Your response must refer closely to the text and draw on appropriate features of the text. You may develop any of the writing tasks we have started in class or you may choose from the following options:
1. Sal speaking to a grandchild about her understanding and experiences of aboriginal culture. Be sure to use Sal’s voice, for example her vocabulary, her way of speaking, reflecting her personality. Also create the premise for the conversation and capture Sal’s thoughts and feelings as she looks back and remembers.
2. Write a journal from the point of view of one of Thornhill’s descendants. The descendant is wealthy pastoralist/farmer who comes across the stone with the fish carving when he rips up the floorboards of the family home at ‘Thornhill’s Place’. This prompts the farmer to research the origins of his family’s acquisition of the land and the conflict associated with it.
3. Create the narrative and dialogue between Dick and Blackwood discussing why Dick left home.
4. Write a letter from the perspective of one of the main or secondary characters set in the time of the events of the novel which explores the massacre on Blackwood’s property. This letter was never sent and has only just been discovered buried amongst the floorboards of his or her home.
6. Create a play for ‘voices’ (between four to six voices with each voice belonging to the characters from the novel – the settlers and Aborigines). Create the monologues for each voice and think about how they will be presented on stage and where one character’s monologue will be interjected by another character’s monologue and so on. Do not simply have the characters take turns in delivering and finishing their monologues independently of each other; do not have the characters interacting with each other; only the monologues must interact with each other.
7. Create a letter (to whom?) or a journal written from Blackwood’s point of view, reflecting on the way the British settlers responded to conflict with the Aborigines and how his own views changed over time.
8. Retell a section of the novel from another character’s point of view (e.g. Smasher, Blackwood, Dick, Sal, Long Jack, Sagitty, Mrs Herring).
9. Imagine you are going to direct either a film version or a play version of The Secret River. Select three to four key scenes where characters encounter different types of conflict. Create a director’s brief or report describing how the conflict should be dramatized. You are to include suggestions about the setting, action, body language, dialogue and the use of sound, music and lighting.
10. Write a series of diary entries by a member of Captain McCullum’s expedition, describing his experiences of encountering conflict with the Aborigines.
Monday 22 May: Draft completed in double period (electronic)
Monday 29 May: Submit final (electronic)