The Characteristics Of Aborigines In The Secret River By Grenville

Decent Essays
In The Secret River, the emancipists that have been transported to Australia continuously mistreat and disrespect the Aborigines, who are presented as the foundation of Australia. The Aborigines are forced into hidden parts of Australia where they are massacred by poison – they are tortured in a foreign way by foreign people without cause. For over thousands of years, the Aborigines have lived in peace on land that belonged to everybody, in a peaceful community. Grenville presents the Aborigines to be strongly linked to nature. Grenville portrays the Aborigines as beautiful and empowered symbolised by physical features. Oppositely the Aborigines are presented as vulnerable, animal-like and Grenville uses the novel to convey a message that the use of Australia as a penal colony has a negative effect on the Aborigines and their culture. Throughout the novel, the Aborigines are presented as powerful which is reflected in their very rigid facial features. Thornhill says the Aborigine’s ‘rock of his face shaped itself around the big mouth, the imposing nose, the folds of his cheeks.’. The adjectives ‘big’ and ‘imposing’ emphasise the power and size of the face, Grenville conveys a message to the reader that the Aborigine is extraordinary, she uses ‘the’ to name the Aborigine’s features instead of ‘his’ which suggests that the facial features are too substantial to belong to one person – especially a person of lower status than the emancipists. Grenville uses a metaphor, ‘rock’
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