Cloudstreet – Nature Of Famili Essay, Research Paper
NB: THis Essay is ON Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet – a highly regarded Australian novel that is gaining appreciation worldwide
What does Winton tell us about the nature of families?
Through his novel Cloudstreet, Tim Winton shares with his readers some of his thoughts about families. Through the two families in the novel, the Pickles and the Lambs, as well as insight into the characters past families, Winton reveals his feelings on what a families are and what they are here for, turning the tables on conventional thoughts on families.
Families are a natural grouping and a natural process in life. Throughout Cloudstreet, Winton reveals his attitudes to exactly what makes up a family unit, and the natural nature of family. Both families in the novel consist of both parents and several children, true to the definition of what a family is. More importantly, however, all parts of the family are still together, whether or not they believe themselves to be better off together or apart. Stickability is a powerful theme in Cloudstreet, and it is even talked about in the novel by other characters referring to the Lamb family By sticking together, the families are unknowingly helping both themselves and the other members of their family.
The family unit is there for help. Winton repeatedly stresses this important fact throughout the book. When Sam Pickles is in such a hole in his life that he sits in front of a mirror with a razor blade to his throat, it is his daughter Rose who comes to the rescue. Although the Pickles family could be described as dysfunctional, the family members still know when another one is in trouble, and whether they love or hate them, there is an in-built urge to help them out. In the scene on page 357 when Rose realises that there is something of Fish in her mother, she finally feels compelled to help her mother out. The bitter hatred that existed between mother and daughter was beginning to fold because of the thickness of blood.
Blood may be thicker then water, but the blood that flows through a family may not always be clean. Not all families are full of love and friendship, however Winton reveals to the readers that he believes that love is important in a family for it to grow up healthy and strong. The Pickles family is a good example of this. While there exists hatred between Rose and Dolly, the members of the family are never happy. There are scenes in which the resentment and spitefulness between mother and daughter is put aside for a while, and these are the scenes at which the family is most at peace. At the end of the novel, with the birth of Rose and Quick s son, Harry, Dolly and Rose have mostly reconciled their differences and the extended family is nearly at peace with one another and themselves.
It is the nature of families to quarrel and to fight, but it is also the nature of families to reconcile and eventually establish some sort of loving relationship. To find peace within their selves and each other, the families of the novel learn to reconcile their differences and put the past behind them. It is only then that they are happy members of the family, and happy families are healed families.
Strong in Cloudstreet is the notion of the healing powers of family. A new family, a reuniting family or an old family healing its differences has great healing powers. We can see this in the birth of Harry, Rose and Quicks son. With the birth of Harry, Rose, Quick and Harry officially become a new family on their own. They take residence in number one Cloudstreet along with their respective families. With the birth Harry and of a new family, the beginnings of happiness settle on the residents at number one Cloudstreet, as they feed on the happiness of the new family and rejoice at the hope of the next generation.
But whether the family is full of happiness or perhaps sadness, the family in itself is important. This is the most important theme about family that Winton is sharing with his readers. Through Cloudstreet it is apparent that Winton places great importance on families and believes that they are the driving force in our lives. The family may be loving and caring, somewhat like the Lambs, and they drive u through life like the barking sergeant Oriel, or they may be like the dysfunctional Pickles, and what drives you on is the feeling that you can do better then they did in bring you up.
Indeed, that is the whole of what Winton is telling his readers about families. Families may not always be picture perfect, but it is with family that you find a sense of place. It is the nature of families to quarrel, to split, to be mean; but it is also within their nature to be kind, loving and supportive. Families are important to our survival and continuing existence. After all, blood is much thicker then water.