Topics: Indigenous Australians, Kate Grenville, Indigenous peoples Pages: 4 (1086 words) Published: March 7, 2012
MLA Citation
"Blackwood And Dick In "The Secret River" Ri". Anti Essays. 7 Mar. 2012 <http://www.antiessays.com/free-essays/100987.html>
APA Citation
Blackwood And Dick In "The Secret River" Ri. Anti Essays. Retrieved March 7, 2012, from the World Wide Web: http://www.antiessays.com/free-essays/100987.html

Thomas Blackwood and Dick Thornhill are two minor characters in Kate Grenville’s novel, The Secret River, albeit very important characters in terms of significance. They represent a notion of integration with the native people, and demonstrate Kate Grenville’s modern view on the issue. We have a lot to learn from both of the two characters, who eventually form a lasting relationship.

Thomas Blackwood is an emancipist and an ex-Thames waterman. He sails up and down the Hawkesbury doing trade, and sees that an untroubled life along the local native Aborigines is possible. Blackwood is friendly with the Aborigines; his name, with the colour ‘black’, emphasises his strong relationship with them. Dick Thornhill is Will and Sal Thornhill’s second oldest son. He regularly spends time with the Aboriginal people at Thornhill’s Point, learning skills from the adults such as how to throw a spear and how to start a fire with two sticks, as well as playing with the children. 

Blackwood is generally peaceful and placid, as is Dick who is often overshadowed by his father. Blackwood is tolerant of Thornhill but not of Sagitty or Smasher. At the peak of his suppressed anger towards Smasher’s treatment of the Aborigines, he eventually attacks Smasher. Blackwood says to Smasher, “By Christ Jesus, one of them Blacks is worth ten of a little brainless maggot like you.” The phrase shows how people such as Smasher, who think the natives of a lower class than they, are in fact in Blackwood’s eyes worth less. 

Whilst Blackwood eventually releases his exasperation, Dick is never seen to be extremely angry. However, he shows his frustration with his parents for not...
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