Carl Matt is the only character that changes throughout the novel, "A Bridge to Wiseman's COve" by James Moloney, do you agree? (DRAFT 3)

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In the novel ‘A Bridge to Wiseman’s Cove’ by James Moloney. Many characters have dealt with life changing situations. The most central character in the novel, Carl Matt, a fifteen year old boy who has experienced tragic situations, experienced the most change. When Carl’s destiny took him on a journey towards Wiseman’s Cove he met new people that changed his self esteem. One of the people that Carl met in Wiseman’s Cove was Skip Duncan. Skip was an aggressive man who experienced life altering changes after allowing Carl and Harley into his life. Harley on the other hand was a boy that was always in trouble, but through experiencing the tender love of a motherly figure he changes for the better. The novel introduces the way people change in their life and that are able to handle tough situations.

Carl Matt was a shy boy with a low self esteem at the start of the novel, but when Carl met Joy in the middle of the street he changed.

Carl allowed his sister Sarah to move away and send him and his brother to their Aunty Beryl’s. Beryl would verbally and physically abuse the both of them, but Carl would never speak up. “The chain that secured Harley’s bike… padlocked on the window frame… at the other end, it met a pair of handcuffs, one which was clamped around Harley’s ankle.” (pg96) While Carl was staying at Wattle Beach he met new people and became more open. “You don’t know of any work, I suppose… how about on the island? He asked joy quickly.” (pg 57) When Carl ran into Joy on the street it changed his self esteem. “He knelt in the middle of it all, scooping the mess into piles until his fingers bled. I’m so sorry .He mumbled.” (pg 56) When Carl met Joy his life changed completely. Skip helped him by giving him a job on the barge. Justine also helped him, by making him more open to everyone. Carl opened up more, by standing up to Beryl .He made everyone know that his not like every other Matt in his family. Not only did Carl change in this novel, other people did as well.

Skip was an aggressive man and very rude to people. He exploded at Joy for bringing a Matt onto his barge. “MATT! The word exploded… is this some kind of joke... get of my barge… goes on get off my barge... One of those mongrels…” (pg 66) Skip thought all the Matts were ‘mongrels’ because Carl’s grandfather ran Skip and his son over and they were thrown into the water. Des Matt killed Skip’s son, Graham. Because of this incident, Skip has become an aggressive man, and his angry at the world. He has chosen to live a life like a recluse in Wiseman’s Cove, much to the dismay of Maddie Skip’s daughter. “Maddie’ll end up doing what her sister did… left when she was seventeen.” (pg 109) Joy convinced Skip to keep Carl on his Barge, Skip didn’t want to but he tolerates it. It was not only Joy who helped Skip; it was also Carl’s schemes, initiative and hard work that kept the barge going. Skip’s attitude then changed towards the Matt’s. “He stretched out his arm, hand open and Carl took it, a freezing slippery grip lasting not even a second.” (pg 133) A handshake in our culture is a sign of acceptance from a man. In a brief moment this action has spoken louder than words. Skips involvement with the Matt boys has made him become more open and change his life. Skip changed dramatically in this novel coming from someone that was angry and an aggressive man, to taking people for who they are. Skip was not the only one who changed, Harley changed just as much as Skip did in this novel.

Harley was a boy that would continuously steal from people; he always got in trouble at school and at home. When Harley met Joy he changed his attitude towards people. Harley would continuously steal from Nugent’s store. He would skip school because he did not like it and then go and steal. “Harley had taken to skipping school… Harley ducked out whenever the mood got to him…” (pg 53) Harley made Carl pay for everything that he did, the stealing, and the attitude towards Beryl. He would get Carl in trouble for it all. “I’m at rock bottom here… ringing social security tomorrow… Mind you, with Harley’s record of shoplifting… running away from school…” (pg 54) Harley would leave school for no reason; he would steal from Nugent’s store all the time. Once Carl got a job on Skip’s Barge and Harley met Joy he changed his attitude and did not steal from anyone. “Me and Joy made a cake… He wanted you to have the first slice…” (pg 89) Harley became more obedient and became more aware about the people around him and his family. “He can stay with me over eater… Yeah great.” (pg 116) Harley changed his way of doing things in his life; he made more friends after meeting Joy. When Harley met Joy it made a big impact on his life he met new people, became friendlier and didn’t steal anymore. Meeting Joy changed his life. Harley changed dramatically, now he is a sweet, caring and loving person.

Carl dealt with many horrific situations. He was blamed for doing things he did not do because of Harley. Skip Duncan had gone through many tragic times; one of many was when he lost his son from one of the Matt’s. Skip accepted Carl onto his Barge knowing that he should not judge people from their whole family. Harley was in trouble all the time, stealing from Nugent’s store and skipping school. Harley learnt that stealing is never the answer to being happy. Joy helped Harley by giving him the affection a young boy needs. In the novel ‘A Bridge to Wiseman’s Cove’ by James Moloney, it shows that people change in their life and go through hard times. The characters in this novel forget about all the bad things that have happened and move on together.