Module C – Into the World
‘The Story of Tom Brennan’ & ‘The Door’ (related text)
The different pathways used by an individual when moving “into the world” are always framed by the societal context in which they exist. These pathways provide opportunities for the protagonist to experience a wide variety of growth and change. The process of moving away from the past and entering a new world is a complex one that involves sacrifice, change and a sense of unknown. The protagonist can be both willing and forced to make their transition into the world, as can be both prevented and encouraged by the opportunities and pathways they are given. The novel, ‘The Story of Tom Brennan’, written by J.C Burke, and ‘The Door’, written by Miroslav Holub, explores the growth and changes that each protagonist must face in order to gain a new sense of knowledge, attitude and beliefs toward society.
Entry ‘into the world’ involves perseverance and motivation in order to adapt to new condition in which an individual may achieve opportunities for growth and development. In the novel, ‘The Story of Tom Brennan’, the seventeen year-old protagonist, Tom Brennan, confronts a traumatic catastrophe, which compels him to undergo physical relocation and tumultuous emotional change. The predominant transition, Tom faces moving into Coghill whereby he has to deal with social alienation and the agonies of trauma, hindering his growth and development. It is evident that Tom experiences flashbacks of the tragic car accident of his brother in the quote, “Running towards the car. Running into headlights. Running into the silence of death.” The anaphora of ‘running’ highlights his emotional devastation, which emphasizes Tom’s paranoia in the initial stages of the novel. The technique of using flashbacks allows the reader to empathize with Tom and stimulate the reader’s curiosity. As a result of this crisis, Tom responds adversely to transferring to a new paradigm of Coghill.
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