Boys of Blood and Bone
David Metzenthen’s Boys of Blood and Bone is a truly ambitious novel. He received his inspiration to write the novel as a tribute to his grandfather, to show his respect to those who went to war and to connect young Australians to past history. His novel links the stories of Henry Lyon, in the summer before he starts his first year at University and Andy Lansell, an Australia digger killed in World War 1. The book contains several messages which should be of value to everyone. These include mateship, relationships, committing to personal responsibilities or duties in society and to value the little things in life. However, the idea that people haven’t changed while Australia and the world has and his feelings towards the lasting effects of war are two strong underlying beliefs of Metzenthen’s which he has incorporated into his novel. This novel provides a real eye opener for all young adults and makes them more appreciate life in all aspects. These are all demonstrated through the narrative point of view.
Metzenthen’s use of third person limited omniscient perspective for both Henry and Andy’s stories helps to create the idea of similarities and differences between their two lives. This effectively shows the impact which war has on generation after generation. Metzenthen’s persona is recognisable throughout the entire novel. He never beautifies any of the descriptions of events in both Henry and Andy’s lives. Metzenthen’s attitudes towards the long lasting effects of war can be interpreted in the following extract when Andy experiences a flash back to the trenches and battlefields and the horrific things that happen there as well as his longing to return home. mmm‘Goin’ home,’ he said. ‘Most of the time it seems too much to hope for. And that you’ll put the moz on yourself.’ An image of the trenches rose like nausea; he could see the place, the sky rimmed with...
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