Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden

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The novel Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden is about adolescents discovering more about the adult world through the pressure of external force. The novel is about adolescence experiencing conflict from a different nation invading their town. The novel demonstrates that it is not simple to accurately to judge people’s actions. It also provides a clear outline on how people have the ability to be responsible if the situation demands it. The book delivers how in some situations that people felt guilty of their own actions. It is not simple to accurately to judge people’s actions.

Ellie, Homer, Fi and Kevin were hanging out at Lee’s house. But Lee and Robyn haven’t appeared at the house and started to get the group worried. Kevin started to argue and disagreeing with Homer’s plan which was to go and find Lee and Robyn. “Seems a hell of a risk to go to Lee’s, if we’re so worried about saving ourselves. ” said Kevin. […] “We could end up with three” […] “The biggest risk is to take no risks. Or to take crazy risks. ” Homer said. ’ This evidence shows how Kevin is judging Homers actions towards survival of the war.

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Kevin is judging Homers actions to whether he should risk his life for someone else’s. It’s not simple to accurately to judge people’s actions is when Lee and Ellie discovered the true story of the hermit. The hermit was a story of when a murderer had shot his wife and kid when there was a fire and ran into to hell to hide from the people of Wirrawee. But when Lee and Ellie had entered hell the second time, they discovered some documents and photographs of the hermit. The documents and photographs provided evidence about the true story of the hermit. The Hermit for instance; whatever had happened that terrible Christmas eve, whether he’d committed an act of great love, or an act of great evil…But that was the whole problem, that as a human being he could have done either and he could have done both. Other creatures didn’t have this problem.

They just did what they did. I didn’t know if the hermit was a saint or a devil, but once he’d fired those two shots it seemed that he and the people round him had sent him into hell. They sent him there and he sent himself there. The residents of Wirrawee judged the hermits actions without understanding his side of the story, therefore the people have gossip around Wirrawee about the “disaster” explaining it was the Hermits fault. How people have the ability to be responsible if the situation demands it. Homer at the beginning of the novel was irresponsible. ‘Homer always seemed to be in trouble. Another of his favourite little amusements was to watch for work men going on the roof at school to fix leaks or to get balls, or replace guttering. Homer would wait until they were safely up there, working away hard at whatever they had to do, then he’d strike.

Half an hour later you’d hear yells and cries from the roof: ‘Help get us down from here! Some mongrel’s pinched our bloody ladder! ’ But throughout the novel Homer begins to change by becoming more responsible and realized that the current situation demands Homer to be responsible. Through unlikely circumstances Homer has had to become a mature and responsible leader for the group. ‘Homer was becoming more surprising with every passing hour. It was getting hard to remember that this fast thinking guy, who’d just spent fifteen minutes getting us laughing and talking and feeling good again, wasn’t even trusted to hand out the books at school. He helped the group by being responsible about discussion making that may be a life and death situation.

People have the ability to be responsible if the situation demands it. Ellie has also changed and become more responsible with the situation her and her team is in. When Ellie took responsible to save the life’s of her friends in her group, she thought of the idea to blow up the mower to kill the soldiers. ‘My hand, which had been very steady till then, got the shakes. I thought, “we’re about to die, just because I couldn’t light a match. ” It seemed unfair, almost ridiculous.

I tried again, but was shaking too much. The soldiers were almost past the mower. Kevin grabbed my wrist. “Do it” he mouthed fiercely in my ear. The soldiers seemed to have heard Kevin, from the way their eagers faces turned in our direction again. I struck the match for the third time, almost sure that there wouldn’t be enough sulphur left to ignite. But it lit, making a harsh little noise, and I threw it to the group. I threw it too fast; I don’t know how it didn’t go out. It should have, and it almost did. For a moment it died to a small dot of light and again I thought “we’re dead, and it’s all my fault’.

Then the petrol caught, with a quiet quick whoosh. ’ Ellie thought of the idea to blow up the mower when the soldiers were three metres near the mower. She took responsibility to put the plan into action. How in some situations that people have felt guilty of their own actions is when Ellie blew up those soldiers by blowing up the mower. ‘Had I killed out of love of my friends, as part of a noble crusade to rescue friends and family and keep our land free? Or had I killed because I valued my life above that of others? Would it be ok for me to kill a dozen others to keep myself alive? A hundred? A thousand?

At what point did I condemn myself to hell, if I hadn’t already done so? ’ This shows guilt as she is referring to herself of her actions. Ellie is thinking of the amount of people Ellie killed will it ever end. The thought of war has affected her mentally and physically. Another example of how in some situations that people have felt guilty of their own actions is when Ellie felt guilty about when she is in war, she can only remember her love story between Lee and herself. ‘I felt guilty even thinking about love while our world was in such chaos, and especially when my parents were going through terrible thing.

It was the steers at the abattoirs all over again. But my heart was making its own rules and refusing to be controlled by my conscience. ’ Ellie shows guilt in this situation because Ellie dislikes what is going on with the world and how it is hard to go through so much pressure. Ellie also feels guilty because during the time at war, Ellie can only think about Lee. In conclusion, the major conflict between the soldiers and Ellie open readers with a valuable lesson about judgment, responsibility and guilt. The novel shows how people can change so much when they have been exposed to the adult world by extreme force.

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Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden. (2016, Oct 02). Retrieved from

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