Across the Nightingale Floor Review

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Suitable for students, Australian literature comprises of a variety of thought-provoking concepts that challenge readers’ minds, as opposed to the simple texts that students are confronted with nowadays. A mythic novel, Across the Nightingale Floor is an example of modern literature that most students read these days. A highly praised novel, it has received awards such as the German Youth Literature Prize. Written by the pseudonymous Australian author, Lian Hearn embraces a contemporary writing style, and her novel shows little resemblance to that of Australian literature. Based on high recommendations from my peers and seeing that the novel was intended for teens of both genders, I was compelled to explore this novel. Although a well written quest, I believe that it is an inappropriate book for high school study due to its incomplex storyline and weak moral sense. In the mythic novel, Takeo, a young boy living in the Three Countries, is on a quest to kill Iida, the callous leader of the Tohan clan, after Iida burnt Takeo’s village and killed his family. Takeo is taken in by Lord Shigeru and begins training as a warrior. Having being brought up by the Hidden, a peaceful clan who are against war, Takeo demonstrates reluctance to kill. This creates problems in his training and his teacher is determined to help him overcome this. Across the Nightingale Floor takes on a traditional and contemporary trend, incorporating ideas such as teenage love and arranged marriages. Gender discourses are embedded within the novel and are shown through the domination of males over females. Being a female, Kaede is without freedom and is forced into an arranged marriage with no objection. Lord Iida on the other hand, being a domineering male, overpowers Kaede. The majority of the novel consists of a war discourse which is apparent through the feud between Lord Shigeru and Iida. Family discourses are also seen at the very beginning of the novel with Takeo’s family. Contrasting...
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