Tomorrow When the War Began: a Xenophobic Narrative

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Vituperaptor
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Marsden’s Tomorrow When the War Began (Marsden, 1993) is a xenophobic narrative that aims to convince the reader of the friendship and courage that would develop in a group of teenagers if they were to be confronted with several life threatening situations. The main theme that is found throughout the novel is the conflict between friendship and the instinct of self-preservation. This leads to many of the situations that affect the group of teenagers.
The instinct of self-preservation leads to many scenarios found within both the novel and the movie. For example, at the beginning of the movie, after Ellie is spotted at the showground, Kevin runs off without thinking about anybody else but himself. Another example of this instinct of self-preservation is shown after the snake escapes from the sleeping bag in Hell. Ellie’s instincts tell her to
…panic; I panicked. It told me to run; I ran. It told me not to give a stuff about anyone else; I didn’t give a stuff. It was quite a few moments before I looked around to see if they were OK… (Marsden, 1993, Page 36)
This is an example of the self-preservation that is found in each of the characters. However, towards the end of the novel, friendship appears to have more effect on the characters than self-preservation. Kevin is willing to take Corrie to the hospital even though he knows that his life will be at risk upon his arrival. This is an example of one of the situations when the conflict between friendship and the instinct of self-preservation results in friendship ultimately winning out between the two.
The friendship between the characters develops throughout the entire novel. For example, at the beginning of the movie, Homer, who has assumed a leadership role in the group, treats Lee with disdain, giving him menial tasks like collecting firewood while he and the rest of the group relax and have fun.…...

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