Dolly Analysis

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The most influential and complicated character in Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet is Dolly Pickles. Dolly has the ability to inflict a variety of emotions in the reader. Due to her persona to be a ‘slut,’ alcoholic and a bad mother there are strong negative emotions invoked however as Dolly’s representation drastically changes the audience feels pity and sorrow for her. There are various symbols and language features that are associated with Dolly and as a consequence heighten the character’s influence in the reader’s response. Dolly is the wife of Sam and the mother of Ted, Chub and Rose which is the role given to her by society but the way Winton represents her is completely the opposite of societies expectations. Dolly is very promiscuous and as a result sleeps with other men, “Right now with the rime of sex on her, she smelt of salt herself. Oh, those yanks are something, she thought; Jesus Christ they’re something,” (15). Dolly is also depicted as an alcoholic as well, “(Rose)... damn her to hell and shit and piss and sick! She’s drunk again...” (105). Tim Winton created a character like Dolly to cause conflict and various issues arise with it for example “Climbing the stairs, Dolly had the old question come back. Bad mother, or no mother at all?” (175). The nonexistent connection between Rose and Dolly is one of the centre conflicts within the novel. Tim Winton uses this to create sympathy for the daughter with the terrible mother and dislike for the mother. This carries on throughout the beginning and middle of the text with the reader so set in the emotions and presumptions felt towards Dolly. However, near the end of the text Dolly’s past is revealed, “My mother was my grandmother. My father was my grandfather... the second oldest sister, the one who made me feel like rubbish all my life, that one was my mother,” (357). As a result of the past being revealed the reader gains insight to the reason why Dolly behaves like she does and it changes their view and...
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