Tom Brennan

Topics: Change, World, Brennan Family Restaurants Pages: 6 (1982 words) Published: August 2, 2013
What have the attitudes and actions of people in your texts revealed to you about venturing into society?

Moving into society is a transitional phase, marked by new challenges, opportunities and relationships. Transitions in life can change an individual’s perception of the world and obstacles may arise which test individual’s strength. This is shown through analysis of the novel ‘The Story of Tom Brennan’ by J.C. Burke (2005) and the memoir “At least it’s not contagious’ by Samantha Miles (1995). Hindered by emotional turmoil and an uncontrollable situation in Mumbilli, the protagonist Tom Brennan relieves his devastated life in the new realm of Coghill through forming new relationships and accepting new avenues for personal development. Likewise, “At least its not contagious” reflects on the uncontrollable situations life can throw at individuals and shows the responder that determination and acceptance is the only way to overcome these obstacles. These two texts both show how the attitudes and actions of people can be altered when faced with life changing situations.

When venturing into a new world, there are many obstacles evident. In the novel, ‘The Story of Tom Brennan’, many obstacles are faced. Burke illustrates that Tom Brennan and his family are forced into a new world as a result of the tragic decision his brother made to drink and drive. This is shown through the metaphor “The town of Mumbilli is bleeding”. This expresses how the town is feeling physically from the accident. The accident acts as a barrier between the Brennan’s and the rest of the town, as seen through the reactions of the townspeople. “The silhouettes of houses slipped past before I could catch them and remember the people we were leaving behind. In a couple of hours they would wake and find us gone, far away, so as not to remind them of their pain and what our family now means to this town.” This quote creates a clear image in the responder’s head of what Tom is leaving behind in Mullumbimby. The reflective tone implies ________. The decision to leave was already made for Thomas and his sister Kylie before they had the chance to dispute it. This created tension between the Brennan family, which creates more obstacles, but in the end brings them closer than ever. It can be seen in the novel ‘The Story of Tom Brennan’ that by overcoming the obstacles that are thrown at the characters, one may learn to move on into a new world with greater understanding.

Venturing into society can alter the perception of society and change an individual’s life in an instant. In the memoir “At least its not contagious” by Samantha Miles, the responder gets a glimpse of how Samantha’s life has dramatically been changed by the prospect of being diagnosed with Leukaemia. Miles uses rhetorical questions to show her disbelief. “Oh no. Really? Leukaemia? … Isn’t that something little kids get?” This disbelief changes the formation of the story and allows the responder to have better insight to how much your life can change in a matter of seconds. “At 2am a resident doctor was called in” and “At 9am by body collapsed and my life changed forever.” These statements give the responder the illusion of time running out. This is effective as it prompts the reader to imagine that one’s life can be controlled by uncontrollable factors. Samantha fails to understand why she has the disease and is left in disbelief. This idea is shown through the quote “I’m a big kid. I go to university. I don’t think so.” This reflects on Samantha’s arrogance about being a university student, thinking she couldn’t possibly fall ill until she’s old. Her failure to understand what’s happening is what causes Samantha to lose faith in herself. Samantha Miles’ story reveals the changing attitudes that individuals experience when confronted with difficult situations, such as death. The actions and attitudes of people in this text have changed according to Samantha Miles disease.

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