Black Mirror by Gail Jones
How does the narrative construct the character and her childhood world as complex?
The complexity of the character in ‘Black Mirror’ is constructed through the use of conventions to depict the conflict between her inner self and society. ‘Black Mirror’ is about a young girl, Anna, and her journey from childhood to adulthood, from the familiar to the unfamiliar respectively. The setting, plot line and the town’s environment help in show the complexity of the character.
As the irony of the title, Black Mirror, suggests, the complexity of the protagonist, Anna, owes much to her quest to establish her identity. The setting and the plot-line combine to represent Anna’s movement from the familiar world of her childhood to the unfamiliar world of the adult. “To the known triangle of her school, her house, the Midas Mine, she added other designs”, as she became more familiar to the unknown world. During her childhood she knew of only three places but as she grew up she learns that there is more to the world then she knows about. “There was also a pentacle pointed out by particular sites” that Anna learnt of when moving to the unfamiliar world. The use of the word pentacle gives a sense of witchery and a powerful woman in society, which Anna is becoming.
The landscape beyond the town, “the race course, the drive in, the false mountains of ore trailings …and beyond that, more mysteriously, Aboriginal camps and the desert”, is where Anna’s emerging self is most powerful. She feels she is free and she finds the wind glorious, “now that she owned it.” Yet still, the cultural conventions limiting her journey to womanhood are evident. Though she felt free, “in this far-out region Anna felt transgressive”, she felt she is restricted from doing certain things in this male dominated town. She had conflict between her inner self and society. As a girl in society she was pulled back from certain things even though she was courageous due to...
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