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"The Idea of Perfection" Kate Grenville

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"The Idea of Perfection" Kate Grenville IB passage English Literature This passage from "The idea of Perfection" by Kate Grenville is a passage that deals with the themes of conflict and introspection. The main character in this passage, a city girl, finds herself rusticated in the country. She takes advantage of her time there by exploring a "quaint" bridge from which she obtains inspiration for her art. From the commencing paragraph, Kate determines the mood of serenity in the passage with the personification of "the palest kind of blue", a relaxing color, and "a big quiet light" indicating the solitude. Light is a positive symbol, one of learning and growing, much like herself who is trying to perfect her own identity. The fact that it is a "quiet" light, shows that learning in this case comes from within, a period of introversion and understanding of oneself, instead of a teacher and noisy classroom, what she would usually find in the city. When the girl visually explores her sky, almost awe inspired by it, the "two birds", coincidently appear and draw "a straight line through the air" emphasizing the tranquil mood, which almost seems to be perfect. ...read more.


The whole of "downhill", even the name Cascade Rivulet (meaning waterfall and small stream,) seems to mirror her image; she is shy and timid like a small brook when people are around, but her playful innocence that makes her youth exciting manifests itself with little outbursts of unexpected waterfalls. The unpredictable waterfalls showed when she "laughed aloud, suddenly" and her reflex to this humiliation when she ruefully thinks "it was not really all that funny" turning herself inwards is a defense mechanism. She gave Cascade Rivulet, the "humble little thing", an "apologetic look", indirectly indicating that she self-pities herself. The town Cascade Rivulet which split from Hanging Rock is a pathetic fallacy as she too seems separated from the "perfect" society above her, and the mood of alienation and loneliness is brought out here. She finds it "hard to see why" this is the case, or that she is an outcast, cut out maybe rejected by the norm, showing that she has self confidence and has a good understanding that her foibles exist, but they have the potential to balance out with her unique charms. By moving on to Cascade Rivulet, she reaches out to herself, and takes a long look at the mirror. ...read more.


Her potentially bright personality symbolized by the sun juxtaposes her lack of strength to stand up for her quirky antics represented by the mysterious water. Her respect for the farmer's privacy and her preempting of what they would think shows that she is aware of what other people think of her, and she lets that subjectivity affect and block her liberation. It is here when we identify the external factors that allow a slice of shadow to block her shine. When she draws the bridge the colors she chooses juxtapose each other "light, dark" the light represents her luminous intensity and the dark represents her "dark and secretive" insecurities. She finds a pattern of black and white within the bridge's concrete construction and in her personal abstract build, and indirectly forgives herself for her embarrassing tendencies. The fact that she took three trial and error attempts to draw this shows her determination to "reduce her essence". Her "quaint" incongruity provide a "kink" of strangeness, and her inquisitive, artistically inclined knowledge, and analytical skills makes one have to "look back at it(her) again", just like her drawing, and her contrasting sides "interplay" "interlinked and interlocked" forming a harmony similar to the perfection of the "two birds flying together" above. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rishika Assomull 11c ...read more.

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