COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE BOOK, THE SECRET RIVER AND THE FILM, RABBIT PROOF FENCE
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Comparative Analysis of the Book, “The Secret River” and the Film, “Rabbit Proof Fence”
Besides having various features in common, the book The Secret River by Kate Grenville and the film Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002) by Phillip Noyce have a vast number of differences. The film shows the benefit of the country, belonging, and family to the Aboriginal people and offers the viewers with an account of the division between the Aboriginals and the Europeans. On the other hand, the book is about convict settlement. It explores the things that could have occurred when the Europeans tried to settle on the land that the Aboriginals had already settled in. Various elements can be focused to analyze how the two pieces are similar and how different they are. One of the items is language. The two uses different language features in that one is text while the other one is a film. However, there are various language features similar to the movie and the book. The other key feature that can be used to focus the comparative analysis between the two is stylistic features where the two shows various resemblances and disparities. Lastly, the last key feature to focus on is conventions. This essay will, therefore, give an account of the way these two works show similarities and differences concentrating on three key features; language features, stylistic features, and conventions. It will analyze each of these key features and how Grenville and Noyce use it in their pieces to bring about the meaning in their respective works, how they influence the audience and the way they are effective in setting up and delivering the targeted message to the audience.
There are differences and similarities between the language features between the two pieces. A major similarity evident in the two pieces is the use of figurative language. The authors have greatly employed figurative language not only to build on characters, plots, and themes but also to influence the audience and how they perceive different scenes. One of the figures used in both texts is symbolism. The rabbit-proof fence is a symbol and Noyce uses it to build on the plot of the film. It runs from Northern Australia to South West, and its purpose was to keep the rabbits out of the farmland. It is symbolic since when it was built, it was meant for keeping the Aboriginals in one place. The rabbits (whose movements are restricted) symbolizes the Aboriginals, and the spirit bird (which has the freedom to fly to any place they wish) symbolizes the Europeans. The fence is, therefore, a symbol of the division between the Europeans and the Aboriginals. The girls are filmed frightened like trapped rabbits, and this shows the effectiveness of this figure in passing the message. Similarly, Grenville uses symbols throughout the book to convey the message. An example of a symbol used in the book is the gun which symbolizes safety or insurance policy. “He had thought that having a gun would make him feel safe. Why did it not?” (p. 184). The spears used by the Aboriginals were much deadlier than the guns because it took time to load them but Thornhill tells Sal that the gun is meant to scare the Aboriginals. Additionally, Cobham Hall is a representation of the prosperity of Thornhill in New South Wales.
The two pieces show similarities and differences regarding the stylistic features used in both for different purposes and at various scenes. The two pieces use the third person point of view in their narrations, told by omniscient narrators. The use of the third person in expressing the ideas of the stories is successful in that it presents the Europeans as “the people” while Aboriginals are seen as “the others.” This standpoint convinces the audience of the position of the Aboriginals. Though Grenville explains the story from a third-person viewpoint, the story is fully voiced from the viewpoint of Thornhill. The storyteller has unhampered access to Thornhill’s thoughts. She uses such words as “He knew . . . He saw . . . He remembered,” and so on. Much of the story is in the form of free indirect style, which adopts the speech as well as thoughts of the character himself. Even when the narrative does not directly report the mind of Thornbill, the kit uses his idioms. On the contrary, Noyce uses different camera positions to show the then position of the Aboriginals in the Australian society. The movie’s most fascinating figure is certainly Neville. Particularly, he is introduced with a crowd of dizzying Dutch angles and daunting low shots. While the film comes to an end at the final frames, the audience peer t him from above which renders him ridiculous, and small, though undefeated. All in all, his rules would stay for many more years later.
Grenville, K., 2007. Searching for the secret river. Canongate Books.
Rabbit-Proof Fence, 2002. Directed by Phillip Noyce., Australia. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNbPPVetLCw&index=9&list=PLyDEADSO7olYzG60JxbmUYRFahbzpNPce.
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