‘It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.’ C. S. Lewis. Lewis’s hypothetical situation raises questions on how a person, the bird he is metaphorically referring to, must undergo a change to be able to advance through life. The characters in Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet must too experience this change in order to heal wounds and rekindle old relationships. The ways in which stability and change are explored by Winton in the novel that I will be discussing in my essay are, Cloudstreet represents both stability and change in the novel through the house being personified, tension and change are revealed through juxtaposition and resolution between Dolly and Rose, and the relationship between Oriel and Fish explores tension through the innate nature of each character. Before I begin my deconstruction of Cloudstreet I would like to explicitly address the aspects of context, reception, and values behind Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet. Cloudstreet was written while Winton was travelling through Europe away from his home in Perth, and so the novel develops a sense of reminiscence or ‘nostalgia’, as referred to by Michael McGirr, towards Winton’s romanticized home. Cloudstreet was written economic hardship and recession as well as a time around Aboriginal rights changing. The context in which the novel was written is important as it is reflected throughout the novel by a nostalgic tone and themes of reconciliation and hardship. Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet was the recipient of the prestigious Miles Franklin Literary Award in 1992, and since has become a well studied Australian novel by schools and scholars such as Michael McGirr and Yvonne Miels. The values explored in Cloudstreet allow the novel to be well received by a wide audience.
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