The central motif of birds gives the author the opportunity to explore a range of themes. When the First World War breaks out, Jim feels obliged to join up, and travels to the Western Front, where his unique and sensitive perception gives the reader a window to the horrific experience of trench warfare.
Jim sees many other friends die. The idyllic "eden" of the estuary contrasts boldly with the hellish trenches. Conversely, in the trenches, friendship is rich and the bird life is miraculous. The central character of the novel is Jim Saddler, a self-contained young man with a profound understanding of the bird life of an estuary near his home.
He also sees the local farming communities trying to keep making their livelihood amid the mayhem, including an old man planting in the dirt of a blasted wood.
Jim is coated by the blood of his friend Clancy, who is blown out of existence. Some readers identify a link between Jim and Imogen and Adam and Eve, with the estuary as the garden of Eden. The relationship with land is explored; Jim feels he belongs to the land as much as Ashley, who owns it; Ashley accepts this with laconic Fly away peter summary humour.
Her photographs of birds capture them in time, and give them a permanence they do not have in nature.
Later, in the trenches, he seems to go out of himself and see the battle as a map - while he is present in the mud and heat of battle, part of his perception observes, detached, from above. Time - and the meaning of how we exist in time - is also a key theme in the novel.
This is an idyllic world of Sandpipers, plovers and ibises, but not without the seeds of change and disturbance. His exact point of death is not made explicit; his journey out of life is dream-like and poetic. However, these binaries are tinged with ambiguity.
He crosses paths with Ashley, who is an officer in a different division. The boundaries of class and experience are palpable - Jim has grown up with a hardworking but violent and resentful widower father, and Ashley has had a privileged schooling in Europe - but they have a quiet rapport which transcends their differences.
As Imogen watches a surfer who repeatedly falls from his board, which rises behind him like a tombstone, at the end of the novel she cannot help, in spite of grief, to see that life goes on in all its power, exhilaration and tragedy.
The first part of the novel is set on the Queensland Gold Coastand the second part on the Western Front. Discussion[ edit ] Fly Away Peter is an important work in Australian literature, and is on the Senior English curriculum in some states. Subsequently a young recruit Eric loses both legs.
The novel consists of dualities: Malouf himself describes it as a novel which explores ideas such as the meaning or purpose of life rather than story. He confronts his own sense of violence when assaulted by another man, Wizzer, who later dies in a shell-hole.
Malouf was regarded as a poet before he wrote novels, and much of his writing in this novel is poetic. This subtle parallel is used by Malouf to explore the key theme of innocence and experience.
The skeleton of a woolly mammoth, which rotted where it was killed with flints by early humans, lies where it fell and is unearthed as the trenches are dug.
Jim begins again to make a record of the crows as their barely interrupted migration patterns continue above the front. Its setting in the First World War draws our attention to the ANZAC legend, and gives us a powerful sense of the experience of the men who forged that legend.
Jim also befriends Imogen, an older woman whose photography captures the beauty of the birds in the sanctuary; in particular the Sandpiper.If there is a Fly Away Peter SparkNotes, Shmoop guide, or Cliff Notes, you can find a link to each study guide below.
Among the summaries and analysis available for Fly Away Peter, there are 1 Short Summary and 1 Book Review. Fly Away Peter Through out the book "Fly Away Peter", Jim Saddler has grown from innocent to mature and even to death. This seems like a cycle of nature. People born and people die. In this novel, I think.
Fly Away Peter Malouf evokes the horror and absurdity of war in ‘Fly Away Peter’ through an Australian frame of reference that creates reality for the reader.
Discuss. Malouf’s ‘Fly Away Peter’ uses an Australian frame of reference to display the horrors and absurdity of war. FLY AWAY PETER - CHAPTER ONE This chapter as the beginning of the book sets the scene and begins to develop the characters of the novel.
The Fly Away Peter Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis, character list, theme list, historical context, author biography and quizzes written by community members like you.Download