Critically Analyse Pages 31 60 Of Robert Drewe's 'the Shark Net'. Include Literatry Techniques Used By The Author.

969 words - 4 pages

This first chapter of Part Two of Robert Drewe's memoir, 'The Shark Net', portrays the significant role of the Dunlop Company within the Drewe household. Titled 'Blackboys', Drewe illustrates Dunlop's power 'to separate you from your family.' This is symbolic of their transfer to Western Australia, and Drewe's mother forcefully having to leave her family in Melbourne. He describes the company's controlling influence: 'It could send you all...twelve hours and two thousand miles west.'Drewe's questioning of his mother about Perth, "Is there gas in Perth? Is this Africa?" denotes the sub-text - is Perth dangerous and are we alone? While staying overnight at the Chutes', Drewe is warned of the Aboriginal people: 'Sleep tight sonny. There's a lot of blackboys out there in the garden.' Filled with anxiety, Drewe uses auditory imagery to depict his conscious awareness of the 'black boys': 'It was too dark to see them but I could hear their whispers and the soft rattle of their spears.' Overhearing his father and Mr Chutes discussing the future of Dunlop rubber products, Drewe felt comforted and somewhat unphased by his surroundings. This conversation comforts him: 'everyone chuckled, and I fell asleep.' The chapter concludes with an underlying sense of benevolence, indicating that any tension previously expressed has been resolved.Titled "People of the Dunes", the following section details the first years of the Drewe's in Perth. The title suggests a relaxed and informal tone, exemplifying the residents of Perth as leisurely, coastal people. This notion is further enhanced by Drewe, using evocative visual imagery to illustrate Perth's inhabitants, describing them as 'Sand People.' Their appearance rearranged by the sun and wind -- they are 'tanned, freckled, scabbed and bleached.' The young narrator distinguishes them as a different species: 'They look nothing like Melbourne people.' Drewe uses an unflattering simile to illustrate this conception: 'There were women with chests and backs like leopards.' Such a comparison encourages us to presume that Drewe's description is rather a childhood exaggeration or an enlightenment that bronzed and tanned bodies are rarely seen in Melbourne, a city not known for its' people friendly climate.Drewe also conveys the bizarre symbolic code of West Australians, spending most of the year barefoot: 'Foot knowhow seemed the key to belonging. Feet were an instant giveaway for a newcomer.' A simple dress code possessed such a sense of identity and belonging for these people, and is emblematic of their carefree lifestyle. Drewe aspired to possess a similar standard of living: 'I envied their rakish and yellow feet... and most of all the superior foods they lived on.' He describes the beaches as being 'strange and risky', indicative of a sense of danger surrounding the coast. The chapter concludes with a question: 'Where else but the white sand could there be such prospects for pleasure and danger?' This arouses suspicion...

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