Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden. Analytical Text Response Essay. How does Ellie change over the course of the novel, and what are some of the things she learns about herself and the world in which she lives? “If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living. “Gail Sheehy (esteemed writer). In John Marsden’s bestselling novel Tomorrow When the War Began Ellie, Homer, Corrie, Kevin, Fiona, Lee, Robyn and Chris, innocent Australian teenagers are faced with an invasion. The teenagers have to adapt to a new lifestyle and they make many changes throughout the story.
As their lives are changed dramatically by the invasion, the teenagers (isolated from everyone they know) find courage they never knew they had. Ellie as the main character in the book changes a lot from what she was like at the start. After initially getting very emotional and scared the group decides to fight for their country. Ellie and her friends become an active guerrilla group, causing nothing but trouble for the unwelcome visitors to their homelands. Ellie changes by gaining a lot of courage, becoming a leader in her group of friends and matures a lot.
Ellie shows great feats of courage throughout the book and she even surprises herself with what she does. In one part of the book where Ellie is trying to spy on the enemy at the showgrounds she realises what true courage is. “To come out of the darkness now would be to show courage of a type that I’d never had to show before, never even known about. ” As soon as Ellie stepped into the light and ran to the next tree she knew she had changed forever. She felt that she was no longer just an innocent teenager but a confident person who was a force to be reckoned with.
After this event Ellie, Corrie and Kevin are spotted by enemy soldiers as they run away terrified they end up cornered in the back yard of a house. The new confident Ellie comes up with a plan to escape involving a ride-on mower, petrol and a match. Ellie leads a trail of petrol away from the mower and as the soldiers come close she lights it. Ellie’s new found courage ended up saving her life, even though she was forced to do something she would have never dreamed of doing. Since Ellie realises how confident and strong she is, she emerges as a natural leader in the group alongside homer.
Ellie’s quick thinking, confident, honest and motivational personality makes her a great leader and role model for others to look up to. Ellie always likes to give her opinion and won’t back down easily even if she is wrong. When Chris falls asleep on sentry duty, Ellie gets angry and tells Chris off, this shows Ellie has the confidence to express her views and lay down rules when it comes to their safety. Ellie played a part in planning all of the group’s activities including rescuing Lee when he was shot and blowing up the Wirawee Bridge.
At the start of the book Ellie seemed to be someone who would follow the crowd and let adults take most of the responsibility. Living in Hell Ellie has to take responsibility for all her actions and make her own decisions. Ellie’s actions later in the book shows how much she has matured from the start and how she has become a very strong and independent person. The entire group matured a lot over the course of the invasion. Being cut off from all adults the group has had to fend for themselves. While Homers maturity has most obviously changed Ellie has also come a long way.
At the start of the story the friends are quite immature as most teenagers are. After experiencing more frightening and horrific experiences than most people do in their lifetime the teenagers start acting more like adults. Ellie’s feelings for Lee are quite mature because she has a strong connection with him and it isn’t just a physical relationship. “With Lee it was something else. I was fascinated by his ideas, the way he thought about things. I felt I would see life differently, the more I talked to Lee. ” Ellie comes a long way with her relationship with Lee.
At the start of the novel Ellie knew little about Lee as he was generally a quiet and shy person. When Ellie and Lee admit to their feelings for each other they find out they are perfect for each other and make their relationship official. Ellies maturity is a big factor for her; she has the ability to think clearly and with common sense to find the best option for any situation. Over the course of the novel Ellie transforms from an innocent and normal teenager to a confident, self sufficient and mature woman who can handle every situation and never backs down.
Ellie realises that life with never be the same again and she will never feel safe. This realisation forces Ellie to never let her guard down and changes her greatly. Ellie has gained a lot of confidence in the book and becomes a very strong leader for her friends. Ellie becomes very mature and is as capable as most adults. Overall I think Ellie has become a better person and she will be able to cope with any of life’s challenges. Ellie will continue to be loyal to her friends and never give in, even if she has to make sacrifices along the way.