The five main characters from the play Stolen are all suffered the Government decision to remove Aboriginal children from their families. They were denied power over their lives in many ways. They are taken away from their biological mother, denied contact with their families and forced to absorb the white Australian culture by being brought up by white parents instead of their indigenous parents, for better education and for a better lives. In this way the play shows how Aboriginal people have been deprived from choices and resources necessary to direct their lives. Furthermore, Jimmy, Ruby, Shirley, Sandy and Anne are the victim of the Government decision and the victim of the society. Their traumatic experiences are at different levels, some of the characters are unable to over come the horrific abused and experiences they " ve endured which lead them to close themselves off from the rest of the world.
Other like Anne, Shirley and Sandy managed to break through the concrete wall of powerlessness and are able to move on and made the most of their slender chances to better direct their lives. Stolen shows Aboriginal people to be determining in hoping for a better future, although they continually encounter new obstacles as they attempt to re-direct their lives. Shirley is the personification of the loss of contact with her parents a well as her own children. Shirley and her parents had no control over their lives. Shirley who'd tired to locate her children but was put 'on hold'.
This symbolizes the powerlessness of Aboriginal people against the white authority. Their lives were controlled and deferred by the White Authority. When Jimmy discover about his mother, that she's still alive, he regains a sense of hope which open the possibilities of positive changes to his live. As he waited for the meeting with his mother her 'stands happily', recalling his cheeky, carefree childhood personality, which indicates hope and a bright future for Jimmy. However, his mother's death defers all his happiness forever, his anger and despair takes over, leading to be locked up behind bar and having less power than ever to direct his life. Lives cannot be better when you are institute and then abused.
Jimmy and Ruby are abused when they were taken away for a weekend visits. They were sexually and physically abused. These traumatizing experiences lead them to shut themselves from the outside world and choose not to speak. Their silences after these experiences suggest that they have little choice but to follow guidelines, 'Promise not to tell.' Ruby's agonizing abuse and traumatizing experiences graphically showed through her decent into madness, unable to respond when her family finally found her. Like wise Jimmy's questions about his mother are answered only with a forceful: 'your mother's not coming. She's dead'.
These constant lies and abuses reinforce the children's lack of power to alter their situation and destroy their lives... Stolen shows lives not always better by separating children from their families. As in the case of Anne it leads her to a stage of confusion, as whether she's back or white. Anne's crisis of identity is difficult for her to deal with because she hasn't been told the truth of her aboriginal background. This demonstrates that Anne has very little say as whether she wants to be accepted by white society or back society, but Anne managed to love and made both parents accept her for who she is. Anne's slender chance to better direct her lives are stabilize with the opportunity given to her by both society, which gave her the power to change her placing in the society.
However, the Aboriginal people aren't given that chance to change their places in society. This can be seen in the scene of 'Cleaning Routine 2' where it shows the children's understanding of social ranking and where they are to be located. Shirley, Jimmy, Ruby and Anne are all confronted the issue of loss of identity, by being stolen from their families. This made them lose the ability to direct their lives.
This 'Powerlessness' led Ruby and Jimmy to their tragic ends. Where as Shirley and Anne are able to overcome their obstacles and struggles to better direct their lives. Overall, Stolen shows that Aboriginal people were principally disadvantaged as they were mostly unable to focus their lives according to how they want it to be.