they are the following: Family, bravery and death. Palmer uses intense and subtle situations to
portray the importance of these three subjects.
Palmer makes the fascinating point that bravery may have either positive or negative affects.
One brilliant example of this are when the main protagonist, Murray, gets stuck in a pen with a
wild boar. Murray’s dad comes to the rescue, but is gravely injured in his act of bravery.
Another example is when Murray filled in for his brother’s cricket game, and ends up in a fight
with his life long enemy. Murray’s brother, Will, gets between the two boys, but in a fit of
rage, Murray incidentally injures …show more content…
My final example on the topic of bravery is the moment in the novel where Murray’s father
gets caught in a fire, in an attempt to save the horses that were trapped. John Cresswell,
Murray and Murray’s mother “found [Murray’s] dad by the stables… He must have come out
when the fire started.”. Of course, in the man’s attempt to do good, he was killed.
These three moments in Palmer’s novel send the message that bravery can come at a cost,
and brave acts can deal damage too.
Palmer focuses on family, and how secrets and lies within the family can be severely damaging.
One perfect example of this is Murray’s uncle, Jack, didn’t share much about his time in the
war, yet somehow specific people found out some things that he had attempted to keep
secret. This ended up setting Will and Murray up for some very sticky situations, leaving them
wondering about their uncle.
Another point in the novel where people are unable to rely on their family, is where a family
friend, John Cresswell, gets drunk, becoming incapable of caring for his four children. John’s
eldest daughter, Ada, and Murray’s family are left caring for the Cresswells.
In short, you must be able to rely on your family, or life will all of a sudden become …show more content…
This was all because of one tragic death of one seemingly
Another example of death that affected lives is that of Murray’s enemy, Sid. Sid was struck
down in the thick of the battle. This event changed Murray as a person. Instead of spitting on
Sid’s body, Murray stayed with the dying man. For the last moments of his life, Sid was
forgiven for the pain he caused, and stayed with a good man, an ally, a friend, rather than
being with his enemy as he died. There could be no better way of leaving this world.
Finally, the death that was the least necessary: Murray’s father’s. The man was “killed in a fire,
you know.” In an attempt to save his horses, he was struck down by the flame. When they
found his body, they “burrowed their hats tightly under their arms… Just as [Murray’s] father
would have done.”. They paid their respects and buried him, ******* “Death is not the final
word, and burial not the final act.”, they placed the much beloved man inside his grave. This
changed Murray’s family. The two boys, Murray and Will, became the men of the