Jimmy and Ruby are the most obvious victims in Stolen, but all suffer in their different ways. Discuss

The most obvious victims in a tragedy like the Stolen generation are those in whom the pain and suffering endured is visible to all. Jane Harrison's ‘Stolen' presents Ruby and Jimmy as the most obvious victims but not necessarily the greatest, as may be naively assumed.

The remaining characters, Anne, Shirley and Sandy all suffer huge depths of despair, yet their suffering appears to lessen to some degree in the eyes of the viewer/reader due to their hope, determination and stability which in some ways assist them in attempting to resolve their problems and become reunited with their loved ones.

The physical and sexual abuse experienced by Ruby and Jimmy is horrifying and obviously very visible to others. The loss that Ruby and Jimmy suffered was a loss of dignity and to the extent that they were both unable to keep fighting "I just can't [fight] no more" or hold on to any hope of reuniting with their families because their pain was too great "they stuck a knife into me heart" The children were deceived with the hopes of being cared for "matron said they're gunna take one of us home" and when they understood the truth they were disheartened and lost in silence " I promised not to tell"

Jimmy and Ruby both led very tragic lives by the closing scene of the play, implying that perhaps they are the greatest sufferers because of their obvious pain. Jimmy the playful young boy has had his heart ripped apart by the hope "I'm finally gunna meet my mother" of finally reconnecting with his mum and the despair of her death, and takes his own life as a melancholy eccentric prison inmate "I'm going now, to be with my mother"

Unlike Jimmy, Ruby has the chance to be with her family again, " Sis, we've come to take you home" but her mental and emotional state is beyond repair after the damage done to her, " don't live in no home anymore" In "Ruby's family come to visit" it appears Ruby is inevitably set to live a lonely and disjointed life…if she continues to even have the strength or will to live.

A victim of loss, like Ruby, Shirley speaks on behalf of both children and mothers who have lost the family because of the ‘welfare' system. Shirley experiences the pain twice; obviously she suffers immense emotional damage due to her situation, yet Shirley appears to conceal it with her incredible strength of hope. The pain deep inside of her is hidden by her optimism, presented through her continuos knitting "representing the years she has knitted…without ever getting the chance to give them her symbols of love." Shirley appears to be less of an obvious victim because she remains hopeful despite nearly "losing the plot" and determined, as "Shirley never gives up searching"

Also appearing to never give up is Anne, the young girl brought up by white adoptive parents and never told of her Aboriginal family and heritage until seemingly too late " It's about your mother...she's dying" While Anne appears to have a great deal going for her in life, she lives luxuriously in comparison to the institution like building of the children's home" my home's got lace curtains… and I've got a room all to myself" she is caught between two very different worlds, communities and families.

Anne seems very stable and loved by her adoptive parents, but should they really be considered loving considering they never told Anne who she was, what her identity is, until too late. As a result of Anne's white family and lifestyle Anne faces stressful issues such as acceptance into either community " Don't just think you have an automatic right to be here." she is torn apart and finds it incredibly difficult to find her place anywhere, " Am I black or white" However the support Anne has present around her allows her to make hopeful decisions " either way I love them both"

Stability is obvious without doubt in Sandy, the young boy who was lucky to spend time with his family before being separated was always aware of his identity. Sandy even shared his knowledge of their culture with the other children ion the home by telling them the story of the Mungee, much to the distress of others who knew it was wrong to speak their native language in the home " you're not allowed to say that". He is proud of his identity and while he suffers the pain of never being reunited with his parents, he has the strength to be content with being back ‘home' on the land he loves. Sandy's attitude is probably due to his obvious family connections and love that is evident through his experience of hiding before he was taken away to the children's home, his relations went to extremes to save him " I tried to pass him off as one of my mob…" " He hid in Jake's kennel"

One cannot measure the depth of suffering endured by the children, parents and families of the Stolen generation, obvious victims are easy to recognise due to the physicality of their abuse. Yet one can measure the depths of hope, determination and stability that allow people to create them as less of victims and live beyond the tragedies, " not give up fighting" and " don't let it happen again"

Stolen 7.8 of 10 on the basis of 1490 Review.