The fourth Chapter of Estella Blackburn's non fiction novel Broken lives "A Fathers Influence", exposes readers to Eric Edgar Cooke and John Button's time of adolescence. The chapter juxtaposes the two main characters too provide the reader with character analyses so later they may make judgment on the verdict. The chapter includes accounts of the crimes and punishments that Cooke contended with from 1948 to 1958. Cooke's psychiatric assessment that he received during one of his first convictions and his life after conviction, marring Sally Lavin. It also exposes John Button's crime of truancy, and his move from the UK to Australia.
The chapter "A Fathers Influence" is constructed with several techniques including selection of detail, choice of language, characterization, structure and writers point of view to reveal Blackburn's values of social acceptance, parenting, family love, and a father's influence. Consequently revealing her attitude that a child's upbringing and there parents influence alter the characterization of a child significantly.
Blackburn's choice of language is impetrative in positioning the reader to see Button as the Protagonist and Cooke as the antagonist. "The thirteen year old blinked and stammered when he tried to answer the magistrate's questions about why he was wagging school". The words "blinked and stammered" describing buttons actions encourage sympathy and an imagery of innocence. "But now he felt vengeful too. He wanted to spoil things a little for those happy people who didn't suffer like he did", the words "vengeful, and wanted to spoil" associated with Cooke's thoughts, encourage a menacing, and revengeful imagery of Cooke. Blackburn's choice of language also position the reader to feel sympathetic towards Cooke, "Wandering the streets to avoid his fathers belting and abuse at home, it was easy to take things here and there to provide some pleasure in life". The words "belting and abuse" encourage a sympathetic feeling;...
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