Helen Garner

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Helen Garner ‘Against embarrassment’ and ‘Acqua profonda’ Helen Garner’s essay ‘Against embarrassment’ (Garner, 2003) discusses the subject of longing and its need for fulfilment to be truly happy. Garner goes on to question the need to put ones self out there and risk failure to truly succeed. Garners novel ‘Monkey Grip’ encompasses sections including ‘Acqua Profonda’ (Garner, 1977) which describes the life of a mother and criticises urban life and forefronts society’s abuse of drugs and share houses. ‘Against embarrassment’ (Garner, 2003) discusses the idea of longing and its affect on ones identity. “He was playing just to keep himself company” (Garner, 2003, p. 213). Garner acknowledges her own longing, to be able to play music after her …show more content…

Garner describes her personal experiences in these stories, allowing the audience to sympathise and understand her past and its affect on her writing. Helen Garner writes in the form of essays and changes her writing to form a story while portraying an idea to the audience. In ‘Against embarrassment’, Garner’s writing stays within the genre of fiction, but changes from literary fiction to essay form, while still maintaining its structure and emotion while the simplicity in her writing captures the mood without affecting the telling of the story. Garner blurs the boundaries of genre in a way that was considered unique when ‘Monkey Grip’ was first introduced, receiving both criticism and compliments. The mother in ‘Acqua Profunda’ exclaims, “What about this way I’ve got of falling in love with people and just as quickly out again?” (Garner, 1977, p. 9). This demonstrates the complexity of human nature and ones inability to control emotions. Garner uses this to humanise the text by showing that change can be good and everybody has moments of self doubt. This narrative style of essay and fictional novel is used to allow the audience to understand the character’s emotional questioning of one’s identity which is a universal human …show more content…

The crowd watch eagerly as she goes down, but the family put up a strong front to show their support for their kin. “I always knew you’d be too angry, once the wedding glitter rubbed off your skin” (Lanagan, 2004, p. 6). As Ikky sank lower into the tar, her family sat and kept her calm, almost like a wake before she passed with singing and sensational food. “This whole thing is upended. Who would have a party in the tar, and with family going down?” (Lanagan, 2004, p. 9). The family knew of Ikky’s strong spirit and believed this day would come, so they hide their grief as Chief Barnarndra and the husband’s family sit watching Ikky sink lower and rejoice at the brutal punishment. “You knew when you picked up that axe-handle you were sticking yourself” (Lanagan, 2004, p. 6). This statement by the mother is one of sadness and also resignation as she knew of her daughter’s character and spirit and also acknowledges Ikky’s awareness of the consequences, while hinting at what the daughter’s crime

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