Explain a key theme in the novel 'Angelina' by Gerald Hindmarsh

Essay by Vicky_PollardHigh School, 10th gradeB, October 2006

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In the book "Angelin"a by Gerald Hindmarsh a key theme is adjustment. Angelina has to adjust to many things in the story which include marrying an older man which she hardly knows; living with another culture which is completely different to her own culture and living in another country.

Angelina makes a major adjustment to her life when she marries Vincenzo. Angelina was a young, sixteen year old girl when she got married. She had lived a sheltered life with her family until then and had no idea what married life would be like. It was made even harder to adjust to married life because she did not know Vincenzo and he was twice her age which made it difficult for her to relate to him as she found him daunting. All these factors made her feel very naive and nervous when she got married and the change from a young girl into a married woman was difficult for Angelina.

An example of this is the quote, "He tried to kiss me...I had never felt a man's lips upon mine... I had so much to learn... it makes me blush so that I can barely talk about it."

Angelina also found it very hard to adjust to the Maori people and their culture as she was used to the Stromboli people and has not experienced different people and their lifestyle. When she first came to New Zealand the fierce appearance of the Maori scared her so much that she would hide whenever one appeared and she then thought they might eat her. She did slowly adjust to the Maori people and became friends with Wetekia and she tried hard to learn from Wetekia about the Maori culture and beliefs but she always felt she could never understand all the customs of the Maori as there was so much to learn. She saw Wetekia as an extremely intelligent and helpful guide, this was evident from the quote, "Everyone on D'Urville valued Wetekia and her wisdom," and without Wetekia's advice and comfort she would have found it very hard to adjust and get used to the Maori people.

Angelina also found it hard to adjust to living in New Zealand as it was very different to living on Stromboli. The dense bush and isolation in New Zealand were things she had never experienced before and changing her way of life to suit the surroundings was very hard for Angelina. Although Angelina tried to introduce Italian customs into her New Zeeland life and cooked Italian meals, the different way of life away from her family and their customs was a very hard alteration for Angelina. An example from the text of this is "I felt bitterly lonely...I tried to convince myself that Stromboli would fade and D'Urville would come to feel like home... tried to take my mind away from the overbearing isolation."

In conclusion, adjustment is an important theme in this book because traveling to a new land, learning about a new culture and starting a new life people you don't know requires a lot of alteration to one's lifestyle and how Angelina deals with these life changing experiences is an important part of this book and helps us to understand Angelina and her feelings.