In his play The Club, David Williamson presents numerous
Australian attitudes of the 1970s. However, many of these attitudes are
still relevant and fairly accurate representations of Australian attitudes
in the 1990s, although some of course have changed somewhat over the time
since the play was written nearly twenty years ago. Tradition plays a
very important part in The Club. Each of the characters of course has his
own ideas and attitudes towards tradition, but there are some which are
more or less universal throughout the play. In The Club, tradition is
mainly presented as the opposite to progress and success; that is, to
achieve success in today's world, tradition must be abandoned. For
example, Laurie (the coach) blames an old Club tradition for his failure
to win a premiership, "You and your cronies wouldn't let me buy players."
Jock (the vice-president) replies, "We were upholding an old tradition.
It was wrong, but we believed in it." Then in the next line, Laurie
accuses Jock of supporting the rest of the committee in upholding the
tradition not because he believed in it himself, but because he didn't
want Laurie to succeed, "They might have believed in it but the reason why
you wouldn't let the Club buy players was to stop me winning a flag."
However, Jock does support and use tradition when it is in agreement with
his goals. For example when trying to avert a players' strike, Jock
claims that former Club heroes would be disgusted by the idea, "I want to
turn all those photographs around so they don't have to look down on this
shameful scene." However, it is later revealed that Jock supports the
buying of players and a coach who has not played for the Club, both of
which are against traditions, to ensure that the Club wins a premiership
next season. This hypocritical attitude towards tradition is probably a
fairly typical Australian attitude; traditions are upheld and ...