My Greatest Ambition

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My Greatest Ambition, Lurie.

Story written in 1st person in voice of young(?) narrator. Tone shows a wry humour – adult reflecting on youth seems more likely. Language is straightforward and relies on variety rather than image creating. Sentences vary in length and create a sense of conversation. Humour of opening sentence implies adult looking back with affection. Memory as narrative tool: memory is always unreliable. Narrator counters this unreliability by frequent corrections and apologies for inaccuracy. Title puts ambition against “dream” as writer is scathing of dreamers, yet the whole story is a dream of his. This becomes increasingly obvious.

Characters: Narrator is wry and humorous. Description is quite detailed – a sense of growth is evident as he recognises his suit as ridiculous after being earlier convinced that it looked OK. Age is conveyed in telephone scene, as is unworldliness of the boy. Countdown on the train signifies anxiety and excitement. Detail re ink stains increase the awareness of youth of the narrator. All others are seen through his eyes. Father is a great “scoffer” – he does not have great faith on his son’s dream. His humour that of an adult : teasing and general comments about comics. Mother is seen in dialogue over telegram. She is loving and proud. Otherwise has little impact. Setting – little of home is seen apart from Father’s hats stored in son’s bedroom. Factory – distance from town centre and lack of any “glamour” should suggest to reader that this is not a major concern. Lurie is disappointed, but seems not to realise. He does feel the lack of glamour on tour of the factory. He is interested in the product, not the process.

Students should create summary and find quotations to support the following points. 1. Wants to write comics in Australia: post war?
2. Writes comic strip and hides it away amongst dad’s hats. 3. Michael Lazarus, a friend, tells him about a magazine in Melbourne....
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