An Imaginary Life Analysis

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This is perhaps where the book could have ended, two pages from its actual end. But it then would have left out Janet’s moving prayer on the final page where she asks: ‘Let none be left in the dark or out of mind, on this night, now, in this corner of the world or any other, at this hour, in the middle of this war… (RB p. 182) for: ‘As we approach prayer. As we approach knowledge. As we approach one another.’ (RB p. 182) It is a prayer we might all share in our reflection on the intersection of black and white, of the treatment of outsiders, a prayer that goes beyond our remote borders, one that travels to the heart of all divisions, and how we might overcome them.
He is an object indeed, first of the colonists' amazement, then their amusement,
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Its resolutions are dispersed among several characters and across time; varying states of grace, disgrace, and reconciliation are achieved. Janet comes into a deeper knowledge of her world, but one modulated by the patterns and harmonies of bees, themselves indicative of the transcendental mystery enthralling her world. Lachlan's rise to power in public office, and the consequences of his challenge to public bigotry during the Second World War do not compensate his essential loss of Gemmy. Indeed, Gemmy himself walks away from the schoolhouse and out of the narrative altogether (pp. 180–1). But is there resolution in the mode of his dissolution from the narrative view? He walks across a charred landscape after a bushfire, aware of the regenerative powers of the eucalypt forest. He carries the paper transcription of his story, and as the rains come, the paper disintegrates, and Gemmy's sense of his own dissolution becomes open to the land. He hits upon the word water and finds his identity merging with the land: his authenticity is to be part of the land, fulfilling Mr Frazer's prophecy of his role as avatar of the new country. Beyond the self-other relation and its phases of animal, human, and spirit, Gemmy's being emerges, or submerges, as part of the fundament, the original clay.’ 26 The minister, Mr. Frazer, sees him as a true child of…show more content…
All this can be done again. This is what is intended by our coming here: to make this place too part of the World’s garden, but by changing ourselves rather than it and adding thus to the richness and variety of things. Our poor friend Gemmy is a forerunner. He is no longer a white man, or a European, whatever his birth, but a true child of the place as it will one day be, a crude one certainly, unware of what he has achieved- and that too perhaps is part of His intention: that the exemplum should be of the simplest and most obvious sort, deeply moving to those who are willing to look, and to see, without prejudice, that in allowing himself to be at home here, he has crossed the boundaries of his given nature’. ((RB p. 120-21)

In the Australian context, this is what Malouf anticipates. Both the wild child in An Imaginary Life and Gemmy with their natural abilities and adaptive skills start to develop characteristics which very closely resemble the qualities of the ‘Coming Man’, the Australian ‘National Type’. And this only becomes possible by the inclusive relation with the ‘other’, upholding the idea that the aboriginies were not pests to be done away with in order to develop the Australian National Culture. In fact, according to Malouf, they were integral to it.
That would be the
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