Literary Analysis of Kate Grenville's The Secret River Essay

Literary Analysis of Kate Grenville's The Secret River Essay

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Kate Grenville is one of Australia’s best known authors, she was born in 1950 in Sidney, Australia. She has won many national and international awards for her writing about Australia’s past and the interactions that may have been taking place between the first settlers and the aborigines. The Secret River was one of these popular novels, which is exploring the past, although it is only historical fiction. The inspiration for writing these historical fictions, came from the fact that she did not knew much about her ancestors which settled on a river named Hawkesbury River in New South Wales.

William Thornhill is a convict, who has been transported by the ship Alexander to his new home in His Majesty’s penal colony with his family in 1806, which is located in New South Wales. William is not able to sleep the first night; he is plagued by fear and worry about their future at their new home, he thinks about this new prison he is in, guarded not by humans, but by ten thousand miles of sea, he has no chance to return home, and the idea of that he will die under these alien stars scares him.
The same night William encounters an aborigine outside his hut, the aborigine carries a spear and Williams has no arms at all, he tries to force the Aborigine to leave by saying “Be off” and raising his hand, but he aborigine just repeats what William said to him.
William will not let the aborigine hurt the unarmed settlers, but at the same moment the aborigine disappears, leaving William with the horrific though that the darkness could hide hundreds or even thousands of aborigines with spears. He went quickly back into the hut, although it did not offer any protection against what the darkness might hide.

William Thornhill is a 1st person narrator...


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The poem “Who are We” on the other hand describes Australia from the Aborigine point of view, and the dare consequences it had for their life and lifestyle. The poem also describes the special relation that the Aborigines have with the nature, and how the white men destroyed it all, how they took their land and home from them, and made them prisoners in their own land, “Where in the world do we feel free, when born into life as an Aborigine”. The poem describes all of those things such as the lost generation and how the majority has ignored them, which became a historical amnesia in the Australian society. “Nature is screaming and crying in pain, at the loss of her children”
These two pieces of text, describes the events from their own point of view, although “Strangers” is about the very first contact and “Who are We” are about the consequences of the white men.

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