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Commentary On The Idea Of Perfection By Kate Grenville

1580 words - 6 pages

Commentary on The Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville

“…a humble little thing, the bend giving it an apologetic look.”

The author portrays the reader of a bent bridge in which the community
is divided on a heritage issue. This passage is taken from The Idea of
Perfection by Kate Grenville. As the extract progresses, the reader
realizes that the local community is divided into two groups on the
‘bent’ bridge. This passage contains some paradoxes and opposites. The
‘bent bridge itself is a paradox. It is an old and damaged bridge;
yet, there are a group of people believing that the old bridge is part
of the area’s cultural heritage. The authorial concern is that things
do not always result, as simple as they seem to be and therefore
people should not trouble themselves too much. The use of nature
imagery and unnatural imagery also signify to the reader the beauty of
nature. Grenville seems excessively preoccupied with literary
technique and details such as imagery nature and surrounding to depict
the image in the reader’s mind.

The setting contributes to the author’s main concern as well as it
contributes to our understanding as a whole. It is a vital literary
device of this passage with some colorful descriptions of the
surrounding countryside “… but close up, each timber had its own color
and its own personality”. The use of words such as ‘white ute’ and
‘marcel wave’ suggests the reader times when and where it is set and
what kinds of people living here: those who want changes and growth
and those who do not want changes. The passage suggests the reader
that this is set in a country side through a description of “flaking
wooden sign” Imagery patterns of nature are used throughout the
passage such as grasses, wood, rock and river to depict the image in
the reader’s mind and illustrate the reader that things such as the
bridge is made of simple natural things such as wood. This creates a
tone of joy and simplicity. Colors are sometimes used repeatedly to
reinforce their intended effect, and create patterns such as the use
of grey to describe the various colors of timbers “one was pink- grey
with fine streaks of red like dried blood in the grain”.

Grenville effectively presents her main character, although, this is a
third-person narrative, everything is filtered through her thoughts
and response. The way the piece is written in the third person is
supported in the way that the extract is structured. It is one way to
present the main character by conveying the reader what is in the mind
the main character through the descriptions of her response – where
she focuses on. For example, when she laughed at the sign aloud like
“a bark” gives the reader a sense of humor. The main character is
nameless and has got no identity – “She looked up into the sky…”. The
author portrays the...

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