The Secret River Grenville

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The Secret River by Kate Grenville is a historical fiction composed in 2005. Babel is a drama film by director Alejandro González Iñárritu that was released in 2006. These texts both display the theme of miscommunication and the clash of cultural values, which the composers have used to demonstrate and expose the historical and cultural events and ideas that have influenced the making of both texts. Through The Secret River Grenville reveals the horrendous events that the Aboriginal people of Australia endured during the colonisation in the early 1800s, whereas Iñárritu has composed Babel to demonstrate the discrimination and problems faced in Morocco, Mexico and Japan in the early 2000s. Whilst the time and place of these stories are vastly…show more content…
The Secret River is a historical fiction novel and Grenville has used this form of text effectively to explore the ideas and issues associated with the colonisation of Australia. By creating a work of fiction she provides readers with a more intense and in-depth experience. If she were to create a non-fiction text and only write about her ancestor, the emotions and thoughts of the main character would not be communicated and the narrative perspective of this text is a vital aspect of the way she explored the idea of miscommunication. The Secret River is told in the third person, however it is largely limited to Thornhill’s perspective. This gives readers an insight into how Thornhill attempts to communicate with the Aboriginal people and his frustrations when he is unsuccessful; “But the meaningless words poured over him, and in the end they became maddening… You ain’t making no sense to me, mate” (pg. 144). Similar to The Secret River, Babel is a fictional text inspired by real events. However in contrast, Babel is a drama film that features the perspectives of various different characters. This is due to the multiple locations in which the film takes place and the fact that each location features its own unique storyline. Iñárritu’s choice of more than one significant plot and connecting each plot in some aspect presents the audience with a captivating and informative…show more content…
A primary presentation of contrasting characters is the adults and the children. In The Secret River the children (primarily Dick) are represented as accepting and do not view the Aboriginal people as a threat; “he ran and called and laughed with them, and he could have been their pale cousin” (pg. 211). In Babel the American children appear intrigued by the Mexican culture witnessed and experienced during the wedding. In contrast, the adult characters in both texts are suspicious and threatened by unfamiliar cultures and countries; for example in The Secret River Thornhill often refers to the Aboriginal people as insects or animals, and in Babel the border patrol automatically assume that Santiago (a Mexican man) is carrying illegal goods. The fact that the children in both texts find no difficulties in communicating and interacting with the people of other cultures suggests that the miscommunication and clash of cultures is due to a failure of empathy and reluctance to understand the values of different
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