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Theme of Hope in Jane Harrison's Play, Stolen Essay

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From the year eighteen sixty nine to the year nineteen sixty nine Aboriginal children were taken from their homes. The play ‘Stolen’ by Jane Harrison tells the story of five Aboriginal children who were forcibly extracted form their families. The children: Anne, Jimmy, Ruby, Sandy and Shirley all demonstrated the devastating impact that the removal from their families and subsequent institutionalisation had on each of their lives. Furthermore, some of the main characters maintained their hopes and dreams under different circumstances whilst a few displayed a lack of hope.
Shirley’s character emits the voice of a struggling young mother, she had her children robbed from her by the Australian authorities who wrongly exploited a biological
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Ruby is one of the play’s most complex characters. She arrived at the ‘Cranby Children’s Home ‘at a young age. She became accustomed to the standard of living at the children’s home, her way of thinking and hoping conformed to that of the children surrounding her. She, like all the children felt the need to be adopted “they sell themselves in their own particular way.” (pg 6) .She walked right into a trap that snatched her innocence away when she was molested. An outcome to her horrendous experience was her gradual submergence into madness, she plunged in too deep for anyone to revive her. Cruel degrading voices reverberated relentlessly in her conscience “all the voices crowded in on her. They got more nasty in their tone “(pg 24). She never found gratification or her way home from the mental pain and suffering that she experienced. Her reunion with her parents was in sufficient to heal her “her family stands there awkwardly while ruby rocks and mutters to herself.” (pg 31). Although all the characters faced some harsh trials in their journeys, Jimmy and Ruby by far underwent the most conflict in their lives.

Jimmy and all the children alike felt the need to belong, moreover he felt that being adopted permanently or over the weekend represented an escape route form the mistreatment they received at the children’s home. Jimmy had a fraction of perseverance and hope that his mother was alive but this would eventually get bulldozed by the authorities’ cruelty
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