Contextual Review of “Happiness”, by Katharine Susannah Prichard

“Happiness” is a story told from the perspective of an elderly Aboriginal woman, focusing on the relationship of both settlers and native people towards each other and the land in outback Australia. Katharine Susannah Prichard was a founding member of the Communist Party of Australia and her novel Coonardoo is regarded as one of the first realistic and detailed portrayals of Aboriginal people in Australian Literature (Burchill). Prichard’s Marxism included a sense that human well-being depends upon our relationship to the earth (Barker 43), but it is her vitalism which is the most apparent influence in “Happiness”.

Continue reading