Preview
Preview

Man and the Environment in David Malouf’s Novel, An Imaginary Life Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 1963 words (5.6 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In David Malouf’s novel An Imaginary Life, one of the most prevalent influences on the characters’ lives is the particular environment in which they are placed. Malouf explores the issues of the interrelationship between man and his natural environment, and the impact that changes in environment have on human personality. Through the characterisation of Ovid and the Boy, the effects of setting and physical surroundings are fully explored, and consequently issues such as isolation, conformity to society and the development of culture, including education and language, are discussed.

The main character, Ovid, is a vivid example of how lives can be periodically changed according to alterations in the surrounding environment. At the start of the book Ovid is a stranger to his setting, stranded in a culture that deprives him of his language, his customs, and his pride. This shows that identity is primarily constructed according to the society in which people are placed, and much social learning and norms are derived from conformity to the conditions of a particular environment. In An Imaginary Life, Ovid completes a journey of self discovery, learning how to create and cultivate an existence based on interrelationship with the natural world, entering a into partly idealistic and imaginary existence, hence the title.

There are consistent parallels created through descriptions of Ovid’s political status. Due to his ostracism, he is separated both from outside elements of society and ideals that exist in his own mind. In the opening paragraphs, Ovid describes his natural surroundings and the characteristics of the landscape, and ends with the statement:

But I am describing a state of mind, no place.

I am in exile here....


... middle of paper ...


...h the natural environment, utilizing the ageless and continuous attributes of the natural environment. This ideal is fulfilled in the last section of the novel, where both Ovid and the Boy are repeatedly described as being 'there', showing the ability of the natural environment to provide unity and irrelevance of human constraints.

The novel An Imaginary Life is a poignant profile of the relationship between man and his environment. Malouf's main interest in self is in its capacity for transformation, and the process which the change involves, 'the beings we are in process of becoming.' Through the characterisation of Ovid and the Boy, various issues and themes associated with both the social and natural environments are explored, as each of them undertakes a journey of transformation which ultimately draws them closer to the natural elements of the earth.

 


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Essay about An Imaginary Life by William Wordsworth and David Malouf - An Imaginary Life by William Wordsworth and David Malouf In both William Wordsworth’s poems and David Malouf’s novel, An Imaginary Life, it is evident how different times and cultures affect the quality and importance of the relationship humanity can have with the natural world. Themes that are explored in both texts include interaction with nature, the role of nature in childhood and adulthood, religion and the role of language. These all show the quality and importance of humanity’s relationship with nature and how times and culture influence the relationship....   [tags: William Wordsworth David Malouf Essays] 1687 words
(4.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Fly Away Peter by David Malouf - `Fly Away Peter' by David Malouf is a powerful war story in which the author has used contrasting settings and strong symbolism to clearly portray his own ideas and opinions of war, and further the readers understanding of the text. Jim is an innocent young man, living on the coast of Queensland. In this peaceful town, everybody is happy and at peace with themselves and with nature. The people enjoy the simple pleasures of life - nature, birds, and friendly neighbourly conversations. Their days are filled with peaceful walks in the bush, bird watching and fishing....   [tags: Fly Away Peter David Malouf] 581 words
(1.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Fly Away Peter by David Malouf Essay - `Fly Away Peter' by David Malouf - To what extent is Jim's understanding of self enhanced by his contact with those around him. 'Fly Away Peter' is essentially a story about life. Through the life of Jim Saddler the reader becomes aware of the ideas posed by the author, David Malouf. Jim's life, if anything, is indeed a journey, unfolding through various broadening experiences that lead to Jim's eventual understanding of the world and his own self. However, to simply say that this understanding is enhanced solely by his contact with those around him is only true to a certain extent....   [tags: David Malouf's Fly Away Peter] 949 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Use of Setting and Description in David Malouf's Johnno Essay examples - Use of Setting and Description in Johnno Throughout Johnno descriptions of settings relating to houses and buildings enable the reader to obtain an insight into the character of Dante. Malouf captures images with powerful force, creating depth to the characters. Specific details that may be deemed inappropriate are enhanced to provide meaning and show how characters respond and feel toward places. Malouf effectively uses images to reinforce attitudes, feelings and emotions. Though the descriptions are long and detailed, they are worthwhile and evocative....   [tags: David Malouf Johnno Essays] 956 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Primitive Man's Relationship with Fire and the Environment Essay - Primitive Man's Relationship with Fire and the Environment Common knowledge holds it that primitive man was a being barely more developed than the ape, existing without culture, innovation, or technological prowess. This belief focuses especially on homo erectus, an ancestor of man who lived from about 2 million to roughly 200,000 years ago. It is commonly believed that h. erectus was a creature existing in technological stasis, without the ability to advance his existence through innovation, and void of culture....   [tags: Environment Environmental Pollution Preservation] 1266 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Effects of Dental Amalgam on the Environment Essay - The Effects of Dental Amalgam on the Environment The disposal of dental amalgam, specifically the mercury component, has become a controversial topic in the past twenty years. Due to the concern this issue brings, many studies have taken place regarding the effect of mercury on the environment and in humans. Amalgam is the most common material used in restorative dentistry due to its low cost, ease of use and stability (Chin et al., 2000). The basic ingredients include silver, tin, copper and mercury....   [tags: Environment ]
:: 6 Works Cited
1487 words
(4.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Children in Malouf Essay - Children take center stage in a lot of maloufs stories, but the memory of childhood is a deeper, more resonant thread throughout this collection. Pre – adolescence, particularly the ages of nine or ten, carries enormous weight in the writer’s imagination. The light from his Brisbane childhood often illuminates his narrative, and the remembered landscape often illuminates his narrative, and the remembered landscape fills in the background, but it is the child’s worldview that is the dominant concern....   [tags: essays research papers] 824 words
(2.4 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Michael Imaginary Friend Essay - Michael Fritz was a very lonely boy. His parents died in a nasty car crash when he was two, so Michael was sent to live with his Aunt and Uncle. Michael was known as a shut in, and never would he go play with kids his own age. He was content with the inside of his home and that is where he stayed. While Michel’s Aunt and Uncle were at work his nanny, Kendra, would watch after him and take him to the park. On a day that seemed to be as normal as the rest something very abnormal happened. Michael was taken to the park, and like his usual routine; he went off and played by himself....   [tags: short story] 548 words
(1.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Molieres "the Imaginary Invalid" Essay - Moliere's "The Imaginary Invalid" Moliere's "The Imaginary Invalid" is a farcical play about a hypochondriac who is so obsessed with his health and money that he ends up neglecting his family. The story involves several different themes and plots within one family. A new interpretation of this 17th century play is now being performed at the Arts Club Theater; it incorporates some new changes and modernizations in addition to the traditional improvisation. Morris Panych has definitely succeeded in delivering a new, more comical version of Moliere's final play....   [tags: essays research papers fc]
:: 1 Works Cited
1757 words
(5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Imaginary Invalid Essay - Imaginary Invalid Moliere’s “The Imaginary Invalid” is a play about a hypochondriac who is so obsessed with his health and money that he ends up neglecting his family’s needs to better his own. Moliere sets up the exposition of the play in Act I by the apothecary bills Argon is reading aloud. After Toinette, the maid, then enters the scene she sarcastically makes a comment about all of the bills lying on the table. Toinette lets the audience know that Argon is a hypochondriac by rebutting everything he says about his doctors and illnesses with sarcastic comments....   [tags: essays research papers] 583 words
(1.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]