Tomorrow When the War Began

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Describe a challenge faced by a main character or individual in a text you have studied. Explain why this challenge was important to the development of this character or individual.

In the novel Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden, Ellie’s biggest challenge was maturing in the new normal. Unlike many more fortunate young people, she was not able to grow gradually and mature at her own pace over several years. Instead her life changed in a sudden slam of a door when her country was invaded by a foreign army. Ellie had to learn how to survive in the war situation in a short period of time, to be able to transform her guilt into acceptant and to face the loss of her friends.

First of all she had to learn to survive in the war situation. At the beginning of the novel, she was capable at doing almost every farm work. “chopping wood, using a chainsaw, driving, riding the horse, being a rouseabout, marking lambs and drenching sheep.” But these skills were far different from guerilla warfare which she and her friends had to engage in. As the novel opened Ellie and her friends could not even return to their homes and had to retreat to their camp in the bush. This was her first challenge. Camping in the bush is fun if it is temporary; living in the bush is less fun.

As time went on the young people, led by Ellie devise strategies not just to survive but to defeat the enemy. Ellie had to move mentally and physically from running scared to trying to overcome fear and manage to defeat some of the soldiers who were holding the town’s people. Initially she was just shocked and terrified. In the course of her first challenge she had to transform the fear and act in a most aggressive way.

She devised a plan to make a bomb from the ride on mower, draws soldiers towards her with the intention of killing them and blowing them up. This has a significant effect on Ellie, “I was so filled with horror. I felt that my life was permanently damaged, that I could never...
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