FLY AWAY PETER - CHAPTER ONE
This chapter as the beginning of the book sets the scene and begins to develop the characters of the novel. The story begins with Jim in the swampland watching birds calmly, looking at how they live their lives, remembering that these small birds have seen more of the world than most people, "has been further and higher than even that clumsy plane" (p.3). As a respectful intruder into the birds' territories, Jim feels that nature is in balance before he notices a biplane begins making circles above the swampland. The biplane belongs to Ashley Crowther, Jim's employer who owns the swampland and is giving his guests flights over the area. Ashley is something like a local squire after returning from England, where he had his education. This distinguishes the lives between Jim and Ashley, although we later learn that Ashley in fact provided the job for Jim, it has liberated Jim, and has "made free of his own life" (p.5) the basic, boring life that Jim's father had declared "for the likes of us" (p.5) Jim and Ashley have a strong bond between them, despite their difference in class. Ashley recognises that Jim has an affinity with the land, and proclaims that in fact the land partially belongs to Jim, although Ashley owns it. Later we meet Jim's father, a traditional man, with many contrasts between Jim and himself. Jim's father resented the English, against their "fancy accents and their new fangled ideas. And their machines!" (p.6) Jim's father believes that Jim would be better off just going to Brisbane and getting a job there, so as not to rely on the English for employment. But Jim will stay and rely on Ashley because "Something in the silence that existed between them, … made Jim believe that there could be a common ground between them, whatever the difference." My Thoughts and Feelings about Chapter 1:
When reading this chapter I felt that there was a very strong affinity between Jim and nature, that he was so intensely fascinated with the birds that he wanted to be one, to fly off to another part of the world. It seemed as though Jim would be quite content to sit or stand in the swampland all day and just watch the birds. The disturbance of the plane disturbed Jim because it was an intrusion into the normal goings-on and was harmful to the wellbeing of the natural processes that occur. This in my mind is imagery for the way war inflicts upon the world, and how no one likes it. When we meet Ashley I sense something of a respect toward Jim, despite his "higher class" Ashley respected Jim as much as any other man. Jim is also unintimidated by Ashley, although it is Ashley who is his employer. The two young men can just sit there and both be very content in that their relationship can support that and that they enjoy each others company and all times. The relationship that Ashley has with Jim is in strong contrast to the relationship that Jim has with his father, which is in a rather poor condition. The differences between Jim's father and himself are strong. Jim's father is a very traditional man and I felt as though he wanted Jim to continue the Australian tradition of hard work, to follow in his footsteps, but instead Jim wanted to work for Ashley and learn about nature by experiencing it first hand. When I was reading this part of the chapter I almost felt sorry for Jim's father because he seemed quite upset at the fact that Jim was not following the inevitable life "for the likes of us" FLY AWAY PETER - CHAPTER TWO
Within Chapter Two of 'Fly Away Peter', Ashley Crowther, being Cambridge educated, a musician and much like an English gentleman, has returned to his childhood home to find that he is still in touch with it and not al all a stranger as would be expected. Ashley rides around his property, reestablishing his connection with it, reminiscing. The house is given new life- filled with weekend guests who have come to share and enjoy the landscape and nature with Ashley. One day, while...
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