Thursday's Child Analysis

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During the Great Depression, when every ounce of life was bleak, withering, and hopeless, maintaining fortitude through adversity differentiated living another day and meeting the ravenous hands of despair. Thursday’s Child, a historical fiction novel written by Sonya Hartnett, explores the struggles of an Australian family during the Great Depression. Harper Flute, the narrator of the novel, reflects on the events of her early life with her family members. Da (Court Flute) is the father of five children, including Harper and her older sister, Audrey. In addition to being the husband of Mam (Thora Flute), Da is the scourge of the Flute family’s turmoil and anguish. Conversely, Mam and Audrey courageously preclude the family’s dissension through…show more content…
During World War I, Mam wrote letters to Court every two weeks. Her bravery does not stem from the letters’ contents, but rather the details she omitted. Audrey explains to Harper that Mam never complained about “how Grandda growled at the sight and sound and smell of children or how he judged Mam’s housekeeping slovenly and her childrearing faulty ones’ mouths” (77). Thora’s fortitude, preserved by a sense of optimism, is exemplary considering Grandda’s contemptible character, and her distanced separation from Court. Without her prowess, Mam may not have been able withstand the separation of her husband, or the cruel treatment of Grandda. Years later, when the shanty collapses due to Tin’s tunnels weakening the house’s foundation, Mam displays similar bravery. Contrastingly, Da projects erratic anger onto Harper by slapping her. Mam avers, “You’re a coward, your are, taking on like an infant…That house needs rebuilding, and you’re going to start doing it today” (104). Mam’s hasty acceptance of the wreck, rapidly followed with assertion and disapproval of Da’s cowardly behavior, reinforces her fortitude. Despite losing her house, Mam does not wither in despair and cowardliness, like Da. With time, Devon and Audrey leave in order to incur income for the family to live off. Mam continues to comfort the bereaved Harper notwithstanding to the death of Caffy, Harper’s youngest brother. Harper describes how she “would curl into Mam’s lap…and feel nothing but tranquil, like a child, and loved” (213). During a time of loss and grief in Harper’s life, Mam wills the strength to be there for Harper. Thora’s fortitude is essential for helping Harper emotionally survive the troubles brought on by the Great Depression, the loss of her brother, and the absences of her older brother and sister. Both
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