The Novel That Eye, The Sky written by the Australian novelist Tim Winton is a novel about a little boy named Ort who has a big heart that prevails his family against hell itself. The story is about generosity, insight and originality. This novel challenges the readers on whether “families are really worth the effort or not? ” The answer to this question changes with each individual’s opinion. Families are uniquely important to everyday life, everybody depends on their families differently and have their own ways of showing their love and care for each other.
Alice, the mother of Ort, has always had that motherly love towards her family; even when under extreme stress she still keeps her family together. Alice shows throughout the novel that families are worth the effort, even when her children don’t show her respect. “’I hate your guts, you’re weak in the head, pathetic. You’re a hick, a burnt-out hippie from the olden days. And now you’re born-again, bashing the bible and Holy Jesus. I think you’re crap. ’ Says Tegwyn. Mum stands up, grabs her, her arms go around her hard so you can hear the air coming out of Tegwyn.
Mum’s hands lock like they’ll need bolt-cutters to undo. ‘I love you,’ Mum says. ‘I love you. Love you. Love you. ’ And then Tegwyn is bawling and all saggy and smaller-looking, and they stay like that for a long time. ” (pg 104) Alice tries to save her family from slowly disintegrating. By doing this, she tries to keep as much normality as possible within the Flack family. ”Today, people, we’re all going on an outing. It’s Christmas day, day of rest and rejoicing, day of contemplation- not too exhaustive – and day of thanking the Lord for what is. Where to kids?
Says Alice”(pg 105) All through the novel Alice proves to be the strongest character, even though she has her weak moments at times. “’I thought dad was going to be alright, Ort murmurs. ‘He will be,’ Alice whispers, snuffling. Some snot shines on her lips and her eyes are angry with tears. ‘He will be, Ort. I won’t let him not be. ’” (pg 50) She always has hope and believes that everything would be okay, and that Sam would heal over time with their family’s support and strength. “No. Healing is what you do for someone else. Survival is for yourself.
You can eat people if you want to survive bad enough. Or you can die if you want to heal someone bad enough. ’” (pg 138) Ort is a twelve year old boy, who died twice due to suffering from meningitis when he was a baby. He was in a coma for two weeks and since then he has been a little slow and different to the others his age. “I was dead. Twice. Two times my head stopped and my brain stopped. ‘You had meningitis. Your head was all full of water. You screamed like you were on fire. And then you went asleep and didn’t wake up for two weeks. ” (pg 12) As Ort tackles his own life obstacles, everything ends up becoming the worst after Sam; Ort’s dad becomes paralysed from a car accident.
After this, the Flack family go down hill quickly from their usual life style flipping to a total different side. This is when Ort shows his true commitment towards his family and gives them the love, support and strength they need. Even though he is just a twelve year old boy and it takes him a while to understand, he finally proves himself and he starts to protect them. “’Ya sisters a slut, ya old man’s a vegetable, and ya mums a pisstank. says Fat. And that’s it. ‘Yer a fat slug! ’ I yell at him. ‘I hate yer big flubbery guts and yer pig face and yer crybaby old man who thinks he’s so funny and yer scrawny plucked-chook-piece-of-poop old lady. I hate yez! ”(pg 39) Tegwyn, is Ort’s older sister who is a dark teenager that is negative on everything at this stage of her life. In the novel she doesn’t have any interest in making an effort to help her family. Since the very beginning of the novel she has hated living out of the city and being stuck in the country with her family that she hates. “’Don’t you like us? ’ Ort asks.
Tegwyn spits a bit of fat onto her plate. ‘I hate it here. ’ Then mum starts crying, hands over here face, elbows on the table, and Tegwyn goes into her room and I just sit there feeling useless. ” (pg 50) Tegwyn does not think family is worth the time or effort and by the end she shows no consideration or respect towards her family. “I open Tegwyn’s door. The bed is empty. Even the blankets and sheets are gone. I open the cupboard. Empty. I go into the lounge room and see all of Henry Warburton’s stuff gone. Me heart is smashing around. The car is gone. Big skid marks all over the drive. ” (pg 149)
Family is very important to me. Looking back at the life challenges and changes my family and I have been through over the years from unfortunate deaths, to family members moving away and to sudden life risking injuries, and to see how we have overcome everything proves that families help each other out in the difficult times. If you love and care for each other enough, it will provide strength and a blanket of security. I think the most important thing is to have humour and to not take life too seriously at times. This is one of the things I found common with the Flack family and with my own.
Ort using his imagination and strange opinions, definitely develop the humour the novel needs and also humour people need in everyday life. The quotes he says I find entertaining. “’You’re a singular sort. ’ Henry laughs. ‘You are one in a million, boy. How did they make you? ’ Henry asks. ‘In the bedroom…‘sexual intercourse in the nude. ’ Ort says. (pg 137) Families play a valuable role in our lives and are definitely worth every effort. No matter how difficult life gets, you seem to always find your way in the end. If you stay positive and share humour between each other, the bad soon ends.
Courtney from Study Moose
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