"The Shark Net" By Robert Drewe

1826 words - 7 pages

"The Shark Net", by Robert Drewe, is a vibrant memoir focusing upon the simple pleasures of growing up in Perth, Western Australia, in the '50s. Drewe examines his life in sleepy friendly Perth, using techniques such as language, structure and selection of detail. These techniques contribute to the understanding of the events in Drewe's life while growing up in the small city of Perth and the astounding change of the city when it was victimised with countless murders.Language: Aged six, Robert Drewe moved with his family from Melbourne to Perth, the world's most isolated city. The utterly relaxed attitude and trusting environment of sun-kissed Perth and the orderly, cold and sophisticated Melbourne, is described effectively through the language used by Drewe. "The place that I knew, the ordered Melbourne world of frosty lawns and trimmed hedges, of grandparents and shoes and socks and winter-overcoats..." This descriptive language emphasises Drewe's six-year-old memories of Melbourne. Using imagery, he then compares this with memories of Perth as he first arrives. "...we were all living in bright sunlight and on flat, dry sand...Even though everyone in Perth lived in the dunes I thought of them as the Sand People." Describing the Perth people as 'sand people' shows how Drewe felt about the people and the reader can get a clear view of the situation in Perth at the time. Drewe also points out that Perth seemed to have more of a relaxed, sunny atmosphere than Melbourne and he emphasises on the fact that the people also look different too. "Sun and wind had rearranged the appearance of the Sand People...With their darker skins, red eyes, raw noses and permanent deep cracks in their bottom lips, they looked nothing like Melbourne People." As Drewe gets older, Perth grows bigger and effective language and imagery is used to describe this. Perth is a naive and peaceful city and doors were rarely locked. "Any man carrying a sack, bin, bucket, spirit-level or tool-box; any man confidently wearing a hat, overalls or a leather apron, could open the back gate, march up the back steps with an air of authority and in passing, laconically correct the way you were managing your life." The language used here is informative, yet descriptive, as it informs the reader of how trustworthy and idyllic Perth was. It also describes the appearance of the men allowed to enter a person's yard without consent. The story continues on, and Perth becomes victimised by continuous murders. Drewe describes the happenings through effective language techniques and the reader can understand his emotions he feels for his friend whom was murdered. Through the language used, it seems the murders, for Drewe, represented the loss of innocence, both for a city and a young man. Drewe then describes his life after the murders and the arrest of Eric Edgar Cooke. He becomes a journalist and interviews Sally, Eric's wife. While interviewing Sally, Drewe uses a wide variety of language to...

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