"Cloudstreet" By Tim Winton. Essay

1795 words - 7 pages

The values and attitudes endorsed by a novel can best be identified through an examination of its conclusion and this is evident in the novel Cloudstreet by Tim Winton. Through close analysis of its conclusion, it can be seen that the main values and attitudes within and towards various concepts such as family, place and reconciliation presented in Cloudstreet, as a whole, are endorsed quite comprehensively in the closure of the text. Using particular techniques of characterisation, theme and narrative structure, these values and attitudes are made evident in the exposition of the text, where the characters have other values, and throughout the development, where the characters go through a life changing process, leading up to the conclusion, of which the characters realise the importance of these concepts.The concept of family is evidently valued in the conclusion of Cloudstreet. The novel endorses the importance of family and how the unity of family members can be rewarding as well as comforting. While some of the characters value complex structures of living, such as Oriel's value of hard work, Cloudstreet highlights that these structures of living cannot replace the joys, love and security experienced within family life. This importance of family togetherness can be identified within the conclusion of the novel, where the Pickles and Lambs are having a picnic together 'by the river'. They are happy, dancing and 'dizzy with laughter', embraced with an abundant supply of food of which Winton describes expressively, "Out of the crates come hams, cold chickens…a jar of anchovies and a vat of pickled onions."(pg 422). The atmosphere of the family picnic is rather blissful, "But here, here by the river, the beautiful, the beautiful, the river, the Lambs and the Pickleses are lighting up the morning like a dream" (pg 423), reinforcing the idea that spending time with the family can be rewarding. In relation to the rest of the novel, this act of bringing the family together within the conclusion is simply a closure of all the journeys and lessons that the characters have undertaken in the 'twenty years' to realise their need for family.When the characters part or leave the family bad things tend to happen, conflict arises and no one is happy. For example an important narrative element in Cloudstreet is when Quick runs away from home. Winton describes his lifestyle in quite an 'earthy' manner, informing of Quick 'culling' kangaroos, eating 'gilgies out of some farmer's dam' for lunch and getting woken up by flies in his Ute, his temporary home, for a living. He is forced to work hard just for 'a quid or two' and has many bad experiences; getting caught naked with his boss' daughter, losing his job and getting 'bogged under nine tons of super'. Already Quick's parting from the family is seen as being a devastating act. Furthermore Quick is constantly reminded of his family, quite often seeing visions of himself running away, 'his face is tough...

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