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Commentary on the play "Stolen".

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Commentary on the play "Stolen" It is not difficult to understand the worries of a mother whose child goes missing for a day, but how about not seeing her child for twenty-six years? That seems so far-fetched, but yet it is also an incontrovertible chapter of Australian history. From 1910 until 1970s, the Australian government carried out an assimilation policy, under which Aboriginal children, referred as the "Stolen Generation", were brutally removed from their aboriginal family and taken to children homes, awaiting to be adapted by a white family. The idea of "assimilation" sounds promising, but beneath it are hidden countless of emotionally taxing stories, families broken apart, hopeless victims put a period to their lives. Jane Harrison tasted it all, as she herself is one of the stolen children. Being a victim under the policy, she knows clearly what cruelty the policy had to offer. ...read more.


The song itself is about healthy children life, yet the stolen generation was not given equal chances of education, they can only take up jobs which were not wanted by educated white people. Throughout the play, Ruby also raises a similar question, "where are you?" Here, Harrison wants to cry out for justice and humanity, strongly condemning the Australian government for the suffering brought to her people. Another character who had also been treated unfairly is Sandy. When he gets out of the children home, he has never spent Christmas in the same place twice. He works on a boat for eight years and twice as hard as any other white man, yet he is still underpaid. Therefore he cannot afford a stable house of his own. Whenever he settles down, the police come and chase him away. Hence, he often uses the phrase "always on the run". ...read more.


A disheartened Jimmy found out that only after twenty-six years that his mother has been alive all the time. However, before he gets to reunite with her again, his mother died. It can e inferred here Harrison's disapproval of the whole unyielding bureaucracy of that time, which not only kept mother and son part for over two decades, but also inundated the victim with disheartening lies. In the end, Jimmy committed suicide, saying he has "been a thug and a thief, but (he has) never stolen anyone's soul. Harrison wants to express her deep anger towards the government at that time, which was not only a thief in stealing aboriginal children, but also shattered their hearts in the process. All in all, Harrison criticizes the assimilation policy on the whole in many ways through the lines in the play, revealing the personal and cultural devastation it had brought to her people, an emotionally taxing punch that had brought a wound in the hearts of the aboriginal people that can never be healed. ...read more.

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