Writing the Goldfields of Victoria and Otago, 1851-1871: Australasian Narratives and Their Representations
Lemberg, N. J. (2015). Writing the Goldfields of Victoria and Otago, 1851-1871: Australasian Narratives and Their Representations (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/9821
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/9821
This thesis examines thirteen published gold-rush narratives penned by authors who visited the goldfields of Victoria, Australia, and Otago, New Zealand, in the period 1851 to 1871. Through analysis of narrative representations and constructions, differences and similarities in the sources’ presentation of selected phenomena are observed and explained. This thesis seeks to deconstruct meanings of trans-Tasman gold fever and how narrative authors perceived selected themes. The chosen themes are divided by chapter. Chapter One considers narrative portrayals of success and failure on the goldfields. Chapter Two allows the narratives to define order and disorder, and places emphasis on concepts of behaviour and control. Chapter Three discusses minorities in gold-rush society and their treatment within goldfields narratives. These themes relate to specific colonial and metropole anxieties about wealth, social control, containment, ethnicity, and gender. Narrative analysis is divided by broad geographical location within each chapter and ordered chronologically: starting with Victoria, followed by Otago. This thesis confirms that gold-rush narratives, produced in colonial societies like Victoria and Otago, provided a vehicle for the reinforcement and exaggeration of anxieties and attitudes relevant to both the European metropole and the colonial society itself.
University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses