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Going Home

This study guide will help you analyze the short story “Going Home” by Archie Weller. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it and putting it into perspective.

Presentation of the text

Title: “Going Home” [1986]
Author: Archie Weller
Genre: Short story

Archie Weller (b. 1957) is an Aboriginal writer of short stories, poems, and plays. “Going Home” was published in 1986 as part of a short story collection with the same title.

Excerpt

Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide:

Identity

Closely connected with the theme of race, the theme of identity is also present in the text. Billy has tried to build another identity, other than the one that was expected from him as an Aboriginal. He went to college, studied, and became an appreciated athlete and an artist. In itself, his career is an achievement to be proud of. Also, a profession can be something with which we identify. However, in Billy’s case, the problem is his motivation. He does not appear to have done it because he wanted to become an artist, but because he wanted to be white: “He was white now.”

We also notice that Billy goes through an inner conflict when it comes to his identity. On the one hand, he feels white. On the other hand, he believes he has made his ancestors proud, although he treats his people with contempt:

“At last he can walk this Earth with pride, as his ancestors did many years before him”.

“...all this time he has ignored his mumbling, stumbling tribe and thought he was someone better.”

In order to achieve his new identity, Billy changed his looks, started acting like a white person and severed ties with his community. Some could interpret this as a betrayal- a betrayal of one’s family.

The motif of “home”

As the title suggests – “Going Home”- the story is also about what we perceive as home. The word “home” is a leitmotif through the story, being mentioned various times. We see that Billy longs for going home in the beginning:​ “So Billy was going home, because he had been reminded of home (with all its carefree joys) at the last match”.

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Going Home

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