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What, in your opinion, is the explanation for the events portrayed in Joan Lindsay's "factional" novel Picnic at the hanging rock? How does the author bring out, in her writing, a sense of horror and mystery?

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Introduction

What, in your opinion, is the explanation for the events portrayed in Joan Lindsay's "factional" novel Picnic at the hanging rock? How does the author bring out, in her writing, a sense of horror and mystery? It will probably never be fully explained what exactly happened at Picnic at hanging rock; but what we do know is that Marion Quade, Miranda and Miss McCraw were never found - not even until this very day. Nevertheless, I do believe that there are some clues that could decipher this inexplicable conundrum. Some of these I shall unravel in this essay. When I finished reading Picnic at hanging rock , I was left in a perplexing trance. Many possibilities occur to me, but the first clue I think is the sighting by Edith of the mathematics teacher - Miss McCraw, wearing no skirt. Possibly, the girls and the maths teacher met up; and perhaps took a short cut in fear they would be late back. Moreover; it has been mentioned several times in the book and film how easy it can be to get lost on the rock, and, as said by Mrs Appleyard - "the vicinity is renowned for its venomous snakes and poisonous ants". On the contrary - this still doesn't explain why Miss McCraw was seen by Edith wearing no skirt, and why Irma was found one week later - wearing no corset. ...read more.

Middle

Is it likely that Miranda is more than she appears? Is it possible some magical force took over the rock? It seems to be more than a coincidence that everyone's watch had been enigmatically forgotten or had stopped - perhaps time had stopped altogether. It's as if that something malicious was luring the girls to the rock. This could also explain why Irma was found one week later - as she could have been put under a spell. Moreover, in the film we are shown Miranda, Irma and Marion gliding up the rock - however, later on in the film we see someone staggering up the rock, which almost defies the law of physics. On the other hand, what if it wasn't necessarily something magical luring them to the rock - after all the rock is a sacred place and aboriginals could have been infuriated by the way in which the girls walked over it. After all, there are such things hinted - "Like the beating of far off drums". Perhaps these drums were those of Aboriginals. We shall never know. Although, this could explain why Irma's nails were so badly torn and broken - maybe this was caused in confrontation with the attacker - as well as being hit on the head. But what happened to the shoes, stockings and corset? Maybe the attacker found them and took them away, to keep as a souvenir of his catch. ...read more.

Conclusion

terrier", "tear her to pieces", " a cavernous mouth agape", "a tuft of scarlet feathers trembled"," warm sour breath" and "drooling tongue". The effect of using animal imagery is so the reader can metaphorically relate to something in comparison to what is actually happening. This helps create terror throughout the scene and make us feel as if the book has come to life. In addition; I also must include the use of colours throughout this scene. For example: "black sage bloomers", "black cotton stockings", "scarlet cloak" and "grey disciplines". As many of us know, black and grey often symbolises death and ominous circumstances, and these colours have not been used for no reason. However, 'scarlet' is perhaps used to symbolise blood and it also may be used to represent sexual passion and loss of innocence. Whatever happened on the rock has changed Irma forever. Although - we must be aware of the fact that the author could be twisting things around to grab the reader's attention. When I started writing this essay I was convinced that the missing girls had been lost and looking for a short cut back , however; having thought through my theory, I now see this is not possible, as if it was true how come Irma appeared one week later? My verdict on this is that it shall never be solved. Too much time has gone by, and the protagonists are dead. So, like many other mysteries; this puzzle shall remain unanswered. Abigail Barker 10Fs ...read more.

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