Character profile for Lee from the Tomorrow series by John Marsden
Note1: As always these are just my opinions and thus subject to change at any time. If you disagree, think I have missed something, or have something to add, please use the link at the bottom of the page to send me a note.
Note2: Thanks to the people who let me know Lee's last name is Takkam.
WARNING: Partially blows plot of each and every book
Please don't read on if this concerns you
Solid, dependable, loving, passionate, considerate, caring, listening, thinking, mature, indifferent, withdrawn, introverted, aggressive, vicious, murderous, psychopathic. Lee is one of the most interesting characters in the “Tomorrow” series.
Lee starts as a fairly common character type, a highly intelligent introvert. A nerd for want of a better term, but a music nerd rather than a computer one. He does not have good social skills but has all the normal human emotions, which he therefore tends to keep bottled up inside. This, of course, means that when he finds an outlet, such as music or Ellie or combat, the interest is intense (1). A fairly typical ‘obsessive’ type personality.
Until the coming of the war Lee had two major escapes. Music – piano and violin – at which he excelled. And war/horror movies – which he would watch when he couldn’t sleep. He was obviously quite a lonely boy.
With the camping trip Lee is exposed to quite a different environment and quite a different group of people. An outsider to start with (he was not in Ellie and Corrie’s circle of friends and was invited along because Ellie found him ‘interesting’) he fits in well and is certainly part of the group by the time they return home.
In the initial response to what they find Lee is strong and sensible. It is not until he is shot, finds his family has been captured and his home ransacked that other attributes start to dominate.
Fundamental to Lee’s character is pride, and its flip side, shame. Lee is shamed by what has happened to his country, his family and to him. He is desperate to strike back, to carry the war to the invaders and make a difference. One of the main things Ellie finds attractive about the plan for the attack on the bridge is that the idea brings so much life back to Lee (2). One of the things that disturbs Ellie about the attack on Buttercup Lane is that Lee is enjoying the killing and destruction so much. (3)
Lee was the calm one when Ellie was crazy with hate in the hospital, but that calm does not last. Lee’s shame grows into hatred as he comes face to face with atrocity as Harvey’s Heroes are overrun; a hatred whose flowering allows him to casually stab to death the young injured enemy soldier as they escape from that valley. (4) A hatred that makes him easily the most aggressive of the team, routinely advocating attack when they consider options. (5)
On the other hand, Lee is highly intelligent and cares very deeply for Ellie. He can see what is happening to him and is frightened by it, but he is not in control of what is going on. (6) While he is subject to depressions and a tendency to disappear within himself, (7) he does his best to support Ellie (8), and she him, but the stress of the war is always there and it buffets them both. The worst of this for Lee was likely being cut off cold by Ellie after they strangle the soldier in “The Third Day, The Frost”. To save Kevin Lee had to do something that would make any sane person sick, but rather than being supportive Ellie turns her disgust at what they did into disgust with Lee, something even she admits is unfair but does anyway. (9) Understandable, but not one of Ellie’s prouder moments. You have to wonder how he coped.
Maybe these problems could have been overcome. Maybe the counseling he undergoes in New Zealand would have helped him regain his equilibrium, re balance his inner self. Maybe. There is no real chance to find out in “Darkness, Be My Friend” before Lee is crushed by the discovery that both of his parents have been killed by a guard at the show ground. His little brothers and sisters are now his responsibility.
16 or 17 years old, Lee simply does not have the strength to endure this latest blow. It is too much, he cracks. When I started writing this profile my impression was that he flipped out entirely and became quite psychopathic, killing whenever he could. There is only one thing wrong with that impression - it's not correct. Ellie worries that Lee is running his own war, going out to kill whenever he can, (10) but he isn’t. (Lee, for example, does not use his knife again until the evasion from the truck stop in “The Other Side of Dawn”, he does not kill again until the attack at the airfield)
Lee has cracked, but the change is more subtle than just becoming a soulless killer. Instead, Lee becomes suicidally aggressive – he wants revenge – but there are some complicating factors. The first is that he doesn’t want to die for nothing – he really wants to hurt the enemy and that cuts down on the available options. The next is that he wants and needs the support of his friends, particularly Ellie – but he loves them and risking their lives is quite different to risking just his (see his hesitation at the airfield (11)). The third is that he really doesn’t want to die. Of course he feels the pull of the suicidal gesture – who wouldn’t in his circumstances? But whenever the fat is in the fire, he fights to survive. Time and again. He never takes the route Robyn went down.
In Lee the urge to destruction and the will to live are in sharp conflict.
Two episodes with Lee are particularly interesting:
- The first is the patrol they encounter on the river in “Burning for Revenge”. Lee takes a rifle and has a perfect opportunity to add four more bodies to his ‘collection’ but he doesn’t. He sees an opportunity to get away without killing and takes it, even though it puts him and his friends at risk. Hardly the actions of a psychopathic killer. (12)
The second is his dalliance with Reni, also in “Burning for Revenge”. Certainly shows that Lee is really having problems managing risk, but again hardly what you would expect from someone who has a psychopathic hatred of the enemy.
Lee is suffering, of course. Ellie is quite dead emotionally after the airfield attack (13) and this is the only time that Lee really strikes out at her. First when he attacks how she talks to Kevin seen after they arrive in Stratton, then when she wants to know what he has been doing when he goes off by himself. (14) He does make a really dumb move with the enemy girl, but people do things like that when they are desperate, and Lee is certainly desperate.
In the aftermath of that we see Lee at his best. He has been through atrocities, he had killed in the most confronting ways possible, he has lost his parents, at least at some level he wants to die. He has had a hell of a war, yet he remains functional. He has wronged Ellie and he takes responsibility for that. (15) He accepts the way she punishes him and eventually he offers a most sincere apology. (16) He overcomes his dislike of the ferals and throws himself into their protection and nurturing. He shows his love and passion for music as he demonstrates a flair for its teaching. We get to see a lot of Lee’s better side in “The Night is For Hunting” and then “The Other Side of Dawn”. Even when he says to Ellie that he does not want the war to end, it is not because he wants it to continue, but because he doesn’t think he can face what will come afterwards.
In chapter 17 of “The Other Side of Dawn”, as the Lee and the others are returned from the dead, Ellie thinks of Lee “… it struck me that Lee was in many ways our true hero. Lee was the one who did the dirtiest jobs, quietly, without fuss, without going into big emotional scenes. He was so efficient, so reliable, so brave. Whenever we fell short, he made up the gap. I'm not just talking about the red hot moments, when enemy soldiers were shooting at us, when we were within a moment of death. I'm talking about the sourer times too, when we were so tired we could hardly remember to breathe, or we were so bored we'd pick at each other just for something to do, or so distressed we'd wish a soldier would come along and blow us into oblivion with an M16. At all those times Lee stood strong. He was like the Wirrawee grain silo. You could see the grain silo from miles away, tall and reliable. It stood for Wirrawee, and it gave you a safe comforting feeling to know it was there. That was how I'd felt about Lee during the war. Most of the time anyway” (p308) . When I first read that, I didn’t really see it. As I have written this profile I have come to largely agree with what she says there. What Lee does is not normally flashy, but it is vital. Lee also suffers more than any of the other characters in the “Tomorrow” series yet he always pulls his weight and more. He is solid. He is dependable. He is indeed a hero.
Lee from Wirrawee, one of the finest young men you will never meet.
There are two things I wonder about with Lee.
How would Lee have felt about losing Ellie after the truck stop attack?
Lee has already lost everyone else he is really close too; then he loses Ellie. Worse, she has apparently sacrificed her life to save his. I wonder whether this would have been enough to finally break Lee completely. Homer had a dreadfully bad plan for their follow on attack on the power distribution centre. I can’t help but wonder if Lee would have chosen to light the fuse in the truck, then stay onboard and drive it into the heart of the power station. It must have been very tempting for someone who had now lost every one he loved.
Would Lee survive the peace?
At the end of "The Other Side of Dawn", Lee (like Ellie and Homer) is very much in denial about what he did and experienced during the war. He just wants to put it behind him and get on with his life. Good Luck. The problem is what he has experienced and especially what he has done are not things that any normal (i.e. not psychopathic) person can just walk away from. It is very unlikely that he will be able to "put it behind him" until he takes a good look at what he did and comes to terms with it. Couple this with the fact that he also has the greatest responsibilities and the least support - the only relatives he has are dependents and Ellie is again in the process of cutting him off. He is in a very vulnerable position. It’s a very nasty combination and I can't help suspect there is a train wreck in Lee's future if he doesn't get some help. He is resilient, but he is a human being, not a machine.
Now I may be totally wrong with the above. The complexities of Lee’s personality and behaviour, particularly the speculations about why are fraught with difficulties because Lee is of course, just a figment of John Marsden’s imagination. If he didn’t consider something, then it does not exist for that character. I would love to see the author’s character profile for Lee, but I don’t expect I ever will.
Supporting Extracts - Used with permission
There is some good stuff in here, have a browse.
Extract 1: Lee, an intense young man
"Tomorrow, When The War Began", Ch 13, p178, Lee's interest in Ellie
" There was Lee, who kept looking at me with his possum eyes, as though his wounded leg was the only thing stopping him from leaping up and grabbing me. I was a little afraid of the depth of feeling in those beautiful eyes."
then from "The Dead of the Night", Ch2, p26, Lee's interest in Music
" There was a beautiful black baby grand piano facing the window. Homer had written Heavy Metal across it in the dust with his fingers. But I had seen Lee with the lid raised, running his hands across the keys. His fingers were trembling and there was a look on his face even more passionate, more intense than when he looked at me."
Extract 2: Eager to strike back from the start
"Tomorrow, When The War Began", Ch 19, p254. About the plan to blow up the Bridge
" Yes, it was a good plan. It was very clever. And maybe the thing I liked most about it was the effect it had on Lee. He was determined to do it. He lifted his head more and more as we talked; he became outspoken, he started smiling and laughing. He'd been depressed a lot of the time since he copped the bullet, but now he actually said to me, 'If we do this, if we succeed, I'll be able to feel pride again'.
I hadn't realised how ashamed he'd been of not being able to help his family."
Extract 3: Ellie does not know what to think about Lee's aggressiveness
"The Dead of the Night", Ch 5, p67 as they return from the Buttercup Lane attack
"... now he moved along eagerly, head pointing forwards, long legs covering k after k. Occasionally he looked across and smiled at me, or winked. I didn't know whether to be pleased that he was feeling so proud, or worried that he was enjoying killing people and wrecking things."
Extract 4: Lee when he kills the wounded teenage enemy soldier
The Dead of the Night, Ch 10, p154
" 'We've got to get out of here,' Lee said. His eyes had passed over the soldier on the ground, but he hadn't shown any surprise. Now he focused on him. 'What's he doing here?'
'He followed Fi,' Homer said.
'He's still alive,' Lee said.
'Well, what are you waiting for?'
I wasn't sure what he meant. 'We were waiting for you,' I said. 'And we didn't know what to do with him. But I think he's close to dying.'
'We've got to go,' Lee said again. His eyes scanned the ground. Suddenly he bent down and picked up the soldier's knife from the sad little pile of possessions. At first I thought he'd overbalanced and fallen on the boy. I even gasped and started to say 'Look out'. But I realised at once that it was deliberate. Lee had landed clumsily with his knees on the boy's chest and at the same time had buried the knife in him, aiming at the heart. The boy gave a terrible gasp and both his arms lifted slightly, with the fingers flailing. Homer switched on the torch and in its sharp, focused light, like a scalpel, I saw the face go very white, and a rush of blood pour from the mouth as it slowly opened. It stayed open. Then something left the face, a spirit or something fled from it, and he was dead. His face became the colour of water, no colour at all.
... [they dispose of the body] ...
As we walked back to the others he [Lee] said to Robyn. 'If you'd seen what I saw last night you wouldn't be praying for any of them. And you wouldn't be wondering if we've done the wrong thing. They're filth. They're vermin.'
I understood then why he'd pushed the knife into the soldier's chest, but I was still scared of him for having done it."
Extract 5: Lee is the most aggressive during planning
"The Dead of the Night", Ch 16, p231
" When we told the others [about spotting Harvey] they all reacted in different ways. Fi sat there white with shock, unable to speak. It was like she'd never dreamt that people could do such terrible things. Lee jumped to his feet, equally pale-faced, his eyes burning. He slammed his fist into the wall. 'He's dead,' he said. 'That's it He's dead.' He walked across the room and stood with his hands tucked into his armpits, staring out the window, his whole body trembling.
Homer'd had a while to get used to the idea. He seemed almost gentle about it. 'It does all fit,' he said. 'It makes a lot of things clear.'
'Were do we go from here?' I asked. 'If we're going to attack these houses in some way, then what do we want? Do we want to destroy the houses and all the stuff they've got in them? Do we want to destroy Fi's house? Do we want to kill people? Do we want to kill Major Harvey?'
'Yes', said Lee, without turning around. 'All of the above.' He'd plunged straight back into his psycho state, like when he'd stabbed the soldier. He scared me when he was like that."
Extract 6: Lee can see what is happening, and is frightened by it, but is not in control
"The Dead of the Night", Ch 12, p178
" He was still holding my arm and I turned a little more so I was pressed into his chest. I had a bit of a sniffle in there, then asked the question Fi had asked me. 'What's going to become of us, Lee?'
'I don't know.'
'Don't say that. That's what everyone says. I want you to be different to everyone else.'
'Well, I am. I'm a murderer.'
I felt a tremble pass through his body as he said it. 'No you're not, Lee.'
'I wish I could believe you. But words don't change anything.'
'Do you think it was wrong?'
He waited so long I thought my voice must have been too muffled in his chest for him to have heard. I started to repeat the question, but he cut me off.
'No. But I'm scared at what there is in me that can make me like that.'
'So many things happened that night. They mightn't ever happen again. Anyone would have gone a bit crazy, after what you saw.'
'But maybe when you have done it once, you do it more easily the next time.'
'I've done it too,' I said.
'Yes, I don't know why, but it seemed different when you did it. Chris told me how blown apart the guy was. And somehow, using a knife is different to a gun.' I didn't answer and he continued after a while. 'Do you think about it much?'
Extract 7: Lee often disappears within himself
"The Dead of the Night", Ch 1, p 3
"[Lee] sat along the creek a few metres, gazing down at the water. Lee had a stick in his hands and was slowly breaking off little pieces, letting the bits drift away with the current. As each bit disappeared into the tumbling gurgling water among the rocks he repeated the process. He didn't look up, and even if he had, I knew I'd see only sadness in his eyes. I found that almost unbearable. I wished I could drive it away, but I hadn't figured out how."
then again on page 6
" My problem with Lee was different - it was how he kept disappearing inside himself, fading away in front of my eyes. It was getting harder to get him back when that happened."
then, near the end in "The Other Side of Dawn", p120
" So often I longed to be hugged by a guy, to feel strong bony arms holding me, to feel rough skin on my face, to smell that guy smell. At most of those times Lee was nowhere to be found, or he was in one of those moods when you knew it wasn't a good idea to approach him."
Extract 8: But at the same time he does his best to support Ellie
"The Dead of the Night", Ch 12, p178
" I really cried then, sobbing like my lungs were coming out of my mouth. I couldn't stop for ages. The amazing thing was, Lee just kept holding onto me, like he could wait forever. Finally I gulped out my daytime nightmare. 'I felt like there was this big shadow up in the sky, hovering over me. It made everything dark, and it followed me everywhere.'"
and also "Darkness, Be My Friend" p26, going to the plane to return to Australia
"[Lee] put his arm around me as we walked along
'We're going to be OK, you know, Ellie,' he said. 'As long as we stick together; we'll be OK.'
The wind was getting colder and fiercer and I honestly don't know if it was stinging my eyes and making them water or if the tears were being pushed out by something else."
then at Corrie's grave, p183
" He shrugged and put his arms around me.
I welcomed that, I wanted it, and I snuggled into him."
Extract 9: But Ellie is not such a good supporter, dumping Lee when she felt disgusted at what they had done in strangling the soldier.
"The Third Day, The Frost", Ch 7, p63
" I realised quite suddenly, with a sense of shock, that my relationship with Lee was over. I felt nothing for him any more. He seemed like a stranger and this seemed like the kind of polite conversation you had with strangers. Although I didn't admit it to myself then, I think, looking back, that part of the reason was the killing of the soldier when we rescued Kevin. It wasn't the first time we'd killed,of course; it wasn't the first time Lee had killed in cold blood; but this time it had been too horrible, too disgusting. I didn't want to touch Lee; didn't especially want to talk to him, even. I felt sick every time his long fingers touched me.
It's unfair, I know that. It's like making Lee do our dirty work and then blaming him when he does it. But fair and unfair is for the mind; emotions don't know anything about fair and unfair."
Lee eventually realises and talks to Ellie. Both are essentially off their heads with stress at the time and the result is probably the most mean sprinted and childish conversation in the series. Not something either will look back on with pride.
"The Third Day, The Frost", Ch 20, p194
" 'You don't like me anymore, do you?'
He'd caught me by surprise. I knew it was coming, but not like that.
'Yes, of course I like you.'
'But not the way it was.'
'No, I guess not.'
'Dunno. It just happened.'
'What, you mean that one minute you liked me and a millisecond later you didn't?'
'More or less, yeah'
'That doesn't sound very likely.'
'I don't care what it sounds like, that's the way it was.'
'Did Fi say anything against me?'
'Fi? No, why should she?'
'I don't know, but you're always talking to her and you take so much notice of what she says.'
'I don't know about that, but she didn't say anything to put me off you. She's not a backstabber, not like me.' I grinned, but Lee wasn't into laughs today.
'Is it something I said?'
'No, no, really. Nothing dramatic happened. I swear. Maybe we'd just seen enough of each other for a while. I mean, god, we're only young, we're not meant to be getting married, you know. At our age we're meant to have lots of romances.'
'My father was seventeen when he was married.'
'Well, whoopiedoo, I'm very happy for him, but I've got no plans yet, believe me.'
'Are you having it off with Homer?'
I lifted my arm fast, to hit him, then changed my mind. But I don't know how I didn't push him straight off the roof. He had such a hide, saying that. I know he was only saying it because he was upset, but that didn't make it all right. What a dickhead. It made me really pleased that I'd dropped him, because at that moment I didn't care if I never saw him again, and I had no interest in continuing the conversation. So we sat there in silence for a couple of minutes."
What a miserable war.
Extract 10: Ellie has quite an incorrect impression of how aggressive Lee really is
"Burning for Revenge", Ch 15, p214, While they are in Stratton, Ellie to Homer about Lee going off by himself.
" I asked Homer: 'Where do you think Lee goes when he slips away for hours at a time?'
Homer looked surprised but not very interested. 'Is he going off on his own a lot? Yes, now that you mention it, I suppose he is. But you know what Lee's like. Once a loner, always a loner.'
This was another of those un-Homer-like comments, the kind of thing he never would have said before the war.
'Well, I'm worried, that's all. If he's doing anything that might affect the rest of us ... I think he should let us know where he is.'
I was horrified to hear myself say this: it sounded so like my mother. War sure changes your perspective.
'Why, what do you think he's doing?'
'I've no idea. But he's obsessed with getting revenge for his parents. He could be sneaking off and blowing up factories for all I know.'"
Extract 11: Lee wants to attack at the airfield, but something is holding him back from full commitment
"Burning for Revenge", Ch 5, p60, Lee talks to Ellie about attacking the airfield
"[Lee] We're in an amazing situation here. By complete accident we've got ourselves into the place that Colonel Finley most wants destroyed. We shouldn't be worrying so much about getting out. We should be thinking about how much we can do something huge: something that might change this war in a big, big way. You can see that can't you, Ellie? You know that's the way to go?'
Funny, I'd never heard him talk like that before. It was like he was begging me for support. I wondered if he wasn't sure of himself, if he didn't know whether he had the strength and courage for it. He was talking about suicide really, about our deaths, I knew that straight away. There was no way anyone was going to attack this place from the inside and survive. You didn't have to be Einstein to figure that out."
Extract 12: When an opportunity arrives to kill, Lee surprises Ellie by not taking it (and its pretty obvious that Ellie would have killed here - so who is the one out of control ?)
"Burning for Revenge", Ch 12, p166, about the rifles Lee took at the ford
" My first question was to Lee. 'Was I dreaming or did you take the rifles from where those two soldiers dropped them?'
'Yeah, you must have been dreaming. I never touched them.'
For a moment I actually believed him, which shows how tired I was.
'Yes you did!' I said indignantly.
'OK, I did then. Whatever you reckon.'
'Oh, come on Lee, tell me, what happened? How did you do it?'
Homer finally took pity on me. 'It was a snap decision. it looked like there was a good chance we could get out without any shooting, but only if we put the rifles back. So we took the risk.'"
Extract 13: Ellie often has a go Lee for his inward focus and not being there for her, but she is hardly one to be throwing stones here
"Burning for Revenge", Ch 15, p209
" The biggest thing was always the war. Sometimes it seemed like everything came down to that. I couldn't concentrate on a relationship while all around us were flames and death and hatred. Sometimes days went past without me thinking about liking Lee or anyone else, days when I didn't dream of some boy or imaging myself in someone's arms or feel the slightest bit interested in kissing or being kissed."
Extract 14: One of the few times Lee goes off at Ellie
"Burning for Revenge", Ch 15, p215
"... I said to Lee: 'So where have you been flitting off to in your spare time?'
He didn't seem to mind my asking: he shrugged and shook the hair out of his eyes. 'Just around.'
'Around here? Or into the city? or out of town?'
'Just around,' he repeated.
'Any particular reason?'
'Yes and no.'
I waited for him to say more. I was wondering if I'd been wrong: maybe he did mind my asking. I was tempted to start nagging, to say: 'Don't you think we've done enough for a while? How do you know your not putting us all at risk?' But I didn't think he'd take that to well. Instead I said: 'So you're still going for it huh?'
'Why don't you say what you really think?' he said.
Well, why don't you tell me, if you're such an expert on my brain?'
He looked at me levelly. I was simmering already; he was as cool as a mouth full of Minties.'
'I think you're burning up because you want to know exactly what I'm doing and I'm not going to tell you.'
'I don't give a stuff what you do,' I said. 'You can swim to New Zealand for all I care. But you shouldn't do things independently. It's not fair. It could affect us in all kinds of ways. what if you don't come back one day for instance, and we have to go looking for you? We wouldn't know where to start. What if you launch some action against the enemy and they come after you and suddenly we're on the run again, without having any say in it? What if ...'
'Oh, what if this, what if that,' he broke in impatiently. 'You can go on all day with that stuff. What if the sun exploded? we're all dead then. I know what I'm doing. You aught to try minding your own business for once.
He jumped up, matched over to where Kevin was working, grabbed a mattock and started furiously attacking the hard dry clay at the end of the garden."
Ellie is right, but Lee is in no condition to see that. Then again, a few pages later he is lucky Ellie is such a pushy busy-body.
Extract 15: Lee takes responsibility for his actions
"The Night is For Hunting", Ch 11, p193
" Finally he did turn his head, and facing me, yet not looking at me, he said, 'What do you think's stopping us being friends again?'
He spoke in such a level voice it was impossible to tell what he was getting at.
'Well,' I said, 'I guess I've been pretty tough on you. I've had to come to terms with some stuff. I keep forgetting how much life can change in a war, and how we've all done dumb things that we're not exactly proud of ...'
'So,' he said, 'the main thing for you is forgiving me for getting of with Reni.'
Reni was the name of the girl he'd been with in Stratton.
I gulped at his question. I had a strong feeling that I was on dangerous ground. But I tried to be honest.
'Ok, if you want to put it that way, maybe it is something like that.'
Well I'd said it now. I dug one fingernail into each palm and waited. But he didn't blow up. He just lifted his water bottle, which was still empty, and walked away up the hill. As he went he said, 'That's not the main thing. The main thing is forgiving myself.'
Stupid me. I'd never really thought about that side of it. I'd been too caught up in my own feelings."
Extract 16: and apologises
"The Night is For Hunting", Ch 11, p204, Lee apologises
" Finally however, as I was looking down at the water, watching the shreds of lamb wash away, I heard a nervous cough, an looked up into Lee's brown eyes.
'Ellie, I just wanted to say ...'
He paused. I stood, staring into those eyes, hoping he'd go on, hoping he wouldn't lose courage.
After a moment, he managed to finish the sentence.
'... I know I haven't done the right thing by you.'
I' been red before; I must have been crimson by now.
'I've made you suffer, for something that wasn't your fault. The whole thing was totally me being selfish and stupid.'
'Unbelievable,' I thought. 'When lee apologises, he really apologises.'
'So', Le went on, 'seeing it's Christmas, I thought it was now or never to say sorry.'
I almost smiled, because it wasn't really Christmas at all, just our choice of day to call Christmas. But it didn't matter.
I sat back on my haunches and sighed. A great weight rolled off my back. I gave him a little grin and said, 'Thanks.'
I could guess what it had cost him to say what he had. All the guilt and sadness I'd dammed up seemed to flow away in a quick flood. Somehow, all this time, there'd been a guilty voice in my head trying to tell me that Lee going off with the black-haired girl was my fault. The voice wouldn't shut up, even while another voice inside me told me not to be stupid."
Tomorrow When the War Began- John Marsden Essay
1261 WordsJul 21st, 20116 Pages
Tomorrow when the war began- John Marsden
“Tomorrow When The War Began” by John Marsden, is a novel of survival, friendship, love and war. He uses many language techniques (e.g. simile, metaphor, personification, oxymoron, irony, symbol, allusion etc.) to get across to the reader the importance of each of the themes discussed. He also uses these techniques to set the mood in each chapter and to help emphasise each major point in the novel. “We’ve learnt a lot and had to figure out what’s important- what matters, what really matters.”- Ellie
Survival in “Tomorrow When The War Began” is a very important issue. The whole novel is about Ellie and friends learning to become independent and to fend for themselves in a world…show more content…
They must go through a series of challenges to get from point A to point B by stealing vehicles and food. When Ellie and Robyn pick up Lee from his restaurant they have to kill soldiers to get away. Same as when Ellie, Kevin and Corrie blow up the lawnmower, they also blow up soldiers in order to stay safe for a little while.
Friendship is another major theme in the novel, John Marsden uses this theme to overlap with other issues like survival and war. The characters of the novel all depend on those around them for help and support in everything they do. Friendship provides people with strength, hope and love, and all these things help a person overcome tragedies, death, and moments when it seems life isn’t worth living. An example from the novel would be when Corrie’s house is blown up, she is devastated and it is only with the support of the others that she can continue. A real life issue about friendship/love and survival would be the incident with the Beaconsfield miners. The miners were sure they would die, but with the thought in there heads of family and friends outside waiting for there arrival, they continued on battling for there lives, relying only on the support of loved ones. When Lee was shot in the leg by soldiers, Robyn carried Lee over her shoulder until it was safe enough to treat the wound. Robyn overcame her fear of blood and cuts, to save Lee from infection and disease. John Marsden uses techniques like first person