The Secret River Characters

Topics: Character

This sample paper on The Secret River Characters offers a framework of relevant facts based on recent research in the field. Read the introductory part, body, and conclusion of the paper below.

the Secret River shows that even people who are essentially good can do bad deeds. Discuss. ‘ The Secret River by Kate Greenville is a novel set in the 19th century, where William Thrill who is from the slums of London, is convicted to New South Wales, Australia for the term of his natural life.

With his wife and children he experiences a harsh land and want for more than he ever thought he would be capable of having. However this land comes with the trouble of the unknown Aboriginals.

Through this novel we are continually presented with the issue that good people can perhaps do ad deeds. But what defines the good people and the deeds to be wrong? Who are the characters that portray this? And are there any who rise above from this condemning sentence? ‘Good people can do bad deeds’ is more of a fact to humanity then a question.

We see this occur each day, with the presidents, prime ministers, supposedly ‘good’ celebrities turning to things that are considered in our lives as wrong.

Therefore it is only logical that it be incorporated in novels, which mimic life. However we must first ask ourselves what is good? And what are evil deeds? Such broad questions, and yet hen given scenarios, people quickly identify for themselves the difference between good and evil.

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Yet, the context of novel changes the readers’ views. Despite the fact that the main character, William Thrill, is a continuous stealer, Greenville presents his act of stealing as a physical necessity, and therefore he earns the sympathy of the reader.

The Secret River Summary

Later on when in Australia and he is once again picking up the bad habit of stealing, which our society would Judge as terrible, the reader is able to easily brush it off, and not see it as a horrid deed at all. Our views of the good people are manipulated and shaped by the author throughout the entire novel, and we find ourselves putting the view of society bad deeds being brushed off when our author presents them in good light. The minor characters were explored by the author, and then further by the reader in this area.

Sarah Thrill, known as Sal for most of the novel, is Williams wife who is portrayed throughout the novel as a strong, great women. However because we only see the novel from the eyes of William Thrill, we do not know her as anything so terrible, for William dollied Sal from the beginning of the novel. However although she is so beautifully presented by the author, even when she steals for the first time, we see her commit an ugly deed whilst in Australia. This deed is committed through fear.

We see her clip her child Johnny on the ear, and what occurred was that “fear could slip unnoticed into anger, as if they were one and the same. ” (IPPP) This is one of the only incidents where we see Sal do something out of her good character that is a bad deed. The Aboriginals are a different case altogether. For although the main character does not always shed them in good light, they are reasonably good people o. We see that William begins to understand this after they burn some of the land, which later the grass grows up and the kangaroos approach.

A very clever method to obtain meat. We read how they look after the land they call theirs, even though they don’t have any buildings or fences, and that they are generally peaceful people. However because they have spears to protect them , may I remind you that the civilians had guns, and they resort to violence when they are not understood clearly enough by the civilians, they are yet another example of good people, doing bad deeds. However it is their bad deeds that are outweighed as worse than seems by the racial prejudice of characters in the novel.

Yet it is because of the people that try to understand the aboriginals in this novel that how we are also able to sympathize over them. Another interesting character who shows this theme of good and evil is Willie Thrill, the first son of Sal and Will. As a child he is of course seen as innocent, or because he lacks understanding, neither good nor bad. However when the novel develops we see this rough boy who holds a racial prejudice towards the aboriginals, a boy who says that they should get the guns and shoot them now.

A boy who we begin to be unsure of because of these cruel words coming from this mouth of a child. Despite that he isn’t a very developed character through the book, he is yet another diverse example of the good doing bad, and perhaps even becoming bad. For we are our actions, are we not? The most observable character of this theme if of course, William Thrill. As previously mentioned he commits acts that would be considered bad, however he is continuously painted as a good character. The reader likes the way he finds the research in London unjust.

The reader enjoys learning of his dream to become a respectable man, like Mr. Middleton, Gal’s father. Most of all, he utterly contradicts any convict stereotype; of these terrible men that did terrible deeds. When brought to Australia we still see him in good light, he continually reminds himself that he does not want to kill the aboriginals, or harm them at all. He begins to understand their ways and sees that they are not terrible as primarily presumed. However despite all of this, he commits deeds that are seen as corrupt. His character is also changed and developed.

His complete and utter desire for the land, takes over him. His need to climb up the ladder of society, where “each man [was] higher than one, lower than another” (pop) leads him to commits deeds he never wanted to commit. Although he understands that he is in fact taking a land that is not empty, and belongs to the Aboriginals, he continues to be greedy. When he is given a small amount of power, such as when he is given two convicts to rule over, he treats them the way he would never want to be treated. He acts different around the blacks, with more superiority.

When the blacks invade his hard worked corn patch, he turns to lenience, hitting the women and children that are stealing his corn. All this anger towards the blacks; for being in the land he desperately needed to call his own, for stealing the things he had worked so hard on, for making Sal want to leave the place even faster, is what pushes him to do the worst act in the whole novel. The massacre. In which Thrill is mostly bewildered, yet he still murders Whisker Harry, an elder aboriginal. After this incident we must evaluate whether we still see Thrill as good or not. Because if he is Just a bad person doing bad deeds, then there is

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The Secret River Characters. (2019, Dec 06). Retrieved from

The Secret River Characters
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