Essay on "Cloudstreet", by Tim Winton

Essay by nwongHigh School, 12th gradeA-, July 2006

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Values and attitudes surrounding Australian life in 'Cloudstreet'

"Cloudstreet" by Tim Winton is an intriguing insight into the lives of two families living in Western Australia during the middle of last century. The challenges and ordeals faced by the Lambs and the Pickles place the reader in a position to observe varying values and attitudes which are connected with many aspects of Australian life. The text deals with the values and attitudes surrounding work and employment; the water; the role of women; gambling; language; family and sense of place in such a manner that relays typical assertions of the time in which the novel was set, and indeed of this time now.

Australians are renowned for being hard workers, and the characters in Cloudstreet proved to be no exception. The text indulges in the view of hard working Australians, as most characters hold down stable jobs.

The Lamb's own a family business in which members like Quick worked unpaid; Sam Pickles had the use of only one hand but still held down a job, working at the mint; Rose Pickles quit school to work and provide for her family; and boys from both families left home, not to travel the world, or experience freedom, but to find jobs, to work, and to discover their independence through the work force. Quick felt pride in bringing home money from his policeman's job to provide for his family, just as his father had done when he was a child. To this day, work gives Australians a sense of achievement, and Winton's inclusion of work as such a stable and rigid issue emphasizes the attitudes which are associated with the working Australian- not afraid to get their hands dirty and never too proud if it means putting food on the...