The Removalists

by David Williamson

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Themes

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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

The themes of The Removalists include sexual vulnerability and the corruption of power. The two sisters, Kate Mason and Fiona Carter, subject themselves to the authority of the police officers Constable Ross and Sergeant Simmonds. This happens because the sisters are trying to get help after Fiona is abused by her husband, Kenny. Kenny threatens not to take Fiona back if she leaves him (which he begins to suspect once the police arrive at the house). Kenny also eventually victimizes Kate, Fiona's sister, by revealing what Fiona told him about Kate's adultery. Another instance of sexual vulnerability is when Kate encourages Fiona to undress in front of the police officers in order to show them her wounds. Fiona is reluctant to do this, but putting herself in a sexually vulnerable position gives her leverage with the police offers.

The corruption of power is evident in Simmonds's interest in sexual favors from the sisters, which is a motivating factor in his involvement in the case. Although he is encouraged by Kenny's insults, Constable Ross abuses his power by beating him. The final scene, in which Ross and Simmonds punch each other in order to frame the deceased Kenny for assaulting officers, is a fitting ending for this theatrical portrayal of abuse of power.

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