The Secret River

Are the Indigenous characters portrayed as being weak?

This is throughout the whole play adapted from the novel

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Grenville presents Aboriginal culture as a lost idyll. Although the novel focuses on William's journey from the gutters of London to Australian gentry, Grenville places almost equal weight on the Aborigines and their way of life. She is careful to refute the label of savage that the settlers give to the Aborigines. Grenville conveys the richness of their culture and their deep attachment to the land. She contrasts the over-consumption of Western civilization with the Aborigines' understanding of the delicate balance of nature. Grenville suggests that the white settlers could have learned much from the Aborigines and, by extension, that the modern world with its disregard for the natural environment should open its eyes to the wisdom of native peoples. She does not portray them as weak, but rather, ignorant of the people moving into their land. They are unaware what lays before them.... not weak.