The Secret River

The Pearl versus The Secret River 12th Grade

The Pearl, by John Steinbeck and The Secret River, by Kate Grenville both explore issues surrounding racism and classism. However, whilst The Pearl places a heavy emphasis on classism due to racism, The Secret River discusses racism and the preconceived ideas that those who live in a hierarchical society experience. Resistant readings, common to all texts, manifest themselves as feminism in both The Pearl and The Secret River – although more so in the former. Readings such as Marxist and pro-colonialism are also considered as resistant in The Secret River. In both texts, the indigenous populations are represented as appreciating the important things in life; such as family, love and respecting nature. Interestingly, the white population of both books is presented as corrupt and disrespectful due to their monetary system. The Pearl and The Secret River share many similarities, especially in regard to their respective issues. However, whilst their resistant readings differ, their message stays the same; everyone is equal – despite everything.

Both The Pearl and The Secret River explore a myriad of issues surrounding racism, classism and the ingrained, accepted ideas surrounding these attitudes. The former text places a heavy...

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