The Secret River Characters

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The character I have chosen to analyse is William Thornhill. He is the central character in the novel ‘Secret River’. His character is important, in the novel, because he was one of the first Europeans, sent to Australia, to work out their sentence for their crimes. Throughout the novel it shows that Thornhill did things for the right reasons, but his actions contrasted with his essentially good character. To some extent William Thornhill can be portrayed as a bad character due to his lack of responsibility regarding the law. William Thornhill was born in 1777 in London. He grew up in a poor family which consisted of eight children. He continually stole as a form of survival. His family often lasted for days without eating, and their hunger got to the point where it was unbearable. William then met a man named Mr Middleton, who he worked for, as an Apprentice Waterman. Soon after his Apprenticeship, he married his childhood sweetheart Sal Middleton, with whom he had six children. They were Dick, Bub, Johnny, Mary and Dolly. Thornhill was soon convicted for stealing and was transported to New South Wales, Australia. William and his family arrived in Australia and Thornhill was put under the care of Sal, to work out his sentence. He worked for Alexander King. Throughout the time he worked for Alexander King, he continued to steal. He soon opened his own bar at his home where he sold Liquor to his fellow comrades. Thornhill realised from the beginning of his life in Australia, that he loved the land. Despite its hardness and isolation, it was a new and different life style to the one he had whilst living in London. When Thornhill’s sentence was completed, he received a pardon. Thornhill Chooses to stay in Australia, and he receives a hundred acres of land, which he calls after himself, as ‘Thornhill’s Point’. Throughout the novel it shows that William meets different characters such as Smasher Sullivan who he later joins in order to form a massacre against the...
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