Wrecking Ball by Benjamin Law

In Wrecking Ball by Benjamin Law we have the theme of memories, appearance, acceptance, racism, struggle, letting go and moving on. Taken from his The Family Law collection the story is narrated in the first person by Law himself and from the beginning of the story the reader realizes that Law may be exploring the theme of memories. Law still dreams of his family home that he shared with his mother and his siblings. Despite the passing of time it is the one constant in Law’s life. This may be significant as it suggests that Law has difficulty letting go and moving on. Something which is further explored at the end of the story. The fact that Law has so many memories of his family home is interesting as not only does it suggest a difficulty in letting go but it also suggests that Law has fond memories of a time when his family were somewhat stable despite his mother’s divorce from his father.

However this stability had the potential to be rocked due to incidents which can only be described as racist. The racism occurs with the development and progression of One Nation. Where people would shout racist abuse at Law and his family just because they looked different to others. It is as though they are not accepted by some people. However Law does not let these people get the better of him and he shouts back, as does his family, at those who are abusing them. This is important as it suggests that Law and his family have the ability to stand up for themselves. In fact Australians are not really shown in a positive light in the story. The fact that some Australians use the Law’s garden as a toilet being an example.

There may also be some symbolism in the story which might be important. The writing on the walls of the family home. Which Law describes as vandalism, shows the connection that Law and his family have with their home. It is after all where Law and his siblings grew up. The fact that one of Law’s sisters and his mother want to attack one of the drunk men shows not only bravery but a strong will not to be taken advantage of. Law may also be suggesting that authority figures are not want they are supposed to be. This occurs when the police, after being called by Law’s mother, never arrive. It is possible that Law is questioning those in authority. How it is not always possible to respect them. The fact that when there is an accident Law contacts emergency might also be significant as it is possible that Law is highlighting the fact that he and his family are conscientious of those around them. That in reality they are good citizens who want to help others despite how they are treated by some.

The end of the story is interesting as Law and his family do not appear to be able to let go and move on from the family home. Despite Law not liking the house there is still an attachment. Which is natural. Many people would find it difficult to move on from the loss of their family home. After all there are so many life events that occur in the family home. So many memories. In many ways Law may be suggesting that he and his family are no different to others. They too feel the sense of loss that comes with the sale of the family home and in many ways are as Australian as the Australians themselves. Something that some people, those who abuse the Laws, are not prepared to admit.

Cite Post
McManus, Dermot. "Wrecking Ball by Benjamin Law." The Sitting Bee. The Sitting Bee, 19 Nov. 2022. Web.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *