Lachlan Donovan

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‘It is through the characters that the themes of a novel come to life.’ Without characters the author would not be able to expand on the themes and provide depth into the novel. There would be no emotion in the novel and it would not be interesting to read. ‘A Bridge to Wiseman’s cove,’ by James Maloney, uses characters such as Carl, Harley and Justine to make the novel come to life through the themes of friendship, abandonment and support.

Friendships are important in life no matter what age you are but especially during adolescence. At the beginning of ‘A Bridge to Wiseman’s cove’ Carl moves to a new town where he doesn’t know anyone. As Carl lacks self-esteem and is conscious of being overweight he finds it difficult to make new friendships. First of all Carl just watches people his age from a far but then he meets Justine. When Carl has his first conversation with Justine he says, “ I can’t talk to girls.” Justine then replies with a joke, “What am I then, a pork chop?” They immediately feel comfortable with each other. From then on their friendship becomes stronger and through Justine Carl develops a friendship with Maddie. It is through these three characters that James Maloney develops the theme of friendship.

Another theme in this novel is abandonment. People who are abandoned change for better, or worse, depending on how they react. Maloney develops this theme through the different responses shown by the brothers Carl and Harley. Harley reacts by showing little regard for authority and not caring about the results of his actions. He gets into fights, commits vandalism and tells Aunt Beryl that he hates her without thinking about the consequences. This is in complete contrast to Carl’s reaction to abandonment. Carl cares more for the people around him, takes on more responsibilities such as getting a job and attempts to keep Aunt Beryl happy by even giving her his entire wage. Towards the end of the novel when Carl has just found out what...
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