Swallow the air chapter summaries...
HSC Area of Study: Discovery Swallow the Air, Tara June Winch Swallow the Air is a collection of interlinked short stories written by Tara June Winch, which describes the journey of protagonist May Gibson, a half-Aboriginal (of the Wiradjuri tribe) halfwhite teenage girl. May leaves home in search of her ancestral family following her mother's suicide and a breakdown in her home life with her brother, Billy, and her Aunt. The narrative follows her journey from Wollongong to Sydney, to Darwin and to her traditional homeland along the Lachlan River.
Quotes Connected to Discovery: Chapter 1: Swallow the Air Summary: How this chapter connects with the concept of Discovery: Discoveries can be sudden and unexpected. They may be far reaching and transformative. During this first chapter we learn about May’s mother: her feelings for her children (‘telling us again that she loved us’ p3) Her indigenous cultural heritage as told through Dreaming stories (munji was his name… Or so Mum would say p4) and the deep impact that suicide has upon her family (sister, son and May, quote ‘and Billy cried too’ pg 8) Language techniques Metaphor: wore worry on her wrists, ‘She was head sick’: the innocence of May, also the influence of Aboriginal - English to explain terms such as mental illness. Motif: the water (ocean) is a representation idea connected to aboriginal identity and culture. Chapter 2: Grab Summary: How this chapter connects with the concept of Discovery The theme of discovery within chapter 2 encompasses the ideas of personal, historical and cultural discoveries. “Bad luck until she won the Tip Top Bread Grocery Grab. After the win, everything seemed to be a gamble, a game.” (pg 13) This quote connects to the idea that discoveries and their ramifications may differ for individuals and their worlds. June refers to the consequences as ‘a gamble, a game’ to highlight the lack of thought process and intention that is associated with the discovery. Aunty uses this win, this newfound discovery of luck/hope as an excuse to gamble her life away. “We saw her start to panic and skip a bunch of aisles, targeting the trolley towards the frozen food section.” (pg 15) “We don’t even own a bloody freezer!” (pg 15) These quotes symbolise the lack of thought and consideration linked to the future consequences. This concept alludes to the colonisation of Australia, the first fleet arriving and colonising land without considering the sacredness of the land for the Aboriginal people.
How does Tara June Winch explore the concept of Discovery in chapter 2, Grab? Statement
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The theme of discovery within chapter two encompasses prominent ideas relating to both personal and historical discoveries.
“After the win everything seemed to be a game, a gamble.” pg 13
This quote connects to the idea that discoveries and their ramifications may differ for individuals and their worlds. June refers to the consequences as ‘a game, a gamble’ as an allusion towards the colonisation of Australia. This reference therefore suggests the historical mistakes white settlers made, not considering the sacredness of the land for Aboriginal people and therefore taking before considering the future consequences.
The theme of discovery is therefore explored through language devices such as metaphors. Through this, the ramifications of a personal discovery can have far reaching effects on both the individual and others, symbolising past historical discoveries which had substantial effects on the greater community.
Discoveries are explored in chapter two “Grab” through a sense of personal necessity. June enforces this concept of exploring discoveries through vivid imagery.
“Her finger wrapped tight over the trolley handle, light brown knuckles pushed over from the grip” pg 14
The deliberate use of imagery propels the notion that discoveries can be intensely meaningful in ways that may be emotional. The vivid imagery stimulates ideas of necessity, “wrapped tight, brown knuckles pushed over the grip.” This gives the effect of urgency, and personal want, which evokes an intense emotional response.
Discoveries are therefore explored through the power of imagery, which ultimately provides readers with greater understandings and emotional awareness. Through this, intense emotion is portrayed, allowing for both characters and readers to experience fresh and meaningful encounters.
“We don’t even own a bloody freezer” pg 15
Colloquial language enforces the idea of individual’s reacting differently to discoveries and its ramifications. Colloquial language also allows for characterisation, meaning readers can easily interpret and understand the effects it has on distinct characters.
This allows for greater awareness of the far reaching impacts that discoveries can induce. Lastly, colloquial language allows for individual characters to communicate their personal, spiritual and cultural diversities, this gives reason behind the exploration towards a new discovery.
The authenticity Colloquial generated through language language emphasises the concept that discoveries can be challenged when viewed from different perspectives and their worth may be reassessed over time.
Chapter 3: Cloud Busting Summary: How this chapter connects with the concept of Discovery During this chapter we learn about Mays mother's childhood of kindness, which a discovery can be intensely meaningful in ways that may be emotional. Cloudbusting is seeing the good in things that normally may not be very positive, this impact of these discoveries can be far reaching and transformative for the individual.
Chapter 4: My Bleeding Palm Summary: How this chapter connects with the concept of Discovery. Discoveries can be confronting, and can lead us to new worlds. Discoveries can be physical and emotional. During this chapter chapter we learn about May’s ability to place her mind in a totally different world. “The popping buttons over my back take me elsewhere. Bubble wrap. Lemonade burps as Billy and me push each plastic blister between finger and thumb, choking on each others laughter. Popping giggles silence violent grunts.” Winch offers an escape for the audience and May who resort the beach for solace during her time of abandonment, shown in the imagery, ‘the tide is flowing in... I know I am home’. Yet such connections are compromised by the antagonism she encounters at the beach shown in the expletive, ‘fuck off coons’ and depicts the racial barriers despite a 20th century context. Furthermore, her rape on the beach is conveyed through the rapist’s colloquial language, ‘this gunna show ya where ya don’t belong dumb black bitch’ to exemplify the aggression and hatred of white Australians towards Aborigines which forces the audience to understand the pain she deals with due to her ethnicity and further strengthens her sense of isolation. The violence of the alliterated ‘black bitch’ dramatises the experience and is felt more painfully by May than the physical pain of her slashed palms to further convey her suffering and reinforce her sense of isolation within society. Winch portrays how barriers can exacerbate an individual’s sense of alienation and offer no respite. How does Tara June Winch explore the concept of discovery in this chapter? Statement
New understandings and strength. Experiences strengthen the individual
“The popping buttons over my back take me elsewhere”
May’s mental strength is highlighted
Can occur under extreme and difficult situations or events.
‘this gunna show ya where ya don’t belong dumb black bitch’
Exemplify the aggression and hatred of white Australians towards Aborigines which forces the audience to understand the pain she deals with due to her ethnicity and further strengthens her sense of isolation.
Dramatises the experience and is felt more painfully by May than the physical pain of her slashed palms to further convey her suffering and reinforce her sense of isolation within society.
‘the tide is flowing in... I know I am home’
Offers an escape for the audience.
Lets the audience know that the raping is over
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Chapter 5: Bushfire Summary: How this chapter connects with the concept of Discovery Through her description, the sense of place is highlighted. With imagery, the connection
between aboriginality and the land is shown. “... these parts are famous for their leeches, or used to be anyway. She said that the old people used to trade them…” this reference to past aboriginal people and their use of the land shows the connection aboriginals had with the land, but also shows how may, although she knows the stories and is told of the traditions, she does not take part in them, a disconnection. “At the entrance to the miners’ track, beside the strangling figs and purple lantana…” The descriptions cover all senses, describing the smell of the of fire from the land, the feel of the dry ground, the colours or lackthereof and how everything looks. Significance of culture is shown through retelling of aboriginal customs and traditions Connection between aboriginal life and environment Good memories come but so do bad memories and she alludes to the negative but isn’t ready to completely rediscover them. Chacterisation Imagery How
(Through the stories told by may, we discover the effect may’s mother and her aboriginal stories had on may)
“Mum said these parts are famous for their leeches, or used to be anyway. She said that the old people used to trade them…”
Along May’s journey, she shapes her identity from the stories she is told by her aboriginal family
Storytelling within aboriginal spirituality is fundamental to the shaping of identity and discovering a sense of self As readers, we imagery discover the environment that may lives in
“At the entrance to the miners’ track, beside the strangling figs and purple lantana…”
The connection between the land and aboriginal spirituality is shown and the
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two are shown as one, the land and the people. “ “
“The thick mangle of brown branches that pleaded for rain in the desperate dry air”
Chapter 6: Leaving Paradise Summary: How this chapter connects with the concept of Discovery In this chapter, we were introduced to Billy and the discovery of his medical condition, “She was just a young girl when the doctors said that her little baby might die”, this discovery impacts the characters physically and emotionally as Billy had been affected by this since birth, which impacted himself and those around him. “It happened so fast. We’d never stepped between them. Billy pulled back Craig’s arm, grabbing at its thickness.” - Discoveries can be sudden and unexpected. Craig was known for his rage and violent and abusing behaviour, and had impacted the characters immensely when he had hit Billy. “The more he wasn’t there, the more I realised too, we were all gone”, in this chapter, May had discovered how distant her and her family actually were. This discovery was sudden and unexpected and was confronting for both her and Billy and offered May new understandings and renewed perceptions of herself, Craig and Aunty. Through the conflict she knew that the violence in the family was due to Craig’s rage and all Billy wanted to do was escape with her, to leave their home and never return. May had realised that Billy had meant it when he said “I’m not comin back, May, Not ever. Let's go”, again this relates back to the concept of discoveries being sudden or unexpected, as May hadn’t expected Billy to actually leave her and Aunty.
Chapter 7: To Run Summary: How this chapter connects with the concept of Discovery "I would be the mango that breaks off the stem into my dad's fingers, the apple of his eye before I slide into the picking bag." - Wants to be related to her Father/ be known to him; this quote demonstrates her longing of her father, wanting to be in his hands and the apple of his eye. She aspires to go on a adventure (travel) to find her Father in Darwin. Her dreams to discover what, who and where he really is and who he has become is prominent within chapter seven, To Run. This chapter relates to discovery as she attempts to discover what her father is like all these years ahead of her vague childhood memories of him. She seeks this adventure and attempts to discover where her roots lie (‘’to run’’ and find her father). Her vivid and very well described dreams are a way of discovering herself and her train of thought imagery is used throughout the description of her dreams. ‘’Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful.. Discoveries.. Can also be confronting and provocative, rediscovering
something that has been lost, forgotten or concealed.’’ May (protagonist) is trying to rediscover her father before her vague memories of him are gone and forgotten and lost. As her father is such a touchy topic her fresh wounds of her father is a confronting topic as she doesn't have any form of relationship with him. This chapter connects to Discovery as her ultimate goal is to discover a chapter of her life that has been lost, forgotten and and shoved to the side (chapter of her life meaning knowing her father). Chapter 8: Territory Key features of plot development May is on her way to the Northern territory in search of her dad with Pete, a truckie. They’re on their way to the races. As they approach the top end of the trip Pete and May open up about their family background with May expressing how her olive skin tone originates from her mother's Aboriginal heritage relating to the context & development of the plot. Aspects of discovery represented "If I could make it through this, I knew I wouldn't miss this feeling again.” May spoke these words as she was battling the nausea associated with the long truck drive. This was a minor obstacle which demonstrates her determination to continue as she looked so forward to reaching Darwin. (Self Discovery, Renewed Perception & Understanding) "You don't look like an Abo" offers Pete a provocative and intensely meaningful insight into May’s background as being Aboriginal. He then questions how she could be Aboriginal when she is so white. This relates to how the society places stereotypes.
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Techniques Rhetorical questions - How could i forget him? - May flashes back to the pain that came out of her childhood from her ruthless father's actions. Who was going to beat her mind? Represents her fear and paranoia as if her mind was in constant torture. Truncated sentences - I wouldn’t miss that feeling again. If I made it through. Represents how her sickness was not just physical but emotional as well as the wait she has to endure in order to find her father is excessively hard and how she was on the break of falling apart as she is unsure if she can make it through. Meals like this could either cure the pain or feed it. I waited. Expresses how May is waiting to see if what she is searching for is actually the cure to her pain. Sensory imagery - he shouted me baked beans, fried eggs, and bacon and a cup of coffee, for the road. The grease slipped out of the edges of my lips. Motif - The recurring Motif of the Mangoes symbolises The unattainable desire for May to Find the family she wished she had. Metaphor - Territory, May is entering into a new territory within her life as she is adventuring into a new stage of her life as she is traveling to the Northern Territory Alliteration - Pete’s Pink skin is camouflaged among the sea of red dirt.
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“How could I
Demonstrates how an
past can evoke emotional experiences from what has been formally lost, forgotten or concealed.
May’s life has been severely impacted from the external features of rediscovering something that may have been concealed or lost on purpose, with the ramifications of shock and the questioning of self.
Discoveries may be sudden or unexpected causing shock and intense pain to the individual.
“I wouldn't miss that feeling again. If i made it though.”
Helps May to create a sense of urgency throughout the novel. Truncated sentences presents a view bluntly and directly which is used to reinforce the idea being communicated.
Discovering can offer new understandings and renewed perceptions of ourselves and the external environment.
“he shouted me baked beans, fried eggs, and bacon and a cup of coffee, for the road. “
Colloquial Language expresses everyday spoken language, giving the May a casual, relaxed effect. This then amplifies the insurgency of the scenario faced.
The way in which an individual discovers, can be impacted by the cultural backgrounds and personal experiences.
“The Mangoes” is referred to repeatedly throughout the novel showing one of the specific theme dominating the piece. “The Mangoes” is a very noticeable motif and play a significant role in defining the nature of the story, the course of events and context surrounding May’s life.
Chapter 10: Chocolate Summary: How this chapter connects with the concept of Discovery
expressed through the power of Literary Devices, providing the protagonist and audience with a greater understanding of the characters, surroundings and context. Through this, intense rediscovering occurs.
Discoveries allow for renewed understandings and perceptions of ourselves. Colloquial Language allows the individual to express their cultural diversity, and understanding of the world surrounding
"And it was then I thought Charlie could have been my father, or wished he was secretly, looking up for his approval, hoping he'd lean over against my forehead with his and tell me softly, as if I'd known all
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along, that I was his child." – 111,112. "our ritual" - 109 "His past, that someday, revisited, would become his home again" - 111 "Hey, trouble" - Nickname has belonging connotations "A couple of fellas" - 113, Aboriginal connotations "Sista" - Familial term "Trying to round the edges" - 116, speech more similar to Joyce's. "He never asked me where I was from either - it was an unspoken understanding." -111 "I thought about those blue suits, taking away the people I love." - 113 In this chapter May is fired from her job at Cheap Petrol It is evident in this chapter that there is racial inequality within the chapter as May experiences racial inequality from her boss at petrol station.
Chapter 11: Wantok Summary: How this chapter connects with the concept of Discovery Discoveries can be sudden and unexpected. Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful.. Discoveries.. Can also be confronting and provocative, rediscovering something that has been lost, forgotten or concealed. “The block and the city rise up and drift away like vacant echoes” - Nothing stays permanent in May's life; relates with May drifting from place to place, looking for her family, but constantly being disappointed. This connects with the concept of discovery as this is “Intensely meaningful” to May as all she wants is to find the last of her family and settle down, not having to bounce from place to place with no security. “I know all men are bastards. Even if you’re not, even if you’re just too young to be a bastard - don’t worry you will be one day.” - Anaphora - emphasising that from her past experiences May discovered all men are the same, out for self gain and control over women. “We rest in the houses as warm tropical storms light up the bruised sky.” - Imagery and personification How does Tara June Winch explore the concept of Discovery in Chapter: 11 Statement
Winch presents the idea that individuals are a product of their culture and social environment
I know all men are bastards. Even if you’re not, even if you’re just too young to be a bastard - don’t worry you will be one day.
the Block and the city
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rise up and drift away like vacant echoes.
Imagery and Personification.
We rest in the houses as warm tropical storms light up the bruised sky.
Chapter 12 - Painted Dreaming ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
“All of us did.” – 127 “I had to get out of the city, get out of boxes they put you in.” – 129 “You one of us now” – 131 “I’m leaving… I’m goin to find family” – 131 “Nobodies don’t need no one either!” – 132 “One step forward, two steps back” - 127 “Outside the turf lapped at my feet” - 130 “A no-good streetie criminal Relating Chapter to The “Discovery” Rubric. May’s discoveries during chapter 12 relate closely to her personal relationships, and follows her path to discovering that she would like to leave, to find family, and more importantly somewhere safe. May discovers how others view her (As not much more than a common criminal) and sets her in motion for wanting to better herself (Through seeking to know more about her heritage and family). How does Tara June Winch explore the concept of Discovery in chapter 12 (Painted Dreaming) Statement
Tara June Winch uses Antithesis/ May’s expressions to Metaphor describe the
One-step This technique explores May’s forward, two hopelessness, and dictates to steps back. the audience that she is not
discovery of her repetitive, stalled lifestyle.
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making any progress, or advancing in her life. Similar to hitting a “Dead End”
Chapter 13: Mapping Waterglass Summary: How this chapter connects with the concept of Discovery May was walking along the country road Picked up by a man in a ute going to Wyalong The song “Brown Eyed girl” forces a rediscovery of May’s deceased mother as the begins to remember key characteristics. It brought back memories of the two of them in the car “Memories of my mum cruising the coast road” - This quote demonstrates the process of rediscovering something that was once lost or forgotten. ‘Memories of my mum’ highlights the fondness the protagonist has for their mother. The upbringing of the memory evokes emotion for the protagonist as something that was once lost and forgotten is remembered “People never leave places like this, they stay the same, same neighbours, same friends, same shops, same small town bullshit” - This quote highlights the familiarity the protagonist May has with her town, “Forty thousand years is a long time, forty thousand years still on my life How does Tara June Winch explore the concept of discovery in Chapter 13? Statement
“Give me ya number, can stay with me and me missus, we’d be happy to have ya. She cooks a bloody good roast that woman!”
“The land a basin of scorched anguish” “Twilight Devour”
“A summer storm could swerved onto the gravel shoulder, grey dust swept across the paddock of saline orange orchids and blankets of white mini daisies” “My mum’s halfdecent singalong voice bellowing through the Kombi, you’re my brown eyed girl … and we used to sing”
“They stay the same - same neighbours, same friends, same shops, same small town bullshit”
Chapter 14: Just Dust Summary: How this chapter connects with the concept of Discovery Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful in ways that may be emotional, creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual. Summary: In this chapter may discovers about the land and how she comes from quartz crystals ‘hard water’. Techniques: Imagery: “Her eyes are small slivers and they shine like fish scales. They are lucid and kind, but almost feverish as she speaks.” Personification: “the lake works like a heart” Statement
Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful in ways that may be emotional, creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual.
“Her eyes are small slivers and they shine like fish scales. They are lucid and kind, but almost feverish as she speaks.”
Through the use of imagery it lets the reader create the story in their head and see what the author is trying to explain
“the lake works like a heart”
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Chapter 15: Cocoon Summary: How this chapter connects with the concept of Discovery Chapter 16: Bila Snake Summary: How this chapter connects with the concept of Discovery Chapter 17: Mission Summary: How this chapter connects with the concept of Discovery Techniques:
Personification: “Tiny arrow-shaped sign blinked in the distance” pg 166, “sadness clawed into my skin for no reason I could see” “A small church flakes off its old salmon skin, revealing the ashen wood beneath” Simile: “Devotion of emotion, shuffled off to the new suburb like secrets in pockets” “the sports field looks like a rodeo pit” Metaphor: “He strikes his fingers in the air, as if to burst a bubble” Colloquial language: “Who’s gonna speak for em little fellas?”- Graham Upon arriving in the Northern Territory, May searches for her mother’s side of the family. This chapter foreshadows the missionary, focusing on the lives of many Aboriginal people since the white settlement in Australia. The missionary is described as a reflection of their loss of understanding spiritually and ambiguous background, which leads to the anonymity of the theme identity. Finally the chapter concludes with May meeting Graham and leaving with a woman named Betty to continue her quest to find the Gibsons. This relates to the concept that discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful in ways that may be emotional, creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual. Lastly discoveries can be confronting and provocative, which is demonstrated when May encounters the missionary that ultimately symbolises the cultural and emotional destruction of all Aboriginals.
Through the Colloquial act of language rediscovery, May is confronted with the ramifications inflicted on Aboriginals.
“Who’s gonna Graham’s speak for em words little fellas?”effectively provoke May as he acknowledges the white settlement and how it stole the voice of many Aboriginals. Through this the reader is educated on the implications still existent on Aboriginal culture, land and
Therefore highlighting how rediscovering what has been forgotten can lead to new ideas and renewed perceptions on past occurrences.
spirituality. Discoveries Personification and their worth may be reassessed over time, hence accounting for renewed perspectives.
“A small church flakes off its old salmon skin, revealing the ashen wood beneath”
Through personifying the church, it symbolises the pain and loss of identity which still strongly exists in the lives of myriads of Aboriginal people, families and groups.
By examining this it is evident that through May encountering the remaining church she obtains vital knowledge of the ramifications of the white settlement.
Unearthing Simile what has been concealed can account for a better understanding of one’s self and others
“Devotion of emotion, shuffled off to the new suburb like secrets in pockets”
This literary technique highlights the emotional impact of the white settlement still etched upon each Aboriginal individual. It effectively illustrates the concealment of affliction despite the obvious impacts. May encountering this presents her with a clearer knowledge and understanding of the implementatio ns of the European settlement.
Hence this substantiates how rediscovering the past renews our views and interpretations leading to greater ideas about the world.
Discoveries Personification may be
“Tiny arrow- The sign Therefore shaped sign communicates significantly
evoked by curiosity, necessity and wonder and can stimulate new speculations about the future.
blinked in the the distance” commenceme nt of a new encounter initiated from May’s curiosity to find her extended family. The way in which the sign ‘blinks’ at her epitomises her enticement to rediscover what has been lost.
elucidating how through curiosity we may establish new comprehensio n and ideas about future possibilities.
Chapter 19: Jacaranda Tree Summary: How this chapter connects with the concept of Discovery Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful in ways they may be emotional, creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual. Discoveries and discovering can offer new understandings and renewed perceptions of ourselves and others “Against the fence I could trace back to someone’s face, their mouth, their eye socket, their ear. I tried so many times to find my mother’s, but I could only pretend to recognise her, her real face is lost.” This quote depicts that May is trying to find another connection, as she doesn’t know who her mum is anymore. “I would come to the jacaranda tree, its dogwood trunk writhing through the palings.” It is symbolic of her mum and source of connection to place and family and also shows that it is a barrier. The tree is in pain, which represents her mum’s pain and desperation. “Sometimes the other trees’ roots would be so invading that they would splinter plumbing, unbloating reservoir. Though the jacaranda shared its ground.” This demonstrates that other people are unsettling May and wreaking her foundations causing negative impacts. “It stayed naked for a lot of the year, until I only remembered its familiar bareness.” Vulnerability is the only thing May can remember about her mum “And then there would be none, no evidence of its beauty, only the watery stains of a visit.” May’s mother is not there anymore. There is no evidence of the good parts anymore, people only remember her death (the end) “Cycle would enfold again,”. May is worried that the cycle will continue with her or her family “Too delicate to be touched.” June was vulnerable “It’s a sacred bloody pest. It isn’t meant to be here, I hate it, too pretty, she’d say, threatening always to chop it down.” The connections are sacred and June/ May’s happiness is there, every time comfort is found someone ruins that. “Purple-belled loveliness” Personification
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Imagery Anaphora ‘their’
“Against the fence I could trace back to someone’s face, their mouth, their eye socket, their ear. I tried so many times to find my mother’s, but I could only pretend to recognise her, her real face is lost.”
This quote depicts that May is trying to find another connection, as she doesn’t know who her mum is anymore.
This highlights that one's need for discovery can become apparent through vigilant searching and the need to obtain a connection with something.
Discoveries can be sudden or unexpected, or they can emerge from a process of deliberate and careful planning evoked by curiosity, necessity or wonder
They can also be confronting and provocative
“I would come to the jacaranda tree, its dogwood trunk writhing through the palings.”
It is symbolic of her mum and source of connection to place and family and also shows that it is a barrier. The tree is in pain, which represents her mum’s pain and desperation.
This demonstrates that some discoveries can be confronting and challenging , as recognising the suffering of someone can be difficult to accept.
. Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful in ways they may be emotional, creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual
“Sometimes the other trees’ roots would be so invading that they would splinter plumbing, unbloating reservoir. Though the jacaranda shared its ground.”
This denotes that May’s mother’s legacy and memories are being taken over, which wreaks May’s foundations and causing negative impacts, as she is trying to hold onto something that needs to be set free.
This conveys that discoveries can be intensely meaningful and create an emotional response, as the realisation of a situation can be difficult to comprehend.
Personificati on Metaphor
“It stayed naked for a lot of the
Vulnerability is the only This alludes that discoveries can thing May can remember change a person’s perception of about her mum, which others and alter the way
Discoveries and discovering can offer new understandings
and renewed perceptions of ourselves and others
. The ramifications of particular discoveries may differ for individuals and their worlds
year, until I is symbolised through only the bareness of the tree. remembered its familiar bareness.”
someone is viewed.
“And then there would be none, no evidence of its beauty, only the watery stains of a visit.”
This illustrates that consequences of certain discoveries can cause different impacts of different people and can lead to the discovery that changes have occurred.
May’s mother is not there anymore. There is no evidence of the good parts anymore, people only remember her death (the end)
Chapter 20: Home Summary: How this chapter connects with the concept of Discovery May’s physical and emotional pain acts as a catalyst to discover herself, her familial heritage and her cultural identity. This is explored through Winch’s effective use of the leitmotif of Pain. “I could run away from the pain my family holds” is an example of this.In order for May to reconcile her pain, learn from its experiences, and discover the full extent of her emotional life and indigenous way of thinking, she needs to first locate and then actively escape the sources of her pain; a broken family life, a traumatic sexual assault and the broken dream of reuniting with her father. This pain is initially confronting and provocative, but in May’s case it ultimately her to rediscover the lost, forgotten and concealed elements of her indigenous heritage. Therefore, Winch’s use of leitmotifs portrays how discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful, confronting and provocative and can involve rediscovering something that has been lost forgotten or concealed. May’s response to adversities she faced transforms the assumptions of readers about the problematic nature of identity, memory and the ideal means to discover the inner core of our intellectual and spiritual being. This is depicted through the recurring theme of identity. For example, “My mother knows that I am home, at the water I am always home. Aunty and my brother, we are from the same people, we are of the Wiradjuri nation, hard water”. In order to discover her concealed Indigenous identity and understand herself as a strong Wiradjuri woman, May deliberately sets out to discover her past, familial origins and cultural history. Her eventual discovery of self emerges from a combination of deliberately planned and unexpected challenges, which test her ability to perceive the world as an Indigenous thinker, immersed in the dreamtime. Thus, discoveries can lead us to new worlds and values, stimulate new ideas, and enable us to speculate about future possibilities. May’s discoveries were dependent on her cultural and historical contexts, which lead to the discovery of self. This is shown through Winch’s use of an extended metaphor. “My mother knows that I am home, at the water I am always home. Aunty and my brother, we are from the same people, we are of the Wiradjuri nation, hard water”. The extended metaphor used by Winch to compare water with memory and culture highlights how Aboriginal identity is
inextricably linked to the land of their origins. This historical and cultural ideal directly impacts what and how May discovers herself. Primarily by the way in which she considers her familial origins to be from the “hard water”. Winch has explored the concept of discovery in Home as May’s discoveries and process of discovering relied on her cultural and historical context. Through the process of May’s discoveries, Winch has lead the reader to new worlds and values, stimulated new ideas, and provoked speculation about future possibilities. This is portrayed by Winch’s effective use of sensory imagery. “Walls compress into the ground, rooftops twist over leveled clay, fences warn me off, pipes penetrate cement blocks, toilets sit beside sinks in the air” Is an example of this. Winch’s use of sensory imagery leaves a lasting impression on the reader as it evokes an emotional response. The use of sensory imagery to evoke an emotional response leads the reader to new worlds and values, stimulates new ideas, and enables them to speculate about future possibilities.
Practice and Study Questions: 1. What do the above quotes say about Discovery? 2. Do any of these quotes offer new and interesting insights into the nature of Discovery?