In the novel, 'A Bridge to Wiseman's Cove' by James Moloney,how are the Osprey and Carl are alike?

Essay by dr molbrayJunior High, 8th gradeD, July 2008

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The book 'A Bridge to Wiseman's Cove' contains some features about an Osprey. The Osprey and the main character Carl are very similar in many ways. James Moloney the author of the book has cleverly shown the similarity and the significance between the Osprey and Carl Matt.

The osprey is a large sea eagle. 'It was a large bird, brown and grey, its head covered by a canvas' (page 62) the beak is its canvas it protects itself from predators. This bird was hurt by another pair of hands which belonged to 'a ranger found him further up the island and brought him to me. "Damaged wing. Shot gun it looks like."' (page 62) The osprey took a long time to recover for it to be set free again. Joy, Justine, Maddie and Skip were all looking after the bird and waiting patiently for it to recover 'the osprey is making real progress now isn't he, Jus?' (page 103).

Joy, Justine, Maddie and Carl were at the beach when they thought the osprey was ready to be set free 'with a sight restored at last, the bird jerked its head sideways to look at Carl and Joy as though it was asking, is it true, am I free?' (page 158) they opened the cage for the bird to be free so it can spread its wings again.

Carl Matt is the main character of this book. He is a 15 year old boy. He is a very large boy, 'he might have brought his hands to his stomach to stop the title wave.' (page 161) Carl is very shy with a low self-esteem. He would always walk around everywhere with his head down as if he was hiding under a canvas hood, but the only reason he keeps his head down and stays out of things is because he has been hurt by other people. One of the driving questions in the novel is what happened to Carl's mum, because Carl feels abandoned. Other people hurt him as well. Carl also has to deal with the 'curse of the Matts'. Beryl is one of the main people who hurts Carl, "I keep on hearing something that Beryl said who would love you if your own mother doesn't" (page 230) Towards the end of the story, thanks to Justine and Joy mainly, Carl becomes a more independent person and he hardly ever has his head down. Carl no longer cares what people think about him, '"Bruce cheats on people." Nathan's eyes flared and he came at Carl again, fists clenched.' (page 176). This took a long time for Carl to recover but he is freed at the end of the story when he finds out that,' 'Kerry Matt's lifeless eyes stared up from the desk' '"how did this one die?" sergeant Simmonds was again gently tolerant. "Bus crash." He read from the files. "You might have seen it on the tele last year. Just over the border. Nine people killed. This one we could not account for."' (page 226) but he finds out that '"the bus was heading north, towards the city. North, Carl. Towards you and Harley. She was coming home like she always did."'(pages 240 and 241). By that time Maddie, Joy, Justine and Skip was there for him when he could finally spread his wings and be free 'With them came the longed-for ache of his mother's death, and he knew at last that he was alive to feel it'( page 241).

James Moloney has cleverly shown the resemblance between the Osprey and Carl. In the beginning, the osprey was hurt and wounded by someone else, a hunter; it took a while for it to recover, so in that time, Joy Duncan took care of the bird until it was ready to be set free. Carl, he was hurt by other people as well, he was hurt by the kids at school, Beryl's abuse and his mum's leaving. It also took a long time for him to recover and Joy Duncan took care of him. When the bird was set free it spread its wings out, as the symbol for freedom, even though Carl can not fly he could spread his arms out and become a freer and a confident boy.