Cloudstreet Essay

1295 words - 6 pages

Cloudstreet, written by Tim Winton, has all the requirements and qualities of a text with textual integrity. Textual integrity consists of structure, form and language which create a meaning.Cloudstreet is a family saga which employs a generally linear and sometimes circular structure. It meets the requirements of a saga in two ways. Firstly, it takes place over 4 generations, and even though the oldest generation is only embodied through memories and dreams it does help the narrative achieve resolution by bringing the reader closer to the Cloudstreet characters. Secondly the novel takes place over 25 years and speaks of events that actually took place in the time the novel was set; WWII, ...view middle of the document...

Winton creates viable, believable and realistic characters by using dialogue, specific language techniques and point of view.Winton used multiple narrator; omniscient, streams of consciousness (Fish, Oriel) and interior monologue (Rose, Lester). It's Fish's spiritual narration that lets the reader in on otherwise inaccessible information which is unattainable from the other often inarticulate characters. Inarticulateness, Australian vernacular and alcoholism, were Australians traits evident in many novels and plays written about Post-War Australia such as "The Touch of Silk" by Betty Roland. This shows Cloudstreet was a true depiction of Post-War, poorly educated, working class, Aussie battlers and shows its viability and textual integrity.Winton enhances the textual integrity of his novel by giving the characters distinctly Australian qualities and they fit the Western Australian war time period they are placed in. The characters are all laconic and use colloquialisms such as; "Lon Lamb has taken a sickie off work" Dolly is sarcastic and cynical. When Sam lost his fingers all Dolly could say was; "his bloody working hand. A man could hardly pick his nose with a thumb and half a pointer. They were done for; stuffed, cactus. Thankyou, lady Luck, you rotten slut."Winton's character's carefully chosen names evoke an image into the reader's mind of what the character should be. These ideas are immediately vanquished. Take Rose, a rose is a delicate flower with fine features and a beautiful aura but Rose Pickles is a hateful woman, though beautiful she is spiteful and hard. Dolly is just like her daughter, in that she is hardened. Dolly is also an alcoholic and sex-crazed woman who spends most of her time at the pub drinking and vying for male attention. These two strong women contradict their pleasant names and also hate each other. Fish, like the creatures, observe the immeasurable depths of experience and all he can think about is the river. The surnames of the two Cloudstreet families are Pickles and Lamb. A club sandwich with so many characteristics all piled under of the same roof of Cloudstreet.Cloudstreet is written using a paradox. Although Fish is intellectually disabled he is the main narrator in the book. Once favourite, who after the accident became "stuck somewhere…like he's half in and half out". "Not all of Fish had come back" and in his half state of life he's become a spiritually liberated and insightful being. His refusal to acknowledge his mother's presence is ironic because it if wasn't for her stubborn and sheer will power Fish...

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