Symbolism In Fly Away Peter

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How does Jim make the movement from innocence to experience in the text ‘Fly away peter’
In the novel ‘Fly Away Peter,’ David Malouf uses the main protagonist, Jim Saddler, to move from a state of innocence and wellbeing to a stage of experience and fear. Malouf demonstrates to the reader the theme of innocence throughout the novel, and when coming to close the aspects of experience shines through. The use of several techniques such as binary opposites, metaphors, foreshadowing, and symbolism helps the narrative to illustrate the horrors and loss of the First World War and the exquisiteness and attractiveness of nature.
Fly Away Peter is a story of an innocent and caring young Australian man, Jim Saddler who begins the text living on the coast
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(Page 36). Jim’s character development is evident throughout the novel. Jim’s complexity to his actions and progression of his personality helps drive the plot. Malouf uses a technique in which he splits the book almost into two parts, one part being about the nature sanctuary and purity of everything around, whereas the second part is about the darkness of war. The change of scenery and mindset changes immediately, "It was as if had taken a wrong turning in his sleep, arrived at the dark side of his head."(pg 58). However, the characters development and transformation aren’t instant, but it’s a gradual process. The process is revealed through metaphors, irony and imagery. “They went up to Bailleul in cattle trucks” (p.g 65) . The significance illustrated with this metaphor is its ability of foreshadowing the near future. It’s foreshadowing for the soldiers going into battle like cows going into a slaughter house. This is a momentous moment for Jim. His understanding of this moment, realising he is going into a slaughter house is a large moment of change for his character who starts to move in a stage of…show more content…
Jim is being constantly attacked by his surroundings, which in tale leads to his end result of his change in character. “… after all, it was only a dead man. He (Jim) had stopped being afraid of the dead.” (pg. 88). The transformation of Jim’s character is so great. Jim’s emptiness and hollowness of his character has been completely bombarded from what he has witnessed and felt. Although the wider message of ‘Fly away peter’ is a story of how Jim’s innocence was stolen from him in a deadly manner it is also a message of how the main protagonist Jim, changes his way of living for his development and survival. “Jim saw that he had been living, till he came here (pre-war), in a state of dangerous innocence… He had been blind.” (pg. 103). Jim’s ability to oversee what he was, shows how deep and sophisticated Jim’s character is. Jim’s move to maturity is also signifyingly evident, Jim’s nature of being a man before his time is shown through his way of viewing the war after his involvement in the Great War. “The world when you looked from both sides was quite other than a placid, slow-moving dream, without change of climate or colour and a time and place for all.” (pg. 103). Jim’s character has grown up from his innocence, his has lost his vison of a beautiful world, and has shown that all the beauty of nature has no place in a war. Jim’s emptiness and maturity prevails over his dangerous
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