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An Essay About The Comparision Of Two Novels With Intertextual Links

1968 words - 8 pages

Many novels focus on the issues of teenage life, but few incorporate the issues of war. The Divine Wind by Garry Disher and Children Of The River by Linda Crew are two such examples. The Divine Wind deals with Hartley Penrose reflecting back on his life in Broome during the years of World War 2. Whilst Children Of The River deals with the story of Sundara Sovaan, an escapee of the Communist war in Cambodia, and her new life in America with her aunt and uncle. These two novels are appropriate to compare because although the themes in both novels may be conveyed in different ways and in a different context, there are still many similarities and differences. The characterization of Mitsy ...view middle of the document...

She did not fir in anywhere." Sundara's situation is similar to Mitsy but the way that she handles it is quite different as Sundara is passive and often struggles with her identity.Stereotyping is a theme featured in both novels but it is conveyed quite differently. In The Divine Wind the government and society stereotype Japanese citizens. They are seen as criminals who are engaged in conspiracies with the Japanese government. An example of this stereotyping is seen when Hart says, "The military and the Secret Service had been watching the Japanese for years, noting names, places and activities." This stereotyping by the government leads to paranoia in Broome's society and later in the novel this becomes extremely evident. Hart describes, "Our next door neighbour, a Chinese taxi driver, was beaten up when he was mistaken for a Japanese." This shows the extremities of the government and society towards Japanese in Broome during World War 2. Children Of The River takes a different approach to stereotyping as in the novel Sundara's Cambodian family stereotypes White Americans as low and immoral. "And some of their ways I don't mind. But I tell you this, our children must not become too American. We don't want those bad things happening to this family. Drinking, drugs, sex, pregnancy." This is just one of the many examples of stereotyping featured in the novel as Sundara's aunt despises American ways.The theme of interracial relationships is prominent throughout both novels and has both similarities and differences. In The Divine Wind Hart's mother, Ida, opposes the relationship between Hart and Mitsy. Hart recalls, "She didn't approve of our friendship. She'd have said, 'Oh don't be silly Hart.' If I'd admitted to being in love with Mitsy." This reaction from Hart's mother is similar to the reaction of Sundara's aunt in Children Of The River, when she finds out about the relationship between her and Jonathan. "Forget American boys. Do you want to be married and divorced over and over? You must marry the Cambodian way." These reactions from parents and elders bare similarities, but there are also some differences in the way the theme of interracial relationships are developed. In The Divine Wind the relationship between art and Mitsy receives objection from society. Hart says, "People began to mutter whenever I passed them in the street. One said, 'Hey Penrose, I hear you're running a brothel. Got a pair of Jap whores.'" This response from certain people in Broome's society reflects upon the tense nature between Japanese citizens and Australians during this time. This kind of objection from society was not seen in Children Of The River, mainly due to the fact that Americans felt sympathetic towards Cambodian refugees at this time.War is an important theme that is the basis of both novels, the theme of war is similar but it is just conveyed in a different context. In The Divine Wind war is an issue that greatly affects the life of all the...

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