Good morning sir and fellow students. Significant events are pivotal in enriching ones understanding of their identity, which leads to an understanding of where they belong in the world. This is shown through our prescribed text “The Simple Gift” composed by Steven Herrick; as well as Tim Winton’s “The Turning”.
| Steven Herrick’s free verse novel explores this value of events that shape a persons identity and hence their sense of belonging in their world. The cause of his alienation appears to be physical and psychological abuse from his father, lack of caring from his school and his run down neglected neighbourhood with its “deadbeat no hoper… downtrodden house in Longlands Rd, Nowheresville”.
| The symbolism and scatological imagery establishes a decaying, decrepit and depressing environment, which reveals Billy’s isolation. Another evocative portrait is the internal monologue in the poem "Sport" in chapter one. The 'pain and suffering’ of 'soulless tyranny' endured by Billy, from 'the old bastard' his father.
| This technique of expletive language is used to depict the poor relationship he shared with his father "he gave me one backhander... I felt the blood” and his attitude toward the world he's living in. This is the first pivotal event that Billy retells, which initially demonstrates the change in his identity and belonging.
| Later in the book Billy catches a train. He is uncertain where the train will take him. Herrick engages the reader with Billy’s significantly violent memory of his father "with the forces of a father's punch". The metaphoric terms further reveal Billy's harsh living environment he is seeking to escape.
| Ernie's train whistle in the poem “Another crossing” symbolises the beginning of Billy's new life contrasted favourably by Ernie’s ‘not bossing you around’ where Herrick uses the technique of multiple perspective. His next positive role model is Irene, Bendarat’s Librarian, who welcomes him and encourages him to borrow books....
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