Divine Wind

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: Discuss the main themes Gary Disher explores in the novel The Divine Wind The novel The Divine Wind written by Gary Disher portrays the lives of two very different families. One an Australian the other Japanese.

Both families are located in Broome in the years between 1939-1942. At this time World War II has broken out; with the threat of the Japanese invading Australia being all too real.

Gary Disher obtains the readers full attention with his clever and quite different use of genre. By writing in first person the reader is able to connect with the underlying issues of the story.

The main themes are that of love, relationships and racism.

Love effects Hart more than any other character in the novel. His love and obsession for Mitsy, a young Australian woman with Japanese heritage, is obvious straight from the first paragraph.

"My farther offered our home as a sanctuary to a young Japanese woman named Mitsy Sennosuke, unaware that I was in love with her."

Harts love for Mitsy is somewhat wasted as it is unattainable at this point in the novel. The only time any affection is shown by Mitsy is in a darkened cinema when she seeks comfort on Hart's shoulder.

"When the lights were dimmed and the screen glowed with lovers and hero's, she would grow quiet and still, and settle in her seat, and imperceptibly shift until her shoulder and knee touched mine." As soon as the lights are turned on any sign of affection disappears along with the darkness. These two characters are affected most by the "infectious disease" love. They are not alone. Love affects everyone in this novel and is a subject that the reader can relate to.

The Divine Wind also tackles the issue of relationships.

The main relationships in this novel are that between Mitsy and Hart, Michael Penrose and his wife Ida. Mitsy and Heart had a different kind of relationship to the rest of the characters, leaving the reader never really knowing if Harts love for Mitsy would lead to any real happiness. As you read on a relationship does form between our two main characters Hart and Mitsy.

"I knew nothing about making love. Mitsy taught me how." They discover happiness from each other in a time when the world was going insane.

"This is where Mitsy said she loved me, or that's where Mitsy and I scratched our initials inside a heart." Their relationship was shielded from their parents and everything seemed to be working and maybe finally they could find hope out of everything that had happened. But everything good in life must come to an end sometime. The effects of war had taken its toll on Mitsy and Hart and inevitably the relationship fell through. With the reader wondering what more Mitsy and Hart could have been, without the darkness of the world interfering with the life Mitsy and Hart once had. Michael and his wife Ida's relationship seemed strained by the hardship of Broome life. Affecting Idea the most who had originally came from the easy living life of England.

"My mother began to hate Broome in all of its aspects and all of its moods." Without a doubt the love between these two characters was strong.

But Idea ached to be back at England with her family.

"She wanted coolness, calmness, greenness. She wanted England." Their relationship was tragically ended when Ida finally returned to England only to be killed by a German bombing raid. Michael handled the tragedy the best he could hiding his emotions and getting on with his main priorities, his family.

There are many different kinds of relationships in this novel effecting many different characters. The novel is based extremely well around the use of characters and the relationships they endure. As the reader you to feel the pain and suffering that some of these relationships encounter and feel urged to see them get through the bad and finally see the good relationships have to offer.