Date: Friday the 22nd of March 2013
By: Mikhalla Arthur
Teacher: Miss Long
The Story of Tom Brennan
Topic: You cannot alter the past. Only when individuals move on can they achieve happiness. Discuss this in relation to your understanding of The Story of Tom Brennan. The Story of Tom Brennan by J.C Burke is an honest novel, which follows a young man’s struggle to accept his past in order to move on. The car crash changed all the characters’ lives but taught them to become stronger and resilient people. This sometimes meant that they had to learn to forgive others and accept their past to move towards happiness. They were forced to confront their pasts in order to move on to their futures. Tom’s life is changed drastically when the car crashes. He has dug too deep into what he refers to as the ‘black hole’ and he loses the will to live: “Trying to shut down the bad thoughts that always surfaced and suffocated any hope I had of getting my life back.” (pg.15). He tries to get better by starting running as a way of releasing his stress and worry. Someone who was essential for Tom to move on was Daniel his brother: “‘Do you hate me, Tommy?’…. ‘Daniel.’ I swallowed. ‘You’re my brother.’(pg.141) Although Daniel has done such a horrible thing Tom is not willing to give up on his brother. Another character that helps Tom conquer his past is his Uncle Brendan. Brendan really gets Tom to open up and see the world from another point of view; this causes Tom to start talking: “You were hardly ‘Mr Have-a-Chat’ when you arrived. Now I can’t shut you up.” (pg198) He moved on from his past and found happiness in himself and his life again. He finds himself through his girlfriend Chrissy because when he’s with her all he is, is himself: “When I was with Chrissy I was me again. Simple Tom Brennan - no ties, no debt, no guilt, no bad thoughts. Just me, the way I had always known myself.” (pg.261). Although the road to happiness was hard for Tom, his desire to...
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