Great Day Historical Context

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The story is set on a warm day during the Australian summer. No date is mentioned, but it is most likely in January, which is Australia's hottest month. During this month, Australians celebrate two historical events: Australia's Independence Day on January 1, which honors the day the country won its independence from Great Britain in 1901; and Australia Day on January 26, which honors the date in 1788 when the first white settlement was established. Some critics have assumed that the story takes place on Independence Day, but others have inferred that it is Australia Day. Malouf never identifies the specific holiday that becomes the backdrop for the story, perhaps to place more emphasis on the reunification of family.

Historical details do play an important part, however, at the end of the story when the museum that contains many of the family's artifacts burns down. Peter Pierce, in his article...

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This section contains 395 words
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Buy the Great Day Study Guide
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