The novel Fly Away Peter shows us Jim's progression from "a state of innocence" to a different understanding of himself and the world. Discuss
"Fly Away Peter by David Malouf is a study of life; charting Jim's journey from innocence into the horror and brutality of World War One, and of human nature. On his arrival to the trenches it is as if Jim has opened his eyes for the first time, and only then truly sees the harsh and glaring reality that he was so distanced from in the lush, shady paradise of the sanctuary. It is the story of how each of us will, or already have, left the secure safety of our youthful thoughts to experience the uncertainty and shock of war.
Malouf attempts repeatedly to have us acknowledge the innocence of Jim. In the silent relationship between Jim, Ashley and Imogen, but Malouf avoids being blunt and obvious by usage of prose and specific, perhaps unnecessary detail which bring us back to the present; such things such as Imogen's Camera and Jim's moustache.
The observation of the birds, and the passion that all three share for this activity create a unique bond between them. The birds, "refugees from the old world', may tempt us to see this world as idyllic, however Malouf contracts the possibilities of the new world with that of the old and the patterns of nature are disturbed. The present reality intrudes. Nevertheless, Jim is taken to the birds due to recognition of the bird's containment, of his tender, respectful nature to them as a species, allowing him to realize intuitively, each as a part of the 'whole' scheme of things.
Jim understands his need to extend his thinking and experience in and of life in the face of the changes that...