The Drowner by Robert Drewe essay

1689 WordsNov 12, 20137 Pages
The structure of a novel enables it to embody, integrate and communicate its content by revealing its role in the creation and perception of it. A complex structure such as that of Robert Drewe’s work The Drowner, published in 1996, refers to the interrelation or arrangement of parts in a complex entity1. Drewe’s novel is a multi-faceted epic love story presenting a fable of European ambitions in an alien landscape, and a magnificently sustained metaphor of water as the life and death force2. The main concerns of the novel include concerns about love, life, death and human frailty. These concerns are explored through the complex structure of the novel. That is, through its symbolic title, prologues, and division into sections. The…show more content…
In many instances he also has no strong sense of her ‘self’5, and thus Will is quite literally presented as ‘Drowning’ in their relationship. Thus the concern of love and the often unequal power struggle between the two participants are raised. The title here signifies the destructive nature of love. The title is also associated with death, presented through the deaths by drowning such as Hammond Lloyd, Kate and the allusion to Ophelia, which were primarily as a result of love, showing the inter-twining of the destructive nature of love and drowning (death). Again the title is multi-faceted exploring the life giving and taking qualities of water as the harbinger of death as well as the idealising and fear of it. Kate’s eulogy clearly explains this as drowning is idealised for it “transported our beloved peablossom, our gossamer darling to heaven” and feared as it “pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious lay/ To muddy death”. Throughout the novel there is an absence of the word suicide, and death, instead it is drowning, signifying human frailty and death as a universal fear. Much like the title, the prologues explore similar concerns although it is by presenting two contrasting scenes. Despite this the title continues within the prologue

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