Secret river context essay

I am Gunjarap, kadaicha man of the Darug people.

Secret river context essay

The play reopens these contentious questions about who can tell the story of our shared history. Should it be historians or novelists, Indigenous or non-Indigenous storytellers? But The Secret River always gestured to a wider story. But it also quotes from W.

The ethics of storytelling

But are we willing to accept that the stories we inherit may only be part of the picture? Family silences The Secret River, But walking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge for Reconciliation in the yearshe exchanges a glance with an Aboriginal woman and imagines their ancestors meeting years before.

Such encounters, Grenville reflects, were absent from the family stories. But surely Wiseman had met the Dharug people of the Hawkesbury region? This event, Grenville writes in her memoir Searching for the Secret Riverprompted an exploration of her family past: Grenville set out on a mission to discover more about Wiseman and his story.

Did he feel guilty? Could he have been an otherwise good man who did a horrific thing? The ethics of storytelling Though it confronts hidden stories, The Secret River has been criticised for having its own blind spots.

When the novel was first published, historians — most fervently Clendinnen, writing in Quarterly Essay — charged Grenville with conflating fiction and history, and excluding the voices of her Aboriginal characters.

In part, these debates boil down to a turf-war between history and historical fiction. But they also draw attention to ongoing anxieties about how non-Indigenous storytellers represent Aboriginal experiences.

Do writers like Grenville have the right to speak on behalf of Indigenous peoples, or to tell their stories? If not, should the Aboriginal characters in their novels remain without a voice?

Both approaches present ethical problems. To learn about Indigenous experience she travelled to the Kimberley and listened to elders. Adapting the novel for theatre, Andrew Bovell felt he could not make the same choice.

They needed a voice. They needed an attitude. They needed a point of view. With multiple storytellers, the play represents history from different perspectives. The script still affords the Thornhills more dimension and dialogue, but the introduction of an Aboriginal narrator, the prophetic Dhirrumbin, unsettles the balance.

Secret river context essay

Similarly, in the novel the Indigenous characters are known only by the nicknames that the Thornhills give them: Whisker Harry, Polly, and Meg.

But not everyone is happy with the play.reader positioning - Free download as Powerpoint Presentation .ppt /.pptx), PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or view presentation slides online. Scribd is the world's largest social reading and publishing site. To open an ecocritical path into the property question, this essay reads Kate Grenville’s novel The Secret River as an allegory about property ownership in contemporary Australia.

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The Secret River : ABC TV