The Dead of the Night - John Marsden

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“The best novels stand the test of time, providing the reader with an interesting story as well as conveying important themes and ideas” In John Marsden’s sequel to “Tomorrow When the War Began”, set in rural modern day Australia, comes his second novel of seven “The Dead of the Night”. John Marsden’s “TDOTN” has stood the test of time, by providing the readers with an interesting story as well as conveying important themes and ideas. The themes and ideas of “Death and Destruction”, “Relationships and Friendships” and “Warfare and Survival”, are used to convey important messages to the readers, by relating back to the teenagers life, and teenage audience. Using narrative told in first person narration by teenager Ellie, Marsden reinforces this by using styles and techniques such as Humour and Juxtaposition, to convey important messages to the readers and teenage audience, thus making the novel an interesting story, and withstand the test of time, by conveying important themes and ideas.

The theme of Death and Destruction is discussed in the novel “TDOTN”. The first encounter with Death and Destruction was the incident in Butter Cup Lane (Ch4). While the group was hiding in Butter Cup Lane to ambush a convoy of soldiers, a foot patrol of soldiers went to urinate in the bushes right where Homer and Chris were hiding. Homer grabbed a shot gun and shot the soldier, wounding him. “Jesus help me without thinking about it, I deliberately pulled the trigger” – pg 60 Ch4. Ellie is quoting that she didn’t want to think about putting the wounded soldier out of his misery, because she was afraid that she may back out if she logically contemplated this idea through and through her mind. Marsden uses Ellie’s train of “no thought” to convey important messages to the readers for the reason that many teenagers also do the same with their actions and don’t think things through appropriately. This is how John Marsden, uses the theme of “Death and Destruction” to make his novel...
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