Swallow the air analysis essay

The opening line of swallow the air draws into Mays quest with its controversial and worry-some tone “ I remember the day I found out my mother was head sick” In the same paragraph we see Tara using strong emotive language in an attempt to make us sympathise with her mother “ Mums sad emerald eyes bled through her black canvas and tortured willow hair. ” Just from these few lines at the beginning of the story we are already alerted to the profound problems surrounding May, penetrating her security.

Tara uses Mungi the turtle as a strong symbolic feature in the novel, it symbolises the saety and security promised by belonging and symbolises the hope that May will find belonging even where she may not seem to belong. Mungi Is also a metaphor for May as well as being a talisman, as it has a hard exterior protecting the soft interior. Representing the vulnerability of youth, something all to familiar to may. We see that Woonona for May was once a place for security however after being violated she feels inferior to whites and unsure about accepting her identity. Fairy flossed pincushion clouds explode” and “ Sherbet coloured coral clamps” reinforces mays strong sense of belonging to the natural landscape of he childhood. We see the same violations of belonging in the text “ The Rabbits” after the whites or the rabbits show their believed superiority of the Aborigines, driving them out of the place they belong. We see that May’s loss is much more complex however, as she leaves on her own call to find new identity, whilst the rabbits are driven our by pure force. Winch uses personification to portray May’s experience visually and conote her belonging to place, not just people. The river sleeps.. Tree bares of sprint people , arms stretched out and screaming. ” Without this belonging May and her culturally aroused people seem lost. She brings up the concept of Aboriginality and what it means to belong and how to multiculturally. We see this concept become stronger in the last several chapters, she states simply “ They are part of this place. ” Another symbol in Swallow the Air which has ties to belonging is the Jacaranda tree “ It isnt meant to be here and yet is is accepted and valued. This is to symbolise the hope that May and other may belong even if their somewhere they shouldn’t. In the beginning of the novel, May finds a dead stingray she describes it as “ An angel fallen, laying on its back. ” Later May imagines her Aunty “ As an angel, laying out her wings beneath the satelite of the sky. May cuts the stingray open so it is “ Spilling at the sides, it was free”. Afterward when May has to find out where she belongs, she says of Johnny’s rejection of her idea “ And I leave, with our dreams spilling at our feet.