(7) This mirrors the British government's view of Australia. As they slowly try to discover who or what he is and where he's been, they are much the same as the early colonials when they first arrived and themselves as they created their township out of this unknown land. (11)
As Mr. Frazer and George Abbot put words in his mouth, not caring about the truth of them, but needing to give him an identity, so did the politicians in Britain treat Australia. (16) This identity was unreal and romantic because the truth of Gemmy's existence was frightening to them and by creating this fiction they were able to keep the darkness at bay. Further evidence of this attitude is reflected in the letters written by Sir George; to be delivered to the Lords back in England this correspondence provided romantic idealized versions of the harsher reality. (169) His representation of Australia bore little similarity to the actuality of the land and life to be encountered and led there.
The settlers had an equally idealized version of "home." They would long for "home" in quiet moments, unable to allow themselves to admit that maybe, immigrating had been, not quite, but almost, a mistake. For many, Britain was becoming a hazy memory, like the ghost of Willett, Gemmy's former owner, whose memory Frazer and Abbot rekindle while prying Gemmy's past from his tongue-tied mind. ...Show more