Analysis Of Kate Grenville's The Secret River

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Texts presently are able to offer audiences modern perspectives on old ideas, this technique is presented in Andrew Bovell stage play adaptation of Kate Grenville’s original novel The Secret River (2005, 2013). This representational, realistic play offers modern perspectives on ideas which have been current since the early 19th century. The morally complex history of the colonization of Australia, is explored in the 2013 stage play The Secret River. The Secret River, follows British convict William Thornhill’s journey to new found land Australia with his wife Sal and two son’s Willie and Dick. The play explores the struggle for power between the white British settlers and the Aboriginal Dharug tribe. Through the use of historical knowledge…show more content…
Since the dawn of time humans have always feared the idea of difference, that anything different from you must be evil in some shape or form. This is not just seen in history, the old idea that different is bad can be seen in the children’s Disney film Pocahontas (1995) by Eric Goldburg. Where history has been seen to repeat itself, British troops set out to take new found land, but there are already indigenous people living there, but as they are not civilized the land can be taken and the White settlers must civilize these people ‘who don’t know better’. But are they really helping? “Here’s what you get when races are diverse …they’re savages…barley even human…they’re not like you and me which means they must be evil”[4]. Therefore, this idea of “civilized” is presented to children at such a young age, even after most of these events have occurred. The Aboriginals were seen as ‘uncivilized’ and dehumanized because of their appearance and way of life. This meant that the Aboriginals had no rights, no dignity, no identity as shown as Will and Sal rename the members of the Dharug tribe with English names such as “Jack” for Ngalamalum, “Meg” for Buryia and “Polly” for Gilyagan. By degrading the Aboriginals, the white settlers are basically stating that they are of a higher status, automatically degrading them “they’re vermin same way as rat is vermin”[8]. This is shown through the paternalism presented in the epilogue of The Secret River. As previously shown in act 2 scene 18, Thornhill and the other white settlers have massacred nearly all of the Dharug tribe and then feel an overwhelming sense of paternalism to look after surviving member
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