The Exiles Characters

Christina Baker Kline
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Mathinna

Mathinna is the youngest main character of the novel. She is the orphaned daughter of her Palawa tribe chieftain, Towterer, and Wanganip. Mathinna is eight years old in 1840 when the Franklins visit Flinders Island. Since the age of three, Mathinna had been assimilated into British culture with a formal teacher. As part of her assimilation, Mathinna is given the name Mary, although Lady Franklin prefers the former. Despite this conditioning, she grew up with the love and culture of her mother. Mathinna’s mother made her three necklaces out of small shells, which became her only possessions tying her to her cultural past. Mathinna caught the attention of Lady Franklin, who insisted that she return to Van Diemen’s Land with her.

Mathinna’s stay at Government House was lonely and depressing. Upon her arrival on Van Diemen’s Land, Mathinna acknowledged that no one looked like she...

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This section contains 2,797 words
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Buy The Exiles Study Guide
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