Boys of Blood and Bone David Metzenthen David Metzenthen’s Boys of Blood and Bone is a truly ambitious novel. He received his inspiration to write the novel as a tribute to his grandfather, to show his respect to those who went to war and to connect young Australians to past history. His novel links the stories of Henry Lyon, in the summer before he starts his first year at University and Andy Lansell, an Australia digger killed in World War 1.
The book contains several messages which should be of value to everyone.
These include mateship, relationships, committing to personal responsibilities or duties in society and to value the little things in life. However, the idea that people haven’t changed while Australia and the world has and his feelings towards the lasting effects of war are two strong underlying beliefs of Metzenthen’s which he has incorporated into his novel. This novel provides a real eye opener for all young adults and makes them more appreciate life in all aspects.
These are all demonstrated through the narrative point of view. Metzenthen’s use of third person limited omniscient perspective for both Henry and Andy’s stories helps to create the idea of similarities and differences between their two lives. This effectively shows the impact which war has on generation after generation. Metzenthen’s persona is recognisable throughout the entire novel. He never beautifies any of the descriptions of events in both Henry and Andy’s lives.
Metzenthen’s attitudes towards the long lasting effects of war can be interpreted in the following extract when Andy experiences a flash back to the trenches and battlefields and the horrific things that happen there as well as his longing to return home. mmm‘Goin’ home,’ he said. ‘Most of the time it seems too much to hope for. And that you’ll put the moz on yourself. ’ An image of the trenches rose like nausea; he could see the place, the sky rimmed with artillery blooming black-orange like monstrous flowers, he could feel the slamming of the guns. 2003, page 223) Another technique which Metzenthen has used in the novel is Andy’s diary entries. These entries are always short, show no emotion and offer little insight into what is happening during the time he is writing the entries. This highlights the laid back nature of Australians and also suggests that he is a modest young man and puts forward that he is not only trying to convince the reader of his diary that everything is alright but also himself. This helps greatly to form Andy’s character.
Along both journeys, the boys are introduced to many different characters. Metzenthen’s use of indirect characterisation through the use of character dialogue effectively demonstrates and helps readers of his novel to understand and learn exactly who the different characters are. This is clearly demonstrated when Henry first meets Buddha in this short extract. mmmWithout warning, his thoughts were swept away as a grey and blue Commodore pulled up, V-8 spitting, gold mag wheels like stars.
A big guy about Henry’s age, sitting in the Holden as comfortably as a Buddha in his temple, checked Henry out. ‘Your car back there, mate? ’ Buddha lifted a thumb, silver wraparound sunglasses as dark as a slit in the mailbox. ‘Ya wanna lift? Getcha to the garage before it shuts. ’ (2003, page 2). Through the type of car he drives, what he wears and most of all, the way he speaks, the reader can determine that Trot is a wealthy, tough and less academic character.
Overall, David Metzenthen’s Boys of Blood and Bone is a book which teaches young adults lessons on the importance of mateship, strong relationships and the part which every individual plays in society. Metzenthen pushes the idea that war affects generation after generation and that even though Australia and the world has changed, the people haven’t. This is made possible through his use of third person omniscient to link together the stories of both Henry and Andy as it proves that although the boys lived in completely different times; their lives are both similar in many ways.
Cite this Boys of Blood and Bone
Boys of Blood and Bone. (2016, Oct 07). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/boys-of-blood-and-bone/