David Malouf Writing Styles in Great Day

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The dominant image in the story is fire, which appears in the beginning as Ned watches a group on the beach build a bonfire and, at the end, when the museum is set ablaze. The fires provide an ironic tension in the story as they suggest both destruction and positive change. Both the bonfire and the museum fire represent outside forces that have the potential to disrupt the Tyler family, but at the same time, they also provide a cathartic and unifying influence.

Initially, the bonfire presents tension through Ned's response to it as he fails to get support from his family for his contention that the group on the beach is breaking the rules. His eventual acceptance of the bonfire helps Ned become less rigid in his thinking. The bonfire also enables Fran to realize her connection to the Tyler family: she imagines herself enclosed in the...

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This section contains 250 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Great Day Study Guide
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