Family: One of the main ideas in the novel is family. In the novel, Carl and Harley are desert by their family and are forced to move in with their aunt who doesn’t care that the three of them share a bond with each other. Also, at their new home Carl and Harley are often detested because of what had happened in the past with their grandfather so another situation regarding their family has landed the brothers into another dilemma. As the story progresses, Carl regains the trust of the townspeople in Carl and Harley and they lose the label of the Matt Family being a bunch of troublemakers and by the end of the novel Carl and Harley are able to get their lives back by joining a new family.
Journey: During the course of the novel, self conscious, awkward Carl matures and begins to stand up for himself. When Carl first arrives in Wattle Beach he is miserable and lonely. He is extremely naive and hands all his money over to Beryl. Then, once he starts working, in an effort to have her keep him and Harley, he gives her all of his pay. Gradually, Carl learns to stand up for himself and his brother. When Beryl chains Harley up, Carl finds the courage to confront her at the club where she has been all day playing the pokies. Towards the end of the novel, Carl is regard as a hero by protecting Maddie by standing up to Nathan- “No-one’s ever told him of like that”. Each time Carl starts to get a little more self-confident another secret is revealed and he slips back into his self-doubts but at the end, he has clearly matured.
Love: Carl is crippled by the belief that his mother no longer loves him. Carl is a gentle person with a lot of love to give- He goes to Nugent’s store every afternoon to meet the bus, hoping that his mother will get off it. He buys reflectors for Harley’s bike and a coffee plunger for Beryl, even though he receives and expects nothing in return. He constantly looks out for Harley and tries to protect him in every way. Throughout the novel Carl...
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