Essay: "C Loudstreet", By Tim Winton

1424 words - 6 pages

'Intrinsic to Cloudstreet is the family unit out of which a complex fabric of ideas is woven.'Select Three or Four events / episodes from the text and write a close analysis of each in terms of what they highlight about 3 or 4 significant ideas you consider intrinsic to the text and how these ideas are represented.Tim Winton's "Cloudstreet" creates textual integrity in the way that it is written and interpreted through different contexts. A major concept resonating through the text is Winton's ideas on family and how he chooses to represent it. Through this concept Winton explores ideas concerning Aboriginal heritage, identity and reconciliation.Cloudstreet is written as a family saga spanning over four generations that conveys its universal messages of family on multiple levels. Winton's novel, written as a flashback in Fish's memory, creates a circular structure from the death of Fish to the birth of Rose and Quick's son as the two families unite. The chapter 'Fish Lamb' comes Back embodies several of Winton's values that resonate through the entire novel.The Lambs are introduced as "God-fearing people" who interfere with the will of God in rescuing their son. In this sense they are paradoxes, refusing to accept what is divine and what is not. Their belief in God is shown to be strong in the first section of the novel, however the half completed "miracle" of Fish Lamb, who is "back from the dead," results in a slow deterioration of their relationship to God. Fish's near death experience and his unresolved encounter below the water haunt the novel. He has seen the world where people go to after death, and he yearns to return. This is inexplicable for all the other characters in the novel, especially Fish's mother. Oriel is constructed as a woman who professes religious enthusiasm but lacks spirituality in any sense and denies Fish his return to the other world. Oriel epitomises the essence that holds the Lambs together as one family.The symbol of the black man is one Winton uses to guide characters through their lives. He represents indigenous Australia and links with the mistreatment of Aboriginal girls in Cloudstreet before the Pickles and Lambs moved in. The Florist Shop is a chapter that alludes to native Australia which also contains with biblical references. Winton has charted a journey for Quick Lamb from fragmentation to completeness. After escaping the possessiveness of Lucy Wentworth, he drives back towards town, picking up an Aboriginal man dressed in a pin stripe shirt. The "black man" offers Quick bread and wine, a reference to Jesus during The Last Supper. His purpose is to guide Quick back to where he belongs. In drawing Quick back to Cloudstreet, the black man becomes God's hand in conducting the "family business." Winton provides him with religious references: "pealing churches," and "Sunday." The black man functions as the "inexhaustible" Eucharist - he brings he brings bread, wine, and a "petrol tank that stays on quarter...

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