How Does Kate Grenville’s Novel, the Secret River, Complicate Simplistic Views of the Colonial Situation?

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How does Kate Grenville’s novel, The Secret River, complicate simplistic views of the colonial situation?

To some extent the past generations have been reared on a patriotic view of past Australian history, interpreting its history as largely a success. Since history is determined by the perspective of from which it is written, this version of Australian history, the Three Cheers view, was written from the perspective of white working-class males, who consider Australian pioneers to be the simple, honest and humble people. Until recently, a rival interpretation, the Black Armband view, has assailed the generally optimistic view of Australian history by construing the history of Australia as a disgrace. This second simplistic view …show more content…

"What's mine is mine and I have never waited for any by-your’s-leave...They were a pair of human ears, dark brown, hacked off rough. Where the blood had dried it had crusted almost purple, like any other meat left out too long"4.
Furthermore, Smasher is also guilty of the dehumanisation of an Aboriginal by creating a scarecrow out of its body5, kidnapping and raping an Aboriginal woman6 and repeatedly asserting that the Blacks deserve to die. Smasher 2appears in the novel to be a very hostile and aggressive man who is not willing to even try to understand the Aboriginal culture, seeing himself as superior and highly civilised. Because of his strong beliefs that the Aborigines are no more than irritating savages, he frequently takes matters into his own hands by dealing with them violently and quickly. By making it evident that Smasher's hatred and conflict towards the Aborigines was not a result of fear or self-defence, but an outcome from pure blind racism and malevolence, Grenville suggests that some of the European settlers shared cruel, xenophobic personalities, which reinforces the Black Armband view of Australian history.
In the novel, Grenville also creates another character who to a great extent juxtaposes the vision that Smasher embodies. Thomas Blackwood, a fellow emancipist settler, out of all the characters in the novel, is the one who shows utmost appreciation and knowledge of the Aborigines and their culture. Along with the running of a

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