"A Bridge to Wiseman's Cove" by James Moloney

Essay by dtr123 July 2006

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In the novel "A Bridge to Wiseman's Cove" the main character, Carl Matt, is forced to face the fact that his mother has disappeared after not coming back from one of her holidays. He is sent to live in Wattle beach where he meets people that he connects with. Carl then changes from being a shy reserved person to being an out going young man that isn't scared to show his emotions.

When Carls mother would go away on her holiday's she would normally go away for a week or two. One day she took off and left the kids, they knew that she had gone on a holiday, however, it got to a month and she hadn't returned. It is then that Carl's sister decided to leave Carl and his brother Harley with his aunt Beryl. Carl and his family feel frustrated and angry at their mother.

They were unaware that their mother was on her way home when her bus crashed. The reason that they didn't find out she had died was because she had smuggled aboard the bus and the police were unable to identify her body.

When Carl is living with Beryl he tries his hardest to help her out by paying Beryl rent. Carl had no choice but to drop out of school because the social security payments ran out when he turned fourteen so he had to pay Beryl. Beryl didn't want the boys, she feels like she has been forced to look after them. The only reason she keeps them is because she is getting social security money and because Carl is paying her rent. Carl's wages go towards food and other household costs. Carl is feeling at a loss he has suddenly become responsible for supporting Harley and himself.

At this stage in the novel Carl feels alone. This is evident when he is sitting at the café watching Nathan, Maddie and the others. He is like this because he was brought up with Harley and his sister, making him not a very social person with limited self confidence. When Carl started to work at the barge he gets to know the Duncan's better and then everybody starts to see that he isn't such a bad person.

The reason Skip is so angry with Carl and all the Matts is because Carls grandfather Desi Matt drove Skip off the beach and killed his son Graham. However the reason Joy is so welcoming to Carl is because Desi experienced it ten years ago. When Carl starts working with Skip on the barge he has to use his initiative to stop the barge from going out of business. Some ways that Carl uses his initiative is with the car wash, going to the top of the ramp and directing cars to there barge, by wearing a uniform, Carl is more respected and customer would want to go to their barge.

Justine likes Carl and invites him to his first ever party. At the party Nathan show up and starts yelling and arguing with Carl because he turned down an offer to work for his dad. The reason he is so angry is because Nathan's dad owns half of the other barge that is competing with them. Carl has evolved as a person living in Wattle Beach so he has learnt to stand up to people that are bigger and stronger than he is

(Beryl and Nathan). When Nathan left the party because Maddie stood up to him and broke up with him, Carl is respected a huge amount and sets an example to everyone, saying that if you stand up for your self you can conquer the odds.

In the novel A Bridge to Wiseman's Cove Carl Matt finds friendly parents extremely helpful. They have been helpful by giving him money, a job and a home away from home. At the end of the novel Carl is a changed person and feels a lot happier with himself. Carl could be compared to the osprey because it was like he had his wings clipped and couldn't do anything then he spreads his wings out and flies, meaning he has more self confidence and is not as shy.