The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith by Thomas Keneally (****)

Jimmie Blacksmith is a half-caste; Aboriginee mother and caucasian father.  He was brought up with a lot of grooming by the missionary for a world not willing / ready to accept him to be more than what they think Aboriginees are; ‘savages’.

Jimmie tried to follow the principles of life as was taught him by the missionaries: finish work contract; no walkabout; and was mostly polite.  However, being looked down and mistreated for countless of times driven him to a rage he has never known before and therefore, uncontrollable.  He went on a killing spree.  Crimes so heinous, he was hunted down and was given the capital punishment.

The book ends with some contemplations by the missionary who had took on Jimmie and groomed him for what the society then does not want him to be.  Has he done wrong in educating him as a civilised man and therefore, pre-empted these unspeakable crimes?


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