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The Exiles


The author of Orphan Train returns with an ambitious, emotionally resonant ...
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'Living in a new world accords one certain freedoms. Social hierarchies are not as rigidly enforced.' Is this true for all the characters? What are the limitations of these freedoms? What does freedom mean to you today?

Created: 10/14/20

Replies: 8

Posted Oct. 14, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2695

"Living in a new world accords one certain freedoms. Social hierarchies are not as rigidly enforced." Is this true for all the characters? What are the limitations of these freedoms? What does freedom mean to you today?

Dr. Garrett reflects on the privileges granted the residents of Van Diemen's Land, saying, "It is my sense that, despite its hardships and limitations, living in a new world accords one certain freedoms. Social hierarchies are not as rigidly enforced." In what ways do you think this is both true and not true for each of the characters in The Exiles? What are the limitations of these freedoms – which characters are allowed them, and why are others excluded? What does freedom mean to you today?


Posted Oct. 18, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Alaskareader

Join Date: 10/18/20

Posts: 10

RE: 'Living in a new world accords one certain freedoms. Social hierarchies are not as rigidly enforced.' Is this true for all the characters? What are the limitations of these freedoms? What does freedom mean to you today?

Having lived in Alaska for more than 45 years, I understand this concept. Having money, social status, where you went to college, etc. - are not as important here. You can totally reinvent yourself, and for the most part, people either don't care about your past, or are forgiving about your past. I think this is largely true for the characters in The Exiles, though not as true for Mathinna, who cannot hide her dark skin and her Aboriginal ancestry. This is also reflected in a similar situation in Alaska with those with Alaska Native heritage. Systemic racism still exists against much of this Indigenous population.


Posted Oct. 18, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliep

Join Date: 04/07/12

Posts: 175

RE: 'Living in a new world accords one certain freedoms. Social hierarchies are not as rigidly enforced.' Is this true for all the characters? What are the limitations of these freedoms? What does freedom mean to you today?

Interesting comments by alaskareader above.
I agree that for most of the characters the taint of being a convict appears to lessen after a while, but definitely not for Mathinna, who cannot hide her native heritage. So sad and unfair for those who were the first inhabitants of the continent. It sounds as if Olive’s sexual choice needed to be hidden as well. In this political climate today, I don’t feel particularly free - I am surrounded by others of opposing viewpoints who are blatant about displaying and voicing their views when I have neither asked nor expressed interest. Very divisive.


Posted Oct. 18, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Gloria

Join Date: 03/11/15

Posts: 97

RE: 'Living in a new world accords one certain freedoms. Social hierarchies are not as rigidly enforced.' Is this true for all the characters? What are the limitations of these freedoms? What does freedom mean to you today?

I think because it is a "new" world, there hasn't been enough time for social hierarchies to form. But eventually they will. It just seems to be human nature.
In the immortal words of Rodney King, "Why can't we all just get along?"
I feel free, but realize that feeling could be taken away at any time.


Posted Oct. 18, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
momo

Join Date: 04/03/19

Posts: 49

RE: 'Living in a new world accords one certain freedoms. Social hierarchies are not as rigidly enforced.' Is this true for all the characters? What are the limitations of these freedoms? What does freedom mean to you today?

Perhpas, there are some freedoms in the new world, but it surely wasn't that way for poor Mathinna. I wonder what would have happened to Hazel and Ruby had the Dr. not saved them? Would she have been judged for being a single mother? I feel free, but there are limitations. I currently live in the South and it is surprising the amount of discrimination against latino people.


Posted Nov. 03, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Borntoread

Join Date: 09/04/18

Posts: 16

RE: 'Living in a new world accords one certain freedoms. Social hierarchies are not as rigidly enforced.' Is this true for all the characters? What are the limitations of these freedoms? What does freedom mean to you today?

This statement, "Living in a new world accords one certain freedoms" applies to the British settlers, but it totally overlooks the plight of the aborigines who had both their land and their way of life forcibly taken from them. To me, the plight of Matthinna and her tribe was one of the most poignant parts of the book.

For the British convicts who had been transported, there were more potential freedoms once they had served their sentences. Whenever there is a scarcity of labor, skills,and talents, people with find opportunities. There would certainly be more opportunities in the early days of the Australian colony.


Posted Nov. 03, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Borntoread

Join Date: 09/04/18

Posts: 16

Which characters in the book were most fully realized? Which were not as well-drawn?

I found the characters of Hazel, the young midwife; and Olive, the older and more experienced convict, to be the most fully realized of the characters in the book. I found myself becoming very involved in their stories as the book progressed.

Evangeline was of course a tragic character. If she had lived to experience life in Australia, her character would have the potential to develop more fully. One one point, Hazel thinks of her dead friend and wonders how her life would had unfolded if she had survived the voyage.


Posted Nov. 03, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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valeriec

Join Date: 10/20/10

Posts: 33

RE: 'Living in a new world accords one certain freedoms. Social hierarchies are not as rigidly enforced.' Is this true for all the characters? What are the limitations of these freedoms? What does freedom mean to you today?

I think it is only true for the white privileged. Everyone else paid huge sacrifices to be treated as a human being.


Posted Nov. 08, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 460

RE: 'Living in a new world accords one certain freedoms. Social hierarchies are not as rigidly enforced.' Is this true for all the characters? What are the limitations of these freedoms? What does freedom mean to you today?

Freedom seems to be like being on a merry-go-round - where you stop can offer you your freedom or it can take it away. Why do we have to keep paying for that generation after generation?


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