This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Man And The Environment In David Malouf’s Novel, An Imaginary Life

1988 words - 8 pages

In David Malouf’s novel An Imaginary Life, one of the most prevalent influences on the characters’ lives is the particular environment in which they are placed. Malouf explores the issues of the interrelationship between man and his natural environment, and the impact that changes in environment have on human personality. Through the characterisation of Ovid and the Boy, the effects of setting and physical surroundings are fully explored, and consequently issues such as isolation, conformity to society and the development of culture, including education and language, are discussed.

The main character, Ovid, is a vivid example of how lives can be periodically changed according to ...view middle of the document...

This is again reflected in one of his later descriptions, which states:

It [the landscape] is a place of utter desolation, the beginning. I know it

like the inside of my head.

This bleak, pessimistic description is then contrasted to a joyful, beautiful description of a new life: a scarlet poppy. This contrast provides insight into the importance of changes in the natural environment, as the poet is changed from being troubled by the desolate emptiness of the earth, to being ‘drunk with joy’ at the new creation of colour, life and vitality. While in this ecstatic state of mind, Ovid questions what his friends back in the modern Roman society would think of his frivolous behavior, showing that being in unity with the natural landscape lessens the bond between man and the constraints of society. Ovid’s identity is constructed by the environment he is in, as while hunting with the head horseman, he adapts and conforms to the patterns of the rural men. This is portrayed as a positive thing, as the landscape is seen as a mentally healing agent, as Ovid described:

It was as it some fear went out of my breath and left my spirit clear

Following this description is a flashback to Ovid’s childhood, where he is finally able to become reconciled with his past and become aware of problems within the family unit. Changes and challenges within the environment therefore act as a catalyst for reconciliation and healing. Ovid recognises that

…the landscape we have made reveals to us the creatures we long for

and must become.

This shows the link between the way human activity has affected and influenced the natural environment, and the way nature has the ability to educate man about many aspects of human existence. The environment is contrasted many times with the use of language. As the poet learns more and more about the new culture and speech, he compares it to the elements of the environment, stating that

This language is equally expressive, but what it presents is the raw life and

unity of things.

Ovid refers to a language that is united with its natural setting, where people are interlinked with cycles of nature and work with, not against it. As Ovid changes, he becomes more a part of the landscape, ‘[feeling himself] loosen and flow again, reflecting the world.’ As the novel progresses, Ovid discovers the true meaning of transformation, learning priceless lessons of life through relationship with the environment. Discovery of one’s true identity is likened to features of the landscape, as Ovid believes:

Our further selves are contained within us, as the leaves and blossoms are in

the tree.

One of the central issues explored within this book is conformity to society, and the search for a fulfilling existence. Ovid’s philosophy springs from the title, An Imaginary Life, as he aspires to transcend laws and restraints of his freedom, through ‘breaking out of these laws without doing violence...

Other Essays Like Man And The Environment In David Malouf’S Novel, An Imaginary Life

Learning in an Environment Outside the Classroom

937 words - 4 pages Reading or studying on an airplane while travelling can be very valuable. This out of classroom environment can be a very conducive venue for concentration, absorption and understanding of sometimes rather complicated subjects. My job as an IT Security Analyst, allows me to travel quite frequently up and down the East Coast of the United States. Sometimes in excess of 3 times per week with an average flying time of three hours. This huge amount

This is an analysis of the characters in the old man and the sea

500 words - 2 pages marlin's carcass is left by the end of the story, Santiago may be considered victorious because he never quit, valiantly fighting off the sharks until there was nothing left to fight for.*Manolin (The Boy): This is Santiago's loyal young sidekick, Santiago taught Manolin to fish and Santiago was his mentor. Manolin still helps Santiago pull in his boat at night and helps take care of the old man, even though his parents have ordered him to sail with a

High Life Standards and Environment

921 words - 4 pages HIGH LIFE STANDARDS AND ENVIRONMENT Humankind is always tends to live comfortably. For this reason, a lot of things have been invented in a long period of time from ancient times to today. Although this desire stream for long time , there is not a difference with the ancient times and today. In ancient times people invent something for satisfying the needs ; however , today inventors make new things especially for comfort or for the

Lucy and Mina in the Novel Dracula

817 words - 4 pages In the novel, Dracula, by Bram Stoker, the two main female characters are Mina Harker and Lucy Westenra. In this Victorian setting, both women are equally important in portraying the view that Bram Stoker wanted- two types of females: the pure and the unwholesome. In the beginning, both women are the stereotypical “perfect” ladies of the time period but as we read on, the differences show more and more. Although both possess similar innocent

Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird", A Novel Which Exemplifies The Life In The South And The Human Rights And Values Given To Everybody

891 words - 4 pages The story, To Kill a Mockingbird is a very fine novel which exemplifies the life in the south and the human rights and values given to everybody. The book especially took the case of prejudice to a serious extreme. From the title, a mockingbird through the eyes of Harper Lee, is a person who has fallen victim to vicious stereotypes. The title To Kill a Mockingbird explains itself quite clearly in the end of the novel when Tom Robinson, one of

David and the Five Loaves

877 words - 4 pages DAVID’S ACTIONS COMPARED TO OTHER KINGS Another question that be discussed is, “How does David’s actions as a future king compare to the actions of kings in other nations?” In 1 and 2 Samuel we see that the king of Israel is not all powerful. Both Saul and David are shown to be under the law of God. Saul does not do what God tells him to do and God makes it so that Saul’s son will not become king.14 David has sex with another man’s wife and

"The miracle worker" - differences in the novel and the film

544 words - 3 pages After reading the play, The Miracle Worker I thought a lot of things were different then from the way they showed it on the movie. The plot was all the same though; the only difference was that in the movie they skipped some scenes that weren't as important. I thought the setting was a lot different from how they described it in the play. From their descriptions I would have thought that they only have 1 servant, Viney. And Percy and that other

"Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress" By Dai Sijie: In What Ways Is This Novel An Argument For The Importance Of Storytelling?

1536 words - 7 pages Breathe Literature, Exhale Reality"...an art...recreating literature-taking the printed words in a book and giving them life", Ellin Greene defined storytelling. It is used to pass the time, tell of past or current events, and is the way that we communicate with each other. In Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, storytelling takes place when life is tough and living is hopeless. Storytelling allows Luo and the narrator to live like people

Carrie-an Analysis of Novel and Film

1805 words - 8 pages Desjardin in the novel starts out being annoyed and aggravated with Carrie. “Miss Desjardin made an irritated cranking gesture at Carrie…” (King 5). In the film, the physical education teacher’s frustrations are present, but they are not directed at Carrie. Instead, she focuses her anger on the girls in the PE class whom she has caught ostracizing Carrie. Perhaps the technique here is to find someone to side with Carrie so that she is not

Special Education Students in an Inclusive Environment

2364 words - 10 pages the civil rights for all people with disabilities in the United States. The second Public Law passed in 1975 and the U.S. Congress enacted the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142). This mad a free and appropriate education available to nearly four million school-age students with disabilities in the United States between the ages 6-21. The law included provisions for an individualize education program, procedural

Culture and the Environment

701 words - 3 pages (Trompenaars & Hampden-Turner, 1997). As further described by the authors, cultures that are “outer-directed,” that is, they take their cues from the environment around them versus the “inner-directed” cultures that generally have an internalized set of goals that come from within. The other-directed cultures are molded by the environment and, in a way, are due to the synthesis of the expectations and preferences of and relating to

Related Papers

The Destiny Of Man And Environment In Jean Sasson's Love In A Torn Land

5232 words - 21 pages two years of continuous contact and correspondence with Joanna, Jean Sasson writes a realistic and true book based on the life of this freedom fighter titled Love in a Torn Land (2007). The book was so appealing that it was translated into 19 languages within only four years. This compelling novel vividly narrates all the gloomy days through a love story between Joanna and Sarbast who was an Iraqi Kurdish freedom fighter of the 1980s working in

Looking At David Gauntlett's Novel, Media, Gender And Identity: An Introduction

981 words - 4 pages information, and this information alters the way they think and act; this statement being the main topic of David Gauntlett’s chapter titled "Some Background Debates" in the novel Media, Gender and Identity: an Introduction. With continuous changes in technology, things can be broadcasted faster, in a wider range, and to larger audiences. It seems that everyone is being exposed to the media thus making anyone susceptible to the ways media has influence

Man Vs. The Environment Essay

724 words - 3 pages the change is for worse, but what is good about the ozone hole, rising global temperatures, and over irrigation causing the spread of arid conditions in once fertile locations (Eitzen, 2000, p. 79). Is this interference the fault of the capitalist sys-tem or just the mortal man? In my opinion it is the fault of the man for having, the attitude of use what we need and do not worry about the concencuios. Man started the raping of earth back when

Imaginary Journeys Are Learning Experiences The Tempest, Pan's Labyrinth And Alice In Wonderland

847 words - 4 pages An imaginative journey is a figurative adventure, which challenges the existing values and attitudes of individuals, resulting in growth intellectually, spiritually and emotionally. The journey can be both positive and negative, can reflect on real life, create a sense of perfection and act as a chance to re-evaluate what cannot be controlled in the reality. This is clearly illustrated in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, ‘El Laberinto del Fauno’ (2006