself (Lyle)
· As the play develops, the audience can see that Lyle becomes out of control and outrageous. This is because of lack of support from his family.
· e.g. "No fucking brains, Lyle Delaney". p88.
· The use of exploitive language shows Lyle's emotions which lead to his suicide.

Hamilton’s Vs Delaney’s
· This conflict over who gets the farm. It is ongoing and constant through the novel.
· e.g. "This is a matter of family, I’m afraid". p56.
· The use of dialogue shows Girlie's anger and emotions.