The Lieutenant

by

Kate Grenville

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Warungin Character Analysis

Warungin is an old Aborigine man, and is one of the men that Lieutenant Gardiner captures so that the Governor and Silk can learn the Cadigal language. Warungin is incensed by his capture, though he continues to have mostly friendly contact with the English settlers after he escapes. Occasionally, he teaches Rooke the words for different weapons, although Rooke realizes that Warungin doesn't like that Rooke writes down all the words. He occasionally brings a group of men to Rooke's hut, and Rooke listens to Warungin tell stories and imitate different Englishmen. Warungin attends the public whipping of a prisoner and instead of seeing the whipping as a just punishment, he sees it only as cruel. This causes Rooke to realize that English justice isn't fair.

Warungin Quotes in The Lieutenant

The The Lieutenant quotes below are all either spoken by Warungin or refer to Warungin. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Language, Communication, and Friendship Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Grove edition of The Lieutenant published in 2008.
Part 2, Chapter 6 Quotes

Rooke said nothing more. There was a question forming in the back of his mind, which he did not want to hear. It was: What would I have done in the same place?

Page Number: 113
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 3, Chapter 6 Quotes

Warungin was not thinking punishment, justice, impartial. All he could see was that the Berewalgal had gathered in their best clothes to inflict pain beyond imagining on one of their own. Seen through his eyes, this ceremony was not an unfortunate but necessary part of the grand machine of civilization. It looked like a choice. When those fine abstractions fell away, all that remained was cruelty.

Page Number: 198
Explanation and Analysis:

He had made that choice, because he was a lieutenant in His Majesty's Marine Force.

There it was, in the very words. Force was his job. If he was a soldier, he was as much a part of that cruelty as the man who had wielded the whip.

Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:
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Warungin Character Timeline in The Lieutenant

The timeline below shows where the character Warungin appears in The Lieutenant. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2, Chapter 7
Imperialism, Racism, and Morality Theme Icon
Gilbert asks the older man, Warungin, the native word for "thumb," but Warungin won't meet the governor's eyes. Rooke thinks that... (full context)
Language, Communication, and Friendship Theme Icon
Imperialism, Racism, and Morality Theme Icon
Storytelling and Truth Theme Icon
...to formulate an excuse to visit Gilbert's house so that he might see Boinbar and Warungin again. Before he has a chance to go, Silk shows up at the observatory. The... (full context)
Violence and Rationality Theme Icon
Imperialism, Racism, and Morality Theme Icon
Storytelling and Truth Theme Icon
Silk continues to talk about how Boinbar and Warungin adjusted to their captivity, and shares more words of the native language. He stands and... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 2 
Language, Communication, and Friendship Theme Icon
...realizes that the men have come closer. He surreptitiously looks in their direction and catches Warungin's eye. Warungin comes and sits down near Rooke. He puts a hand out and begins... (full context)
Violence and Rationality Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Communality Theme Icon
Imperialism, Racism, and Morality Theme Icon
Warungin mimes using a telescope, gestures into the distance, and says "berewal" again. Rooke mimics Warungin... (full context)
Language, Communication, and Friendship Theme Icon
Violence and Rationality Theme Icon
Imperialism, Racism, and Morality Theme Icon
Rooke wants to learn more, but Warungin gets up. Though Rooke doesn’t detect any signal, a group of natives, including women and... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 5
Language, Communication, and Friendship Theme Icon
Violence and Rationality Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Communality Theme Icon
...little way away with their babies in their laps, making fishhooks and cords. Some days Warungin leads the procession to the observatory. He sits with Rooke and ignores him when he... (full context)
Language, Communication, and Friendship Theme Icon
Violence and Rationality Theme Icon
When Warungin comes with other men, he abandons his stern face and tells stories. Rooke can't follow,... (full context)
Language, Communication, and Friendship Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Communality Theme Icon
After Warungin's lesson, the children join Rooke at the hut. Tagaran, Boneda, and Worogan always come, sometimes... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 6
Violence and Rationality Theme Icon
Imperialism, Racism, and Morality Theme Icon
All the marines, most of the prisoners, and Warungin attend the flogging. Rooke sees that the thief is already sweating in fearful anticipation. Warungin... (full context)
Language, Communication, and Friendship Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Communality Theme Icon
Imperialism, Racism, and Morality Theme Icon
Governor Gilbert explains to Warungin that the man is bad because he stole food. He says simply that if people... (full context)
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Individuality vs. Communality Theme Icon
Imperialism, Racism, and Morality Theme Icon
Gilbert continues to try to explain to Warungin why the prisoner must be punished. Warungin looks away from the prisoner, but flinches with... (full context)
Violence and Rationality Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Communality Theme Icon
Imperialism, Racism, and Morality Theme Icon
Rooke looks to Warungin, who looks almost ready to vomit. Gilbert touches Warungin's arm and offers some food, but... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 1
Violence and Rationality Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Communality Theme Icon
Imperialism, Racism, and Morality Theme Icon
Storytelling and Truth Theme Icon
...Timpson mutters something as the crowd erupts, but Silk speaks over them and says that Warungin was brought to the hospital. Warungin told them that the spear belongs to a man... (full context)
Language, Communication, and Friendship Theme Icon
Violence and Rationality Theme Icon
Imperialism, Racism, and Morality Theme Icon
Storytelling and Truth Theme Icon
...word means more than it should. He thinks that it's easy enough to see how Warungin might see the situation: guests who were initially pleasant overstayed their welcome and changed his... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 2
Language, Communication, and Friendship Theme Icon
Imperialism, Racism, and Morality Theme Icon
Rather than seek out Warungin or Boinbar, Rooke walks towards the settlement and hopes he runs into one of the... (full context)
Language, Communication, and Friendship Theme Icon
Violence and Rationality Theme Icon
Imperialism, Racism, and Morality Theme Icon
...they're going out after six men. He asks Tagaran in Cadigal if she will tell Warungin. Rooke sees that Tagaran understands that it's significant that he's telling her this information. She... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 3
Language, Communication, and Friendship Theme Icon
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The native man gets close enough to be identified as Warungin. He appears happy to spend time with the soldiers. Warungin asks what the party is... (full context)
Individuality vs. Communality Theme Icon
Imperialism, Racism, and Morality Theme Icon
Warungin follows the soldiers back to their campsite, but disappears soon after they arrive. Willstead remarks... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 4
Language, Communication, and Friendship Theme Icon
Violence and Rationality Theme Icon
Silk, Willstead, Rooke, and Warungin sit together by the fire quietly while the 30 privates throw a party around a... (full context)
Violence and Rationality Theme Icon
Storytelling and Truth Theme Icon
...back trophies to paint, or if he's planning on illustrating his narrative. Willstead glances at Warungin and excitedly says that Rooke isn't far off from the truth, but Silk shushes him.... (full context)
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Individuality vs. Communality Theme Icon
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Rooke looks back to Willstead and Warungin at the fire, trying to talk about something. He wonders how you cut off a... (full context)
Language, Communication, and Friendship Theme Icon
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Individuality vs. Communality Theme Icon
Imperialism, Racism, and Morality Theme Icon
...that the natives eluded them. He continues that it was a failure, and remembers how Warungin sat relaxed by the fire while Silk smiled about the hatchet. Rooke says that the... (full context)