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Study Guide: Nanberry, Black Brother White: Characters

The Significance of Character 

Characters are the heart of any narrative, the catalysts for action, and the central core around which all other narrative aspects must revolve and work. In this work, there are several major characters (some of whom figure briefly in the action) and a cast of minor ones.   

Major Characters

  • Surgeon White - a trained surgeon who has radical views on medicine and who genuinely cares for those he treats.
  • Nanberry Buchanau White - one of the Cadigal people, and is a skilled linguist and successful sailor, amongst his other talents.
  • Rachel Turner - an intelligent young woman who has been sent to the colony as a convict who is assigned to Dr White and becomes his mistress.
  • John Moore - a generous-spirited and honest carpenter who prospers in the colony, later marrying Rachel.
  • Maria - former servant to Dr White who then marries Jack Jackson, and is widowed,  and remains a close friend of Rachel’s.
  • Captain Andrew White - a soldier before returning to Australia years later, to find the home he had never really forgotten.

Minor Characters

Several people appear a number of times, if fleetingly, e.g. Yagali, Bennelong, Balloonderry, Booroong, Lon, Garudi, Jack Jackson, Mr Tench, Colbee, Governor Phillip


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