Implications of Marston’s theory:
The Grass is Singing opens with a newspaper report of a white woman being murdered by a native, Moses. It is an open and shut case because Moses is sure to be hanged as he is a native. But Tony Marston, the newly appointed manager of Dick’s farm, wants to articulate a theory why Mary has been murdered which undoubtedly becomes the centre of attention of this novel.
Though Claire Slatter and Sergeant Derham dismiss his theory, his theory cannot be ignored as the mystery of the novel lies in it.
According to Marston, this case is not something that “can be said in black and white, straight off”. To know the truth, one needs to understand the background, the circumstances, the characters of Dick and Mary and the pattern of their lives. After learning the truth, Marston feels an impersonal pity for Mary, Dick and Moses; it is a pity also which rage against circumstances. He thinks: “If you must blame somebody, then blame Mrs. Turner…. Though we cannot blame her either… and the whole thing is so difficult it is impossible to say who is to blame.”
Though white people like Charlie Slatter and Derham have simply hold Moses responsible for this murder, an unbiased analysis shows that neither Mary, or Moses, or Dick solely responsible for this murder nor can we completely release them from blame.
After coming to Dick’s farm, Mary has been driven slowly off her balance “by heat, loneliness and poverty”. The life she has led before marriage and the life she has led after marriage are polar opposite. She has enjoyed an independent life in the town before her marriage. But after her marriage she has been confined in a house without ceiling. To give a hint of her misery, the narrator says: “The heat in that house was so great that he could not how she stood it.”
Dick is a poor farmer who has to spend almost all the day in the field. Mary has tried to engage herself in different types of work but has finally failed to erase her...