Cloudstreet Essay 1
Essay question: “Without the epigraph and prologue the meaning of Cloudstreet would be lost.” How true is this statement? In your response consider the structure, language and ideas of the text. Cloudstreet is a great Australian novel written by Tim Winton. It’s famous for its authenticity giving it the ability to provoke nostalgia in the reader. The plot of Cloudstreet is summarised to be about the lives of two working class families coming from different backgrounds, the Lambs believe God is the giver of grace and the Pickles believe that God is the “Shifty Shadow” that is the reason for peoples bad luck, fleeing their rural lives and moving into the same house. Cloudstreet is written to be surrounded by many key events in world history. This includes World War II, the assassination of John F Kennedy and the Korean War. Whilst these events caused little impact in Australian lifestyle which, at the time, was relatively calm. The beginning of Cloudstreet features both an epigraph and prologue which establish the narrative to have a cyclical nature; the story begins where it ends and ends where it begins. An epigraph is a short quotation at the beginning of the book to suggest a theme which will be carried through the narrative. The epigraph in Cloudstreet is “shall we gather at the river, where bright angel feet have trod..”. The epigraph features three major symbols. These symbols refer to water, spirituality and family/community. The symbolism for water comes from the word “river”, spirituality from “angel” and family/community from “gather”. Out of the three symbols water definitely is the dominant one as most important events in the novel take place somewhere near a river, most specifically The Swan River. For example when Fish drowns and when Sam loses his fingers. Whilst epigraphs are naturally short and cannot contain many different types of writing techniques, the prologue has a plethora of different techniques....
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