Analysis Of Owls Do Cry

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2. Toby 's Epilepsy and Daphne 's Life in the Asylum in Owls Do Cry Janet Frame 's novel Owls Do Cry tells the story of a New Zealand family who struggles with poverty. Set in the fictional town of Waimaru, the story follows the lives of Bob and Amy Whithers and their children Francie, Toby, Daphne and Chicks. Aside from their monetary struggles the family has to deal with the early death of their daughter Francie (cf. Frame 50), Toby 's epilepsy (cf. 9 ff.) and Daphne 's mental illness (105). My analysis of Owls Do Cry shall start with how the novel describes Daphne and her life in the asylum before I move on to Toby 's struggle with physical illness. The narration is partly focalised through Daphne Whithers, who has been institutionalised in a mental asylum. These sections set themselves apart from others by their use of imagery: “... and I planted carrot seed that never came up, for the wind breathed a blow-away spell; the wind is warm, was warm, and the days above burst unheeded, explode their atoms of snow-black beanflower and white rose, mock the last intuitive who-dunnit, who-dunnit of the summer thrush...” (Frame 3). These passages serve to highlight how Daphne 's mind deviates from the norm. She has an unusually vivid imagination that seems almost childlike at times. The use of personification puts further emphasis on her childishness, but her overactive imagination is not always harmless and sometimes takes a darker turn, revealing fears that appear to be deeply

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