Walkabout: Desert and Essential Items

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Walkabout is about a young girl, her younger brother, and a bush boy who fight for survival in the Australian desert. James Vance Marshall, the author, shows many problems of survival that the children are faced with, throughout their journey in the Australian desert. Some of the barriers that they are faced with are: language barrier, unfamiliar surroundings and the lack of essential items. Survival in the wilderness can be challenging, however one must be able to overcome these barriers in order to survive.

The children in this novel are always faced with a communication problem; do to the Aboriginal not knowing their language and visa versa. The children try to overcome this barrier by using hand gestures, and pointing to things that sound like the word. Communication is the most important asset that they need in order for survival. The children have a difficult time-sharing their thoughts with one another, thus making it very frustrating for all of them to get their thoughts out in the open: “We don’t know what you’re saying. But we’re lost. We want to go to Adelaide“ (Marshall, 45). This quote that Peter says is proving that the two children did not understand what he was saying. Peter asked him a question in return but Peter had to try and use hand expressions in order for the Aboriginal to understand.

A language barrier can cause many problems for anyone, however, the children are also faced with another obstacle and that is unfamiliar surroundings. Since the children are unfamiliar with the area and where everything is located in the wild, they do not know how to go about in their journey. With no compass and no map, the children are very puzzled and are lost before they even begin their journey to Adelaide. A compass or a map would have allowed them to know which direction they are heading in; instead they must try and use the sun as a guide. By being in an unfamiliar area the...
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