Fly Away Peter, David Malouf Essay

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Fly Away Peter
In what ways does David Malouf use interesting literary techniques in Fly Away Peter to explore ideas and themes?

“Two little dickie birds,
Sitting on a wall;
One named Peter,
One named Paul.
Fly away Peter!
Fly away Paul!
Come Back Peter!
Come Back Paul!”

Throughout ‘Fly Away Peter’ Malouf utilises a variety of literary techniques such as contrast, Imagery, Symbolism and foreshadowing to portray ideas and themes. The title ‘Fly Away Peter’ makes reference to the traditional English nursery rhyme ‘Two Little Dickie Birds’. Moulaf utilises this nursery rhyme to make the connection between themes within ‘Fly Away Peter’ and everyday life.

“Two little dickie birds, Sitting on a wall;” These opening
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The invisible paddock talked about in the first sentence is foreshadowing of the introduction of the two planes of life. Moulaf is also using symbolism. The “invisible paddock” symbolises the sky, and as later introduced the view from the sky is the second plane of life.

Moulaf has used the lines; “One named Peter, One named Paul” to link the characters of the book to the religious views and ways of living in the 1960’s. In the 1750’s the rhyme ‘Two Little Dickie Birds’ talked of two birds names Jack and Gill, in the early 1900’s the names were changed to the disciples ‘Peter and Paul’. In ‘Fly away Peter’ Moulaf has used this link between the birds name to introduce the religious connections. The bird peter symbioses Jim and Paul symbolises Ashley in the context of ‘Fly away Peter’.
Throughout the novel Moulaf uses the literary technique of narration to tell parts of the story. “The world Jim found himself in...” this narrator figure symbolises God. Jim and Ashley also symbolise angels. This references the first quote Moulaf placed in the front of the novel. The “divine creature” is an angel. Jim and Ashley are angels incarnated in a human form, and the ‘flying away’ is the time on earth and the coming back is the return to heaven. In the novel Jim dies from injuries sustained form a battle, and in this the cycle of his life is complete and he returns to heaven.

The lines “Fly away peter, Fly away

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