First Cloudstreet Essay
Cloudstreet is a mystical hymn of each character’s journey to finding peace and redemption within their lives. From separate tragedies, the Pickleses and the Lambs come to Cloudstreet seeking a fresh start. Winton’s exploration of a mystical journey to redemption is represented through the complex relationship between Fish and Quick Lamb. Their relationship is ridden with guilt, despair, a sense of mystical hope and a fervent desire for freedom, ideas that are widely important for the maintenance of human hope.
Quick Lamb’s guilt becomes a driving force in his search for redemption. From the outset of the novel, Quick Lamb ‘knows his brother Fish is smarter and better looking than him and that people love him…show more content…
When Fish ‘feels the death coming unstuck from him with a pain like his guts are being torn from him’ his longing to stay with the water becomes evident. Coming back to life is described through the simile of ‘the most awful sickfeeling in him like his flesh has turned to pus and his heart to shit.’ Through Fish’s longing of death, Quick’s despair with life is emphasised through the metaphorical argot of ‘lonelysick wakefulness.’ The despair etched into Quick and Fish’s relationship is mirrored in the personification of the house ‘twisting its joists, hugging inwards, sucking in air.’ The agony Quick feels over his brother’s inability to grow up is reflected in his relationship with Fish, along with Fish’s despair for the water. The mirrored agony is the essence of the relationship, which can be closely understood by society’s desire for closure and peace.
Mysticism in Cloudstreet becomes one of the key forces that drive each character’s search for meaning and self-acceptance. It is a beacon of hope represented through Fish’s awestruck perception of the water and the way this moulds his relationship with Quick. Fish’s constant repetition of ‘the water, the water,’ emphasises the importance of meeting the water once again to resolve his metaphorical ‘stuckness...Not the way all the living are stuck in time and space...but in another stuckness altogether.’