In life there is nothing greater than to have someone by your side supporting you no matter what. In the novel The Secret River by Kate Grenville a strong bond is formed between the characters William and Sal Thornhill. They become a ambitious duo whilst living in London dreaming of one day escaping their poverty. However when their world is turned upside down and Will is deported to New South Wales for theft their love is put to the test. The new harsh world that is presented to the couple in Australia changes their love along with their individual ideas.
William Thornhill is not the sort of character that is born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He is in one of the lowest classes of Victorian England. Sal Thornhill fell in love with William at a young age and married him quickly as well. She is a saucy woman that faces adversity with a sense of humor and resolve.
After settling into Cobham Hall, the separation between William Thornhill and his wife, Sal creates a conflicting familial relationship. The lack of communication between Thornhill and Sal, generates further division between each other as Sal, “gave no sign that she had heard him speak”. The use of symbolism, “Thornhill worked beside her but she seemed to be making sure there were always a few plants between them,” indicates the distinction between Thornhill & Sal, as well as highlighting a lack of intimacy and communication between each other. This lack of intimacy shows the importance of a person’s physical relationship with the world around them in shaping their sense of identity.