Family and World War
The novel Fireshadow by Anthony Eaton is set in the contexts of past and present. The past is set during World War II at a prison camp in the West Australian bush where you follow a German soldier who is imprisoned in the camp. The present day is set in the present Australian bush where it follows a boy who’s ran away from home. Fireshadow is constructed to focus on how the issues from the past differ to now.
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The main issues that differ in society from past and present are the racial conflict, being pregnant without a husband and family. The way the author constructed racial conflict in the book was point of view because through point of view because you witness how people felt about being discriminated against, racial conflict was huge in the past due to the war because the war made society less trusting of people from other countries this is seen a lot in the book Fireshadow.
The example from the novel is how Francesca and Gunter were treated when they went back to Australia; Francesca felt lonely and depressed when in Australia because she didn’t feel accepted by the Australian society as she was normally yelled out from across the street because society thought of her as an enemy because to them she was a Nazi as she was German.
Another example is how Alice’s parents told Erich that he was not allowed to come see his daughter until she was old enough to decide who she wanted to live with this was because he was German and to them he was a Nazi and he would try make his daughter have the same views as him which would be the views of a Nazi if she went to go live with him. Whereas in the present people aren’t discriminated against for what race they are or where their parents are from because it doesn’t make them worse of a person like just because someone is German doesn’t mean they are Nazi which was the stereotype given to Germans in the past.
In the past being pregnant without a husband was looked down upon and they were excluded from society because being pregnant without having a husband was seen as them being promiscuous. This happened to Alice from Fireshadow. When Alice came back from the prison camp she was pregnant so society excluded her which shows how people judge someone for their actions and not for who they really are.
When Alice went around town she got weird looks from people, which made her feel lonely, depressed and unwanted and it was made worse for Alice because these people used to be her friends. Society reflected Alice as being promiscuous even though she was pregnant to the person she loved. In the present people don’t care if you’re pregnant without a husband because it might be the person’s personal choice. In the past everyone knew everyone so the gossip would travel fast that’s a reason why it was talked about more because everyone knew each other’s story.
Another reason why being pregnant without a husband back than was so bad because they had higher standards of people back than. Whereas now people are more relaxed so there are fewer standards and now because there’s a higher population it’s much harder to know everyone so no one knows everyone’s story. The way the author constructed the issue of families was characterization so you get the idea of each member of the family so that helps show the difference between the stereotypical families in the past and the present.
Families in the past were different to the one’s in the present because the father was the most dominate because they were the ones that earn the money and they were the ones who were portrayed as being brave. The mother was looked down on because they were only good for cleaning, cooking and having babies and woman in the past were the ones who were portrayed, as the one’s that always needed to be saved by the men. The son was always more important than the daughter because the son was the one who was going to do well whereas the daughter was just going to became a housewife.
This example is used for Erich’s family because the way Erich treated his father was as if he was superman, Erich ignored his mother’s wishes, which was for Erich not to join the war, but he joined it anyway to make his father proud which shows how he considers his mother’s feelings compared to how he cares what his father thinks of him. Whereas in the present the parents were both equal and so were the daughters and sons.
Examples of this is Vinnie’s family because to Vinnie neither parent was more important than the other and even though in the book the parents look to be more supportive of the daughter they both want the best for their children you can tell this because Vinnie’s dad is disappointed in what Vinnie wants to become because Vinnie’s dad thinks Vinnie could do much better with his life. The novel Fireshadow was constructed to show how different society is from the past to the present. The past in the book was set during World War 2 and the society in World War 2 was more judging than they are in the present.
The present in the book is set in the current West Australian bush and because the book goes back from present to the past it helps emphasize the difference between the societies. The differences shown between both societies are the racial conflict examples are how Francesca and Gunter came to Australia just after the war so they were treated badly by society making them feel unwanted. Another difference between the two societies is the issue of being pregnant without a husband this was more of an issue in the past because the way society acted was as if they committed crime.
Another issue that is difference between the past and present society was Family. Families were different in the past because the father and son were always of higher dominance and the women were only important because they were only important for cleaning, cooking and having babies. These differences were emphasized throughout the book to show how much we have changed since the World War and it shows how much more accepting we are and how we have all changed for the better.