Need help with my writing homework on The Secret River Analytical. Write a 750 word paper answering; In this The Secret River analytical essay, we will see how the author, Kate Grenville, brings out the conflict and alienation this brought around. She uses all the writing tools at her disposal to explain how the settlers differed from the Aboriginals who had a sense of belonging and better respected their environment. She uses the main character, William Thornhill, to paint the story. She shows how Thornhill remains alienated and lack peace despite his land ownership and efforts to use all that he owns. His efforts and ownership do not give him the sense of belonging that the native landowners have.
Throughout the novel, the author uses symbolism to show how Thornhills attempts to assert his land ownership leads to more alienation rather than the sense of belonging he seeks. His efforts show the growing rift between human beings and nature. Thornhill uses different approaches to show that he owns the land he is on. The most notable is when he draws a crude map on the ground for the Aboriginals. A while soon, the dirt is marred in blood after a massacre, after which Thornhill no longer feels safe and ends up building a massive stone wall around his land. This lack of safety pushes him away from the environment. The map is a symbolism of a foreigner imposing his own views on natives who do not welcome the new idea. Since the Aboriginals are more about living in harmony with nature and do not endorse land ownership. This misunderstanding leads to war. The European settlers win, and Thornhill can assert his sense of belonging by getting a piece of property he feels belongs to him. Despite this victory, the measures Thornhill puts in place to assert his position leads to an alienation from his immediate environment and neighbors. This entire symbolism shows how a sense of belonging can only be reached through peace instead of coercion, force, and boundaries.
After this, the author uses character development to drive in the idea of belonging and isolation. For instance, Thornhill’s life is continuously shown to be allusive. The first of these efforts is when we learn that Thornhills name is not unique at all. Even Thornhill admits that he is a shadow, a no-one who has no solid form. The author paints him this way to show us that he is unable to connect and reason with others, especially when his interests are at risk. The lack of belonging festers even when he changes environments. Looking back at his past, we discover that Thornhill was once a common criminal who seeks to start a new life in the newfound land. Thornhill strives to be the gentleman he never was and hopes that the material worth the gains by owning land will compensate for his lack of decorum. Despite his efforts, Thornhill remains in alienation. The rift between the uncouth personalities inside still pushes through now and then. Thornhill can never find peace as long as he uses a mask to cover up who he is deep down. This lack is what he always fights to eradicate so that he can settle well in nature.
The use of settings is also an excellent tool the author uses to push the theme of belonging and alienation. It bolsters what we get from the symbolism. For instance, Thornhill gets a distorted view of London after relocating to the Hawkesbury River. Even though he admits that there is no future for Thornhills in London, he still tries to copy what is back there and live a life he would have if he were in his native land. For instance, his construction is based on English architecture, which he finds gives Thornhill a sense of belonging and security despite his living in a new environment. All his choices and train of thought is fixed on his former Thornhills home to the extent that he is too rigid to adapt to his new environment. This gives Thornhill a tremendous disconnect and lack of peace. The author uses the settings change to emphasize how the character still lacks belonging despite the fact that he has land that he calls his, a perimeter wall, and an English-styled mansion. There is a vast discrepancy between Thornhill’s ideologies and his nature. This creates a considerable divide between nature, the natives, and the new life Thornhill tries to carve out in Australia.
The novel succeeds in using different stylistic devices to bring out the theme of belonging and alimentation by focusing on Thornhill. The way the author focuses on all the effort he takes to carve out a comfortable space for himself and furnish it in a way that reminds him of home and gives him belonging is hard to miss. This symbolism then culminates into the loneliness the main character gets even if Thornhills efforts to possess and control vast portions of property succeed. Grenville clearly shows us that owning something does not necessarily lead to peace of mind. She tells us that there is more to belonging that forcing people to accept you. Her novel focuses on the importance of adopting change, fitting into new cultures, and being as flexible as possible to fit in and live a happy life.
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