GOD BOY CAMBRIDGE
The novel “God Boy” portrays the New Zealand of the mid-20th century, a grey, intensely physical, limited world. And the life of Jimmy Sullivan is the story of a boy who experiences these encounters first hand. Jimmy tells the story from his point of view and reflects all of his sentiments and opinions. Jimmy begins to reflect to his past, when he is thirteen years old and lives in the countryside in a convent of orphans, where he recalls the shattering events which destroyed his family two years before. Jimmy is too young at the time to do anything about the troubles around him and this powerlessness leads him to be forced into this largely passive role of an observer. Jimmy even quotes, “All I could do was see, and that is what I saw”(134). But now he is thirteen and begins to desire a sort of record of all that he saw, and this leads him to unburden himself of his past. In the first chapter Jimmy quotes, “I’ll tell you how I used to care just to show you, I don’t mind talking, though I never have before” (15). Jimmy’s story is focused on a narrative present of three days, plus flashbacks in mid-winter. This brief period of three days, Monday to Wednesday, is directly prior to his fathers death at the hand of his frustrated mother.
Jimmy goes into everything over this crucial three days in almost obsessive detail. This only proves even more the horrors Jimmy was encountering in his dreadful home. At the start of chapter 9 Jimmy even pauses his narrative for two long paragraphs describing all the furniture in the family’s living room. Jimmy feels that somehow the gift his father gave him, the bicycle is what heightens the tensions within his parents and led to his father’s death. Jimmy’s mind is overcome with guilt, at thinking that somehow he is to blame for the death of his father. Two years after the murder, as a thirteen-year-old narrator, Jimmy professes: 'I've grown out of liking bikes, don't you worry', but his book is...
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