• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"Fly Away Peter" Essay

Extracts from this document...


"Man's capacity to be both good and evil is reflected in Fly Away Peter." Discuss. David Malouf's Fly Away Peter explores the conflicting natures of good and evil in Man through Jim's personal journey, from Ashley's peaceful sanctuary into the frontlines of war. Malouf focuses on Jim's thoughts in particular to question his understanding of human nature, the world and his place in it. As the novel progresses, Jim's loss of innocence is charted as he plunges into a brutal world of war from his sacred haven in the sanctuary and comes to acknowledge Man's capacity to be both good and evil. Jim discovers a darker side of himself and a potential for violence when he faces Wizzer's bullying, even though he has always been consciously rejecting any notions of violence. Before the arrival of the war, Jim detests the bitter outlook and "resent[s] the cowardly acceptance of defeat" of his father and firmly distances himself from the violence he sees in him. He perceives violence as a disease of men and keeps his father "at arm's length" as he does not wish to be "infected" by it. ...read more.


Clancy's senseless death comes as a shock to him and experiences for the first time the ruthlessness of Man on a personal level. Jim is greatly affected by this; "the hosing off never... left him clean" and often "woke from nightmares drenched in a wetness that dried and stuck". The previous setting of Jim "buttering slabs of bread" is forcefully juxtaposed with the diversely opposite scene of Clancy's accident, effectively demonstrating the harsh reality of war. The possibility of land mines does not occur in Jim's mind and Clancy's passing further shows another step in Jim's loss of innocence as he feels touched by the horrors of war, done by men to other men. Conversely, Malouf shows sparks of human decency through the thoughts of Jim when he realizes that he has no means of helping Eric, as much as he wants to. He visits Eric in hospital out of respect for Clancy and also because he knows no one else will, seeing as Eric is an orphan. Jim is torn between sympathy for him and the growing unease from the young victim's "monstrous" questions as he is aware of his inability to be of any help. ...read more.


Jim wants Wizzer to go with him as "it was the only way to wipe all this clean", with reference to his past feelings of violence towards Wizzer. Finally, Jim faces up to his cowardice, makes his way back on his own and feels "delivered into his own hands again, clean and whole". Having regained his personal integrity, Jim's willingness to be good even in dire circumstances as he has tried hard to save Wizzer, despite being unsuccessful, shows that Man has the capacity to do the right thing for honour and comradeship. The vast opposites of human nature are thoroughly explored in the novel, mostly through Jim's experiences with war and his friends that have a personal effect on him. His opinion of 'savagery' never wavers and he experiences this when Wizzer confronts him with the threat of brute force, with the vicious killing of Clancy, the absence of acknowledgement of the underrepresented soldiers involved in the war and the result of violence that can break a person's resolve to live. Through Jim's life in war, Malouf expands on the thoughts of various characters he comes into contact with and Man's capacity to be both good and evil in Fly Away Peter in detail. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. Domestic violence in Sardines and Oranges

    By structuring the plot and employing nature in Life on the Edge and The Tortoise, symbolisms of mountains, hills and storm all signify the ideas of captivity and constraint which consequently confirms the themes of violence and brutality. In Life on the Edge, the protagonist is so accustomed to domestic

  2. Free essay

    Argumentative Essay - discuss the new rear seat belt law intoduced in Malaysia

    Honestly, is 16 hours enough to ensure the public really learns how to drive? In Australia, new drivers need to take up 200 hours of driving lessons before they can sit for their driving test. This way, safety driving can be instilled in the new drivers.

  1. Engligh Extended Essay on Egdgar Allen Poe

    A Dream Within A Dream sends a completely different message to the two other poems. Here he states within the title what he believes reality is, "a dream within a dream". This means that reality is dreamed and our dreams are just further imaginings in our faux reality, a rather frightening concept.

  2. Owen's war poetry

    their veins run cold" before they die and from whom no "compassion" "makes their feet sore on the alley cobbed with their brothers": they are allowed no more space for emotions once their comrades fall in the battle and they have to step on the corpses to make their way out.

  1. Articles of VN War

    cho cho moi hoat dong cua c�c co quan d�n van, t�n gi�o van, tr� thuc van, t� chuc hoc sinh, sinh vi�n "Giai Ph�ng" th�nh ph� thuoc �ai Hoc Hu� v� c�c truong Trung hoc. T�t ca d�u nam duoi su di�u dong cua tinh uy Thua Thi�n-Hu� v� Th�nh uy Viet cong.

  2. Of Mice and Men Analytical Essay

    George Milton is in physical appearance small with sharp features. George represents the ordinary citizen with no handicap aside from his lack of money. He is a powerless figure in society who has neither the money nor status. His only power is over his companion, Lennie, who is mentally disabled and unable to make his own decisions.

  1. an evil spirit

    are such words that influence readers by creating a depressive mood and a gloomy atmosphere. Thirdly, when the poem "An Evil Spirit" is analyzed in terms of form and structure, it can be obviously identified that its structure is "sonnet".

  2. "Chronicle of a Death Foretold" and "Fly Away Peter" Comparative Essay

    This creates a sense of foreboding and threat, further emphasized by warnings such as "catastrophe" and "madness", as Jim plunges into a brutal world of war from his sacred haven in the sanctuary ("the light, and then the dark") to fight for his country.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work