Richard Flanagan 's The Narrow Road

2293 Words10 Pages
Throughout our lives society shapes whom we are and how we act, through this we are forced to assume roles based on how others view and perceive us. Both through our close friends and family and the broader media and society, these stereotypes and attitudes from which we develop into can be both for good and bad. It is through these expectations and social pressures that greatness can be developed in people, but is also though these expectations great evil and cruelty can be developed within people. Throughout Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North the reader is presented with two distinct and contrasting characters of Dorrigo Evans and Nakamura. While differing in actions and beliefs, both characters highlight the societal paradigm of their respective cultures and show how through others we come to fulfil their expectations, even if these expectations are something, which oppose our own personal values and expectations. It is through Flanagan’s construction of his text and the contrast that this text structure places on both Evans and Nakamura that greater insight can be understood about both of their characters and then also the broader society from which they originate. It is from their struggle and their story that I can gain greater understanding of both people and the broader society, and the expectations and that are placed on them and how the society shapes character and attitudes.

Through Dorrigo Evans, Flanagan reveals key insights into the role that

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