The Secret River Themes & Motifs

Kate Grenville
This Study Guide consists of approximately 65 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Secret River.
This section contains 2,334 words
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Ownership

What defines ownership is a major theme in this novel. It is actually the question of ownership that lies at the bottom of the conflict between the settlers and the Australian natives. The English believed that by “marking” a piece of property with a crop they made it theirs. The natives, on the other hand, had free rein of the land for decades before Australia was claimed for England. They saw the settlers as taking over land that had been theirs for centuries.

Marking an object to show ownership happens often in the novel. For instance, Lucas put his mark on the Brazil wood in order to be able to prove that it was his. Later on in the novel, all the settlers in Australia had to do was put in a crop and build a hut to mark a piece of property as their own...

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This section contains 2,334 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Secret River Study Guide
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