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In The Australian Book, 'a Cage Of Butterflies', What Does The Author, Brian Caswell, Want To Tell The Reader About Being Different?

754 words - 3 pages

In the novel, A Cage of Butterflies, by Brian Caswell, he explores many themes, the most important being the theme of 'being different. I believe that Brian Caswell is very passionate about this topic and that he wants to explore what being different and an individual really means. This topic is very relevant in today's society.Being drastically different is a burden because you will never be or feel accepted. Many of the kids at the Think-Tank had felt this way before they came to the institute when they were in the outside world and at school. On page 10, Greg says "It doesn't take long to discover what being different means...so they learned early to blend it...like Chris...he'd fake enough mistakes to keep him near the middle of the class...but they got him in the end...you just couldn't live your whole life under a lie like that." From this quote we can see that the kids, before coming to the Think-Tank, tried to fit in by pretending to be something that they weren't just to be accepted. Greg also says "I guess that's why most of us don't mind it here, it's a place where we don't have to pretend to be anything but what we are." The kids feel comfortable and safe in the Think-Tank because they feel that they don't have to pretend to be something they're not, they don't have to 'live a lie.'Because the kids and the babies are different, when they were in the outside world they were labeled as outcasts. They felt like Tall Poppies. Poppies are usually all the same shape and size so a tall poppy would be one that stands out from the rest and is different. Tall poppies look abnormal so people cut them down to size. Tall poppy syndrome is when someone is outstanding and people, often by criticizing, ridiculing and isolating, 'cut them down to size'. This would have been very difficult for the kids to deal with.The Kids at he institute all have special gifts. For starters they all had extremely high I.Q's. For example Grettel is a whiz with multi-dimensional maths, Gordon and Lesley have eidetic memories and Mikki has unlimited knowledge. On page 17 it says "Every kid...

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