Cloudstreet

Topics: Addiction, Mother, Problem gambling Pages: 5 (1487 words) Published: June 28, 2008
Sam: Character Profile

1)Compile a detailed background history about each character.

·Sam's father is Merv Pickles
·Merv and Sam slept together (in the same bed)
·Merv died whilst in a drunken state in bed with Sam
·The image of his father, dead, lying next to him haunts him throughout his life. ·Merv was a gambler
·Sam inherited his (Merv's) gambling addiction
·Sam's mother didn't want Sam to be a jockey
·Sam works on the island Albohros
·Shovels guao phosphate on the island
·Has 3 kids, Chub Rose Ted
·Sam's wife is Dolly
·Dolly is unfaithful
·Dolly is often depicted as a tramp or a slut
·Sam depends on luck to get through life
·He has a larrikin attitude (‘She'll be right attitude')
·Sam's Mother and Father had a very shifty, empty relationship with each other. ·Many people loved Merv for his poor and foolish nature.
·Sam's mother was a simple, plain woman who was often quite ignorant towards Sam. ·Merv (Sam's father) was rarely sober.
·Sam seems to have inherited his fathers (bad) luck.
·After Merv dies Sam runs away "Leaving his mother without a son…"

2a) List and discuss the personal demons and baggage of the past which accompany each character.

Sam's life was filled with demons and excess baggage. It may seem obvious to see Sam's disability (his mangled hand) as a demon but, as you look further into the situations his demons are much deeper than this. We uncover a whole new level of Sam and all of the baggage he tries to hide from the world. Perhaps the most notorious of all of Sam's demons was the inheritance that Merv passed down to him. Not talking about inheritance in a possession or monetary sense but more so in the way that Merv has influenced Sam and the things Sam has done throughout his life because of all of this.

Sam has a major problem with gambling and money in general, this ties in closely to the lifeline of his father when he had exactly the same problems. This is Sam's big demon; gambling. Both Merv and Sam had to deal (or attempt to deal) with this addictive money-draining hobby however there is no doubt that Sam ended up with gambling problems because of how his father influenced him. When Sam is gambling he shows the same blatant disregard for his family that his father showed through his escapades. This gambling turns from a hobby, into a job, then into an incredible burden and addiction as it would seem. When this all piles up on top of each other (and the mob gets involved) Sam is at a dead end and continually gives all of his pay straight to the bookies.

Sam's father died right next to him, in the same space as him, in Sam's space. This vision and all of the thoughts that surrounded it was permanently printed into Sam'm mind and this continues to be an issue for him. When Sam appears to ‘smell' his dead father right beside him he knows that the ‘shifty shadow of God is lurking'. What we must take into consideration was that this quote is not meant at all in a religious sense. Sam doesn't appear to be a fanatical ‘believer' and from this we can see how much his father influenced him, right down to the words he said.

As a result of all of these other demons piling on top of one another Sam must face one last, final demon. The desiccation of his family as he knows it. Sam has an unfaithful wife, who resents the very ground he walks on and he has an inability to provide for his family, this is starting to sound more and more like a dangerous cocktail of raw emotions. Adding into this Dolly's infidelity Sam finally falls over the edge and tries to commit suicide to escape all these demons ‘the easy way'.

Points On Above Question:

·Sam's father (Merv) died next to him which is a symbol of the ‘shifty shadow of God) ·The notion that ‘the hairy hand of God' can strike you lucky or lead to a life long losing streak. ·He didn't measure up to his fathers dreams of being a jockey ·Gambling is a demon for...
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