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Thread: Cloudstreet essay

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    Unhappy Cloudstreet essay

    can someone please read thru my essay n tell me wat i should edit out coz i think its too long...its over 1450 words....


    Winton’s Cloudstreet was composed to “celebrate the ordinary things in
    life”. The novel uses literary techniques such as characterisation,
    language and themes to achieve Winton’s purpose. To examine the text from
    one perspective would omit the value attained by the responder. Therefore,
    the text can be examined from various perspectives. Completing Winton’s
    purpose is the text’s textual integrity. Textual integrity can be defined
    as “the unity of a text, its coherent use of form and language to produce
    an integrated whole in terms of meaning and value”. Therefore, through its
    textual integrity and various interpretations, Cloudstreet allows the
    responders context to add meaning.
    The “blackfella”, as a motif, contributes to the perceptibility of
    Cloudstreet as being a spiritual text. He appears at important moments in
    the novel to ‘instruct’ the characters, and according to Thomson, he is
    thought to be “the guardian and conscience of the novel”. His angelic
    presence signifies the importance of faith. The “blackfella” is a direct
    link to the actions performed by Christ. This is shown in Earls Dory by
    “The aboriginal man walks on water…waits at the seashore for Quick”. He
    comes at times of need to bring messages of unity to the families such as
    “You shouldn’t break a place. Places are strong, important…Too many places
    busted”.
    Fish Lamb is also utilized to explain spirituality throughout the novel.
    When Fish first drowned "his soul [was] torn away” and “not all of Fish
    Lamb had come back”. McGirr (Go Home said the Fish) thinks that “Fish is
    seemingly brought back to life – not all of him comes back…there are two
    Fish Lambs in the story, the one who escapes and whose voice becomes one
    with that of the river, and the one who remains and becomes imprisoned in
    the vacant room of the house.” This supports the idea that the physical
    Fish had to stay and become the saviour of the families, where the
    spiritual Fish is left to oversee the happenings of the novel, narrating it
    to the reader.
    In an interview with Hawley (Good Weekly), Winton provided his view on
    religion. Hawley believes that “He is a Christian in a post - Christian
    era”. Winton is “interested in the kind of people who want to understand
    the meaning in their lives”. This is shown when Lester and Quick go fishing
    and talk about the meaning of life, faith and love. Winton’s intention to
    convey the theme of “faith without religiosity” is exemplified through the
    Pickles and Lambs diverging beliefs. The Pickles’ attribute their pleasures
    and tribulations to good and bad luck. They embody their belief of luck in
    the “Shifty shadow of God”. As suggested by Cooper “the shifty shadow is,
    by nature, unknowable and largely unseen. For the characters it is a means
    of explaining the unfathomable forces that shape their lives”. The Pickles
    believe in the “shifty shadow”, which ultimately allows the text to be
    examined from a spiritual context. This is reinforced by Cooper’s statement
    that “the ‘shadow’ is evidence of the spirituality that makes us human and
    denies us knowledge of the intent of the world”. The Lambs’ response to
    Fish’s tragedy accounts for their Christian beliefs. Lester and Oriel begin
    to resent the idea of God and the encompassing beliefs, signifying their
    eroding faith.
    As Fish and the ‘blackfella’ unite the Pickles’ and Lambs’ faith, it is
    ultimately the birth of Wax Harry that exemplifies their uniting beliefs.
    Wax Harry banishes the spirits, replacing old life with pure life, and
    replenishing the families’ faith. This allows the “house [to] breathe its
    first painless breath in half a century”. Fish’s existence is no longer
    needed so he returns to the “water”. Resembling the death of Christ, Fish’s
    death is unites the spiritual and physical world. This theme of faith
    allows Cloudstreet to be examined from a spiritual context.
    Cloudstreet can also be read in an historical context that portrays a story
    primarily about family and represents an Australia that no longer exists.
    Winton examines a time when society was defining itself. The Nedlands
    Monster case was a defining moment for Perth because it lowered its
    ‘safety’ as a big country town, and raised its profile as a city. This is
    shown by “Perth is the biggest country town in the world trying to be a
    city…trying desperately to hit the big time.” Winton adds in true
    historical events of the 1960’s “the Nedlands Monster comes to trial but
    he’s forced off the front page by the Kennedy assassination”, to show
    Perth’s shock and reaction to such events which were unheard of in those
    days. The characters refer to events from both World Wars and the
    depression of the 1930’s through to the 1960’s. The loyalty and work ethic
    that Cloudstreet portrays is reflective of the values that once existed.
    The mint in particular is representative of an older set of values that
    existed. This is shown by, “the men who worked on the hosco knew he wasn’t
    worth his day’s pay anymore but wouldn’t see him laid off until the silly
    bugger couldn’t walk through the gates of a morning”.
    Winton has successfully recreated the nostalgia of Australia’s history in
    his text through the use of language. At the time Winton wrote Cloudstreet
    he was living overseas, and in an interview with Hawley he was quoted to
    say “I found what I was missing most was the Australian voices…to me our
    vernacular is poetry and music, it’s our voice.” As stated by Cooper,
    Cloudstreet “examines and historical and social context that is gone and
    has become part of the Australian identity.” The spirit of the people of
    Australia is captured through the use of idioms such as ‘carn’ and ‘fair
    dinkum’, phrases that have long disappeared from the Australian language.
    The use of language in Cloudstreet allows the text to be interpreted from a
    historical perspective. The texts integrity is accentuated through the
    vernacular as it captures the spirit of Australia and criticises a modern
    society. Cooper believes that the language “allows a reader to identify
    significant developments in the…development of the nation.”
    Cloudstreet can also be read from a feminist perspective which reveals the
    cultural context of women and the gender-based nature of Australian society
    in post World War 2 Perth. Australia was a male centred society as was much
    of the industrialised world and the value of women was restricted by their
    sexuality and their role as nurturers. Winton provides an insight into the
    feminist idea by reflecting it in the lives of the female characters: Rose,
    Dolly and Oriel.
    While Rose grows ‘steel’ inside of her at such an early age as she feels
    resentful towards her mother, Dolly falls into the situation she is in
    because of the attention of men. She was robbed of a stable family
    existence by it, she is married to Sam because of it and she is miserable
    because of the attention she receives by men. The promise of men amounts to
    very little for Dolly. This is shown by “She just got to be good-looking
    and cheeky and by sixteen she found herself out on her back under the night
    sky with a long procession of hatted men, one of whom was sleeping up there
    on her pillow.”
    Oriel's position is comparable in a sense. She battles though life despite
    men. Her sons fight against her, her husband is a clumsy embarrassment and
    her brother and father deserted her for others. Nevertheless, she shapes
    her existence around them and her pain. This is shown by “she loved Lester,
    but a lot of loving him was making up for him, compensating”.
    The women of the novel are the steel in the ‘shapeless’ lives of the
    families. They shape the world of Cloudstreet and make the lives of the
    family’s function, whereas the men create dilemmas and problems. There is
    not much escape for the female characters, only acceptance of their roles
    in another place. The women of the novel are expected to take lead in such
    situations but men are the ones that create them. Men rule the world and
    don’t understand it. It becomes known and ironic that they are the rulers
    in Cloudstreet, even today, yet they are the ones that don’t understand it.
    This is shown when Oriel says “there was something wrong with men. They
    lacked some basic thing.”
    Cloudstreet composed to “celebrate the ordinary things in life”. To examine
    the text from one perspective would omit the value attained by the
    responder. Therefore, the text can be examined from various perspectives
    such as spiritual, historical and feminist. Ultimately, through its textual
    integrity and range of interpretations Cloudstreet completes Winton’s
    purpose to “celebrate the ordinary things in life”.

  2. #2
    Moderator Pwnage101's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudstreet essay

    ...bump?

  3. #3
    Nicola1616
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    Red face Re: Cloudstreet essay

    What's the question? I guess its something about textual integrity, values and context?
    Gotta say first that I haven't read it so here goes -

    I'd try a more powerful introductory statement then this sentence. Something about : 'In our relentless adulation of heros and tales of greatness, we sometimes forget that it is ordinary people and their commonplace lives that contain the greatest truths'
    Tim Winton’s 1991 novel, 'Cloudstreet' was composed to do just this: “celebrate the ordinary things in life”. I'm not saying that's great by any means cause remember I don't really have a grasp on the content but this sort of thing sounds more like you are standing squarely in the material if you know what I mean.

    The novel uses literary techniques such as characterisation,
    language and themes to achieve Winton’s purpose. To examine the text from
    one perspective would omit the value attained by the responder. Therefore,
    the text can be examined from various perspectives. Completing Winton’s
    purpose is the text’s textual integrity. Textual integrity can be defined
    as “the unity of a text, its coherent use of form and language to produce
    an integrated whole in terms of meaning and value”. Therefore, through its
    textual integrity and various interpretations, Cloudstreet allows the
    responders context to add meaning. This is a little hard to untangle. If you are going to say something about the devices he employs in order to embed meaning within the text, or something, really put in something meaty cause of course hes going to use 'characterisation' - so google around a bit (that sounds dirty sorry) and let yourself say something strong like (just made up - warning) THrough the use of a tight, captivating narrative voice and colloquial, idiosyncratic dialogue the author - here say what the PURPOSE is -

    Also you could probably shorten it a bit here - don't define textual integrity, if its a prominent part of the question just go ahead and use it as if you invented it 'Despite knitting together the stands of lifetimes over 20 years the textual integrity of the text is - say just one thing that's really true.


    It just occurred to me that I shouldn't crap on until I know the question - can you post it to me? Then if you're happy I'll go through it for you. I think you're right - probably 1000 words max is managable. I always do a content edit first and then if you are really happy with what you want to say - a word number edit is really easy.

    If you're happy I'll keep going when I know the question - but I'm not offended if this isn't really the help you're looking for-

  4. #4
    Nicola1616
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    Unhappy Re: Cloudstreet essay

    oh my god i'm an idiot! THis is a year old - is anyone still doing cloudstreet?

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    Moderator Pwnage101's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudstreet essay

    yes, i am for one, and i'm struggling....any help would be much appreciated!!!!

    Any generic help, i mean - if u could pik any essay and explain what needs to be done and some of the content/example/techniques we'd need to mention

    Basically - I'm F***ed!!!! I didnt get it last term when we were doin it, fluked the assessment , and now realise im in a prtty crappy position...
    Last edited by Pwnage101; 17 Sep 2008 at 8:34 PM.

  6. #6
    Nicola1616
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    Wink Re: Cloudstreet essay

    happy to help - show me a question or your assessment and we can work through it email it if you like: jstanghe@bigpond.net.au

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    Junior Member NEVAGIVEUP's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudstreet essay

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicola1616
    oh my god i'm an idiot! THis is a year old - is anyone still doing cloudstreet?
    Don't worry you weren't the only one fooled by the essay's time period!

    I am also studying Cloudstreet and to make matters worse we are the first year 12's in our school so our resource it limited.

    I was wondering on what the significance of the 'Burning the Man' is? I know it depicts the Lambs' loss of faith, but why does Fish become distressed? Is it because he is upset that his family has lost their faith or because of the biblical allusion to Jesus? :S

    Also, why does, whenever Fish plays the piano, he hits the middle "C" and a saddened melody is emitted? (Yes something to do with the the Aboriginal girls that used to live in the house and the ever so present 'Shadows')

    Lastly, Lester states: "But they stay Quick. That's one thing you'll learn. The lost will stay with you"; Is that perhaps Fish is a representation of the dead and how we should remember that we never really lose those die, they are/will be a part of us?

    It'd be great if you can help out! Cheers!
    Bachelor of Arts @ USYD




    "Well I have been to the moon and back. Along the way, I met the stars, had a glimpse of Life on Mars and saw Dexter standing on jupiter and doing God only knows what!"






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  8. #8
    Nicola1616
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    Red face Re: Cloudstreet essay

    I will try - let me just have a think and check those bits in the novel and I'll get back to you
    cheers

  9. #9
    Nicola1616
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    Re: Cloudstreet essay

    Sooooo -:burn: The burning man.


    I don't really know of course but anything you say in an exam that is 'novel' and 'unique' is going to catch the examiners eye if it is well supported.
    On p.100 (in my print – hope it's the same as yours) Lester recalls a 'revival meeting' he went to once. The man telling the gospel story “glowed in the face as though he might go to flames any moment.” I think the story he was telling was of the 'Burning Bush' from Exodus. (I looked it up and) There are different ideas from this that could be relevant. The title 'Exodus' could be a refference to the flight of the families from 'persecution'. The story itself is about God calling Moses and Moses making every excuse in the book not to have to take up God's work ie to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. - so I guess this could apply to Lester as a man.


    But Fish's distress – hmmm – I think you're point is close to what feels right to me (and remember one of the most important aspects of this module is what you think!). I'm not sure that I'd say that he's upset because they have lost their religion though, and anyway I think Fish's deep connection to the water, his spirituality, his longing for life in another dimension is the antihesis of formal religion and the idea of being 'godfearing'. It has a deeper sense of connection with the cosmos – remember on the boat with Quick when the sky and the water become one, with the reflection of the stars. (a bit like the 'Dreaming')


    To everyone else the fire has a joyful effect – Rose “couldn't remember when she felt so happy before” and Fish says “Everyone loving..... Lady and Lestah's laughing with fire up they chin”. It's hard cause Fish seems to be hauntingly connected to death (the knife always pointing to him) but to him it's the soothing embrace of the water that he longs for. Remember when they take him to the doctor and he can't see his earthly 'mother' only the 'water' on the wallpaper. It's like the embrace of death and water is his mother to whom he longs to return. But fire in biblical terms can mean both the holy spirit and also 'hell'. So I think it's too murky to go there. I think Fish is just attuned to pain and sorry and feels it more deeply – remember that the old lady, after the aboriginal girls had left: “gathered up all the linen and burnt it under the fruit trees in the back yard” - same place they are having the fire.


    At the piano it's like he is soothed by playing some sort of requiem to them – he is a little Christ like in being too soft for this world, of feeling pain too deeply and by longing for another home. I think Fish plays the 'C' because he is so deeply intune with the sorrow of the room and unlike the others – who constantly stuff down their sorrow in order to survive – (Quick refusing to think of the boy being run over, Sam laughing about his fingers) he alone feels it.

    Have to go and do some stuff and things - I'll have a look at the rest later
    Is that any help so far?
    See ya.

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    Junior Member NEVAGIVEUP's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Cloudstreet essay

    That makes a lot more sense, thanks heaps and im sorry for taking up any of your time. And yes i understand that this module is about what i think (backed up with relevant examples) but whilst completing the module i had a very brief analysis of the text, but i began an in depth analysis just a while ago; my main worry is i have all these ideas but how do i synthesis them into an essay i.e how do i know what is relevant and what is not relevant?
    Bachelor of Arts @ USYD




    "Well I have been to the moon and back. Along the way, I met the stars, had a glimpse of Life on Mars and saw Dexter standing on jupiter and doing God only knows what!"






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  11. #11
    Nicola1616
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    Red face Re: Cloudstreet essay

    Do you know that's exactly what I was thinking about when I was writing to you - how are you going to use this? It's sort of a bit mercinary, but at this point, I wouldn't worry about an indepth analysis of the whole thing (just my view). I would just practice writing paragraphs that explore separate thoughts. So take a theme, a character, a recurring motif, a distinctive language feature (idisycratic dialogue, shifting narrator, frequent foreshadowing) and decide to constuct something meaningful that you could take into an exam. That way you can take a hold of your favourite, most meaningful aspects of the text and really get your teeth into them. I think that when you are trying to review, the most despairing feeling can be piles and piles of notes going nowhere. It sounds like you are doing your analysis on your own so good on you but I think you should start trying to create some order so you don't go crazy. Maybe you could take the character of Fish and write half a page. Only put in the 'evidence' that you really 'get' and can say something confident about and don't forget to think of the idea of 'textual integrity' as you go and how his character may be interpreted or perceived in a different context (just pick one). Hopefully you will deepen your understanding and end up with meaningful review notes only a few pages long
    just a thought
    good luck

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    Junior Member NEVAGIVEUP's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Cloudstreet essay

    You have no idea how much your help has meant to me and yes i have heaps of notes piled up on my desk that are about to cause me reach the stage beyond insanity (if your wondering whether there is a stage beyond insanity, well so am i ...all i know is that its causing an erratic behaviour )

    So on that note, i have done what have told me to i.e. write points for character (Fish), theme (water + reconciliation), recurring motif (house), Australian idioms and humour, and one significant relationship (Quick + Rose) and a critical reading perspective (postcolonial) oh and narration. Too many idea?

    Thank you and gravely indebted to you
    Take care
    Bachelor of Arts @ USYD




    "Well I have been to the moon and back. Along the way, I met the stars, had a glimpse of Life on Mars and saw Dexter standing on jupiter and doing God only knows what!"






    BARGAIN BOOK SALE! YEAR 11 & 12http://community.boredofstudies.org/...gain+book+sale

  13. #13
    Nicola1616
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    Smile Re: Cloudstreet essay

    Sounds very good - I just looked at a past question that was:

    "Two people who value your prescribed text in different ways and for different reasons are having a conversation. Compose their conversation which should include consideration of structure language and ideas of the text."

    I think that if you took your points - which look very comprehensive - and wrote a too long response to something like this (I think it's harder to construct it as a straight essay though so do which ever you think would be the trickiest - I think it would be easier to adapt it to any form other than as essay when you got in there) Anyway I think if you did that you would have something very solid to take into the exam with you - not literally of course.

    Don't forget to bang on a bit about textual integrity which to my mind is a bitch of a concept. It's one of those (like Structualism or something) which has definitions everywhere but its very hard to work out its practical application. Basically things that would detract from the integrity of a text might be stuff like - a poorly drawn character, an idea/theme that is introduced but goes nowhere, a technique that is distracting ... so the assumption is that if you are arguing from a particular perspective all that stuff - characters, themes, motifs, techniques, structure - all create a nice, meaningful, satisfying narrative arch and thereby are like buttresses all supporting the integrity of the text. You could probably say something didn't enhance the textual integrity if you were brave and felt strongly enough but you'd need good support.

    good luck

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    Junior Member NEVAGIVEUP's Avatar
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    Talking Re: Cloudstreet essay

    "...textual integrity which to my mind is a bitch of a concept"; oh finally i feel like someone understands me!

    Yes, it is quite difficult to synthesis an essay from scratch under exam conditions (i've done that in my trials...and that didn't turn out so well). So as a moral of that story, i have placed all my ideas into paragraphs (the longest for one idea has been 1 A4 page), with relevant example and quotes and i am planning to construct my thesis statement, intro and conclusion during the exam, whilst altering my end statements for each paragraph to refer back to my thesis statement.

    Also, for such a question that requires a conversation and as you stated it would be difficult to construct an essay, so that does that mean i have to create two fictional characters and wirte a transcript of the convo; or if i do choose to do an essay then would the marking criteria accept that?

    Thank you, take care
    Bachelor of Arts @ USYD




    "Well I have been to the moon and back. Along the way, I met the stars, had a glimpse of Life on Mars and saw Dexter standing on jupiter and doing God only knows what!"






    BARGAIN BOOK SALE! YEAR 11 & 12http://community.boredofstudies.org/...gain+book+sale

  15. #15
    Nicola1616
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    Wink Re: Cloudstreet essay

    God no! If they ask for a conversation you gotta give 'em that. But I just think if you have all of your ideas together then it's not a hard thing at all to shuffle it around a bit to a speech, conversation or whatever. Two things about the 'fictional characters' first they should be dicks cause who would have a conversation about this stuff but more importantly - I would make them people with some solid knowledge base so they can say heaps clever stuff and not seem inappropriate.

    Other stuff - sounds like a plan!!

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    Junior Member NEVAGIVEUP's Avatar
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    Cool Re: Cloudstreet essay

    HA HA! ; hey this is the HSC we're talking about, i've kind of become a dick myself in the last 12 months; this HSC thing gets to ya. But don't worry i have a whole 4 months after it to become normal again!(lets just hope that's enough )

    Anyway i would really like to thank you for your time and help and i am ever so grateful! I was running around like a headless chook trying to find help for this module and thank god i stumbled upon this thread - heaven sent! (And just to let you in on a secret hopefully i am aiming to become an english teacher -HOPEFULLY!)

    Thank you heaps!
    Take Care
    Bachelor of Arts @ USYD




    "Well I have been to the moon and back. Along the way, I met the stars, had a glimpse of Life on Mars and saw Dexter standing on jupiter and doing God only knows what!"






    BARGAIN BOOK SALE! YEAR 11 & 12http://community.boredofstudies.org/...gain+book+sale

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    Re: Cloudstreet essay

    i didnt realise they could quiz you on multiple perspectives...
    ive been spending a lot of time developing my own personal reading and i can write with conviction about it -
    yet if asked to try and justify another reading as well i think i would crumble under pressure
    anyone else in this predicament?

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    Re: Cloudstreet essay

    you are both pretty switched on..
    good work.. thanks for your help.
    good luck in your exam nevagiveup.

    peace.

  19. #19
    Junior Member NEVAGIVEUP's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudstreet essay

    Quote Originally Posted by mingis
    you are both pretty switched on..
    good work.. thanks for your help.
    good luck in your exam nevagiveup.

    peace.
    Thank you; This is a difficult module especially analysing such a multiplistic text; hope the exam went well for you
    Bachelor of Arts @ USYD




    "Well I have been to the moon and back. Along the way, I met the stars, had a glimpse of Life on Mars and saw Dexter standing on jupiter and doing God only knows what!"






    BARGAIN BOOK SALE! YEAR 11 & 12http://community.boredofstudies.org/...gain+book+sale

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