Distant Lands

891 Words Apr 28th, 2014 4 Pages
All children go through a stage in life where they feel unmotivated and disempowered to do what they want to do. The short story “Distant Lands” is written by Tim Winton and explores ideas of the disempowerment, power and isolation. Through the use of narrative conventions such as characterisation, setting and symbolism, the reader is influence to respond to the ideas with sympathy, frustration and hope for the main character, “Fat Maz”.
Through characterisation, the author is able to construct representations of disempowerment. One of the most important characters in the story is “Fat Maz” and her parents. In the story, the main character is portrayed as being fat, unmotivated to do anything and living a very bland life. For example,
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Through characterisation, the author is able to express the main idea of disempowerment and also allowing us as readers to feel discontented and upset towards the main character.
Setting explores the main idea of disempowerment and isolation and aptly allows the audience to contrast it with the life of the main character. From the story, we are told that the setting is in a newsagency shop in a country town near a harbour. We are also told that the country town has a smelly harbour breeze. By using the country town as the setting, the author has placed us as readers to imagine isolation and places being far away, making it easier to convey ideas of the story. The isolation of the country town illustrates the life of the main character. She is isolated and stuck in the shop and town where she has no power to leave due to her parents. For example, “Once a day the big Greyhound rolled past going north to the city” and “Sometimes she would bicycle out to the edge of town and look along the highways”. Using the word city, the author is creating an atmosphere of adventure and the highway creates a sense of belonging. Through setting, the author is able to covey the main idea of isolation and disempowerment effectively and letting us as readers connect the relationship between the setting and the main character’s life.
Through the examination of symbolism, the author has added a deeper meaning to the main ideas of power. One of the most influential symbols is the story is the