That Eye the Sky

What do you learn about the narrator? The narrator is a young primary school boy named Ort. Ort lacks knowledge and education, as we can identify through the colloquial language of the text with phrases such as ‘orrright’ and ‘seeyaz’. Ort’s choice of words and behavior towards his mother as she tells him to hop on inside’ contrasts his childhood innocence, although a slight level of maturity is released when Ort quotes “stubbed toes are something you have to live with in this life” which are wise words coming from a child. Ort expresses himself through imagery and symbolism, an example is the sky.

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Ort refers to the sky in the last paragraph of the exposition, describing it as “one big blue eye” “just looking down at us”, which introduces the reader to Ort’s powerful insight into the world around him. Why does the Author use first person narrative? As Ort conveys the story, he is engaging the reader by providing them with personal insight so they can experience the life of the flack family through his viewing of events, actions and personal thoughts. This helps the reader understand the alternative perspective of Ort and deeply delve into his mind whilst picturing the sequence of events taking place through Orts eyes.

We can connect with Orts emotions on a personal level and combine our senses with his and vicariously adapt with the story as it continues. Where is the story set? The story is set in the outback, as the introduction of ‘the mean rooster’ confirms livestock is living on the homestead. The landscape is a hot rural environment which is conveyed when Ort mentions his mother “putting up her dress a bit for some air” The impact of the heat contributes to the vision of isolation and a desert type landscape.

Ort waving his dad off as he is going in to town identifies the distance of their property, given the form of transportation needed to travel to town. The Blue sky reflects the sunshine atmosphere; it is not a dreary dark and damp setting. What is the tone of the passage? The narrator’s tone is in a colloquial manner. To define the mood and setting of the passage, Ort remains descriptive of the events taking place, an example being “I am behind mum. Her dress has got all flowers on it, none of them much to look at”.

This introduces the attitude and visual interpretation of Ort. The impact of the events taking places, such as a main motif ‘the mean rooster’ corking again, and also Ort’s reason for waving goodbye to his dad, displays a level of struggle and hardship. The tone also suggests the importance of family and introduces a sense of insecurity as his dad leaves the property. What is the story likely to be about? The story is likely going to be about Ort and his family dealing with tragedy and enabling Ort to explore his strength and maturity through the difficulties that may arise.

The exposition prepares us for a devastating outcome as Ort is waving his father off. He makes a point to the reader and introduces the words from his mother “she always reckons you should show people you love them when they go away, because you might never see them again, they might die. The world might end”. The story will also explore Ort’s spiritual side, as we get a glimpse into his form of expression through the sky. Bibliography Tim Winton, Published in 1986 “That eye, the sky” pages 3-4.


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