Themes and message

The main themes of the short story “Heart is Where the Home is” by Thea Astley are violence, discrimination, and family. The story has a powerful social message as the author’s intention was to show the racial injustices Aboriginals were subjected to in Australia and the traumas caused by removing children from their families.

Violence and discrimination

The themes of violence and discrimination are closely linked in the story because the violence against Aboriginals is a result of racial discrimination practices.

The story mentions how the white colonisers came and killed Aboriginals and took their lands, but is focused on a particular discriminatory policy which established that Aboriginal children were to be removed from their tribal families and brought up by state or church institutions. The practice presented in the story is a real historical event, and we know today that it was a result of white settlers considering themselves...

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