The Secret River

The Secret River, Kate Grenville- Analysis

How does Grenville create a sense of unease and tension? (Using the start of the book- pages 6-9)

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Tension is generated through the clash of civilizations that began when Captain Cook first stepped foot on the land that become known as Australia. Throughout the novel, Grenville juxtaposes British and Aboriginal understandings of several important social concepts: personal property, clothing, hunting and farming, family relationships, and relationship to the natural environment. The incomprehension with which each culture regards the other leads to the majority of conflicts in the novel. The British concepts of private property and settlement, backed up by the guns and might of the Empire, eventually win the battle between the two civilizations.