The extract taken from the Australian novel, ‘The Battlers’ is the opening of the novel written by Kylie Tennant, an Austrlian author. Throughout this extract the Australian scenery and outback is skillyfully expressed by the author during the early nineties. A character in the story, known as ‘Snow’ is described as he decides on which path he should take for his journey back home. The extract is told from the third person. This allows the reader to visualize the actions of the protagonist and by doing so have a better understanding of the events taking place.
The title of the extract is somewhat effective in portraying the hardships that take place during the 1940’s where life was not so simple and was full of adversity resulting in men to travel for long distances in order to find jobs to support there families. ‘The Battlers,’ depict that to survive such severe lifestyles u needed to be a ‘battler,’ a person who works hard for little results. The first paragraph depicts many things such as the setting, the protagonist and his way of life.
‘If Snow had taken the road through Belburra, instead of the track through Currawong, his whole life would have run a different course,’ this grows interest in the reader who wants to keep on reading to find out what was the changing factors in his life. The setting of the poem is portrayed in the second paragraph where it occuring in the Austrlian outback is apparent through the use of various literary techniques. The incidence of the kangaroos, the weather conditions and the open plains are all exclusive conditions of the Australian outback.
These sceneries are expressed vividly in the following lines; ‘From Narrabri to Moree in a loneliness where mirages smoke,’ Narrabri and Moree are towns found in Australia however this line depicts how isolated these places are that even ‘illusions’ seem to be smoking referring to them as not having anything to do. ‘And great brown kangaroos leap away from the road,’ kangaroos being an Australian animal and found vastly in the outback add to Australian scenery.
‘Where the enfiladed telegraph-poles dwindle to a pinpoint and disappear over the rim of the earth,’ here the author is portraying the vast stretched land of telegraph poles and as you look onto the land how isolated it seems as the only thing in sight is the telegraph poles and there diminishing appearance as you look onto the land ahead. Conveying the weather also reveals to the Australian outback, ‘where the ground is baked like a tile in the summer,’ the extreme weather during the summer has caused the rocks on the ground to harden as if to become like tiles.
‘And in winter forms a black bog that dovers dread,’ as the ground becomes wet and muddy because of the roads instability causing the dovers dread it. The author empahizes on the setting of the poem as she continously illustrates the Australian outback in paragraph five. ‘Two great coral trees red-pink coloured lifted naked gray branchers that showed instead of leaves, cluster of flowers, curved blades of scarlet around stamens. ‘ Here the author is depicting the natural surroundings and the amazing bright red colour that these flowers portay.
To allow the reader to visualize the immense colour of these flowers the author follows it by the line ‘as though a flock of fiery-coloured birds were tilting their tail-feathers in council. ‘ These various lines allow the reader to visualize the setting of the event of an isolated Australian outback where these sceneries are a common aspect . The only character and the protagonist of this extract is ‘Snow,’ a man who is described in forms of his physique. ‘Snow was a big man, six foot one, and every inch of him was meat-hungry.
‘ The fact that he did not seem to be a man who is cherished by his family and a man that carries strong moral beliefs is depicted throughout the extract. Him not being very dear to his family is portrayed in the opening paragraph where his arrival to his home is not quite theatmosphere that would be expected by children who would eagerly wait for their fathers arrival . His sudden arrival would cause ‘one of sons to stroll inside and announce: ‘Hey, Mum, Dad’s here. ‘And his wife would remark grimly: ‘Hello!
So you’re back, are you ? ‘and Snow would say : ‘Yeah, im back. ‘ It is as if Snows arrival was an ongoing thing and that the family was use to this and did not take much interest to when he arrived. This line also expresses his time spent away from home as it also does in paragraph two, ‘He was of that singular breed who travel alone for preference. ‘ Snow not being a man who believed in honest and decent behaviour is also expressed as one of his characters where he thinks about eating others sheep.
The major theme in this extract is ‘wind. ‘ Throughout the extract by the use of various literary techniques the writer illustrates the changes the wind has brought along with it and it also being a common aspect of the Australian weather. ‘ A rey-green wall of gums reared up ,roaring with ridges behind under intermittent surf of wind. ‘ The ferocity and sporadic of the wind caused the gum trees to make a whistling sound, a sound made by the passing of the wind.
‘Now the wind was thunderous as city traffic,’ here the author draws a comparison between the wing and the city traffic. The wind is being referred to being noisy such is city traffic and also like the city traffic it may be dangerous causing damage to the natural surroundings. ‘The vicious westerly biting with all the malice of the thousands of miles of barbed wire which it had blown. ‘The use of the word ‘viciously’,adds to the extreme brutality of the wind which destroys anything in its path and in this case it is the barbed wire which it seems to torn apart.
However in the following paragraphs the author depicts the wind as it being someful useful as in the line, ‘the high steel windmill whirled above the tank provided for travelling stock, clanking the pump rod up and down with a lonely clatter, like a ghost rattling in chains. ‘ This simile shows how the travellers can benefit from the wind as it provides food for the travellin stock. The clanking of the pump rod is caused by the wind and also the ghost rattling in chains adds gothic to the extract, making the wind sound precarious.
‘There was a faint hissing as the topmost leaves of the gums boiled over in silver spray, flashing like mackerel shoal that ruffles a dark sea. ‘Here the use of the mackerel is used with its shiny blue and silver stripes and how that seems to fade in the ocean and how the topmost leaves also fade away in the silver spray. The personification,’The boughs would leap and whine as though some small animal were caught in their crotch, straining and lashing until the very trunks groaned again,’here the author portrays the boughs as having human forms as to ‘leap’ and ‘whine.
‘The ferocity of the wind caused the boughs to move about like animals that would move if any danger was to come near their crotch. Moving onto the next paragraph , ‘ Snow cared little for the wind, as it hushed his fire sideways like a mother soothing a rowdy child in its cot,’ here the writer depicts the how the wind has caused the fire to sway or move from side to side in comparison to how a mother would rock the cot of a rowdy child. The structure of this extract is eight paragraphs mainly comprising of the same size, however they are quite short paragraphs.
The short length of the paragraphs allows the reader to grasp the sequence of events that are taking place. This extract taken from the novel,The battlers is a great opening for this novel in which the protagonist of the novel, the setting of the novel and the lifestyle of those who lived during the 1940’s is portrayed with the skillfully designed literary techniques which vividly allow the reader to visualize the events that are taking place.