Racism In The Secret River

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“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be reworked, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” The acknowledgement of history is vital in an individual’s progression to remedy past mistakes. “The Secret River” illustrates a narrative about 19th Century Australia, whilst simultaneously making comment on the treatment of Indigenous Australian’s at the time. The racist attitudes of the white settlers in the story can also be seen as the foundation of contemporary-day Australia’s casual racism. “The Secret River” articulates a vivid image of the unjust atrocities that the Aboriginal people encountered. By vilifying the cruelty dealt by the colonists, the text urges modern day Australians to not fall victim to the same type of prejudice. …show more content…
Many similarities are drawn between the cultures, and they are most particularly represented through the children of each respective family. Dick, Narrabi, and Garraway all play together innocently, The joy of the children is undisturbed until the parents interject. The innocence of a child is often associated with simplicity, The relationship between the children is displayed in order to convey to the audience that fundamentally, these two cultures are compatible.Being a child, Dick has an open mind the the indigenous culture, this is evident when he was trying to teach Thornhill how to say indigenous names “It’s Ngalamalum, Da. Say it enough and it gets easy.” Thornhill replies “All the same I might call him Jack for short, seeing how he’s got such a bleeding mouthful of a moniker [name]”. This is a transparent example of how the children and adult distinction of understanding is displayed. Dick is willing to keep vocalising the name until he gets it right, and adapts to the culture. However, Thornhill is careless about learning the name, in fact he imposes a tradition European name on Ngalamalum. The willful ignorance of Thornhill manifests to a level in which it damages Dick’s relationship Garraway. After the character of Dan breaks Garraway’s arm the text reads; “Garraway attempts to walk but falls. DICK goes to help, his father reaches for him but the boy shakes him off. He lifts GARRAWAY to his feet, hugging him to do so... Garraway takes a few more steps until the bush absorbs him. He looks back at his friend... both boys knowing that it will never be the same between them”. This is a pivotal scene in the play as it demonstrates how Dick attempts to help Garraway, his father attempts to stop him but he still proceeds. The key

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