Themes In Gary Crew's Strange Objects

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In the novel of Strange Objects, Gary Crew uses a variety of binaries to creatively force the reader into examining his points of view. A binary can be identified as a pair of related terms or concepts that are opposite in meaning. When a reader recognises such binaries, they are able to open up the ideas in which the author is attempting to express. Gary Crew has used a vast assortment of binaries such as past/present, sane/insane, foreign/native etc to shape his ideas in a way that will easily reinforce the understanding of the reader. The use and contrast of the binaries is essential for this novel and has been done very effectively by Gary Crew. One of the most important aspects of the novel is the binary of past and present. The story…show more content…
The binary of foreign and native applies to Strange Objects as in both past and present events, the Europeans are constantly faced with issues involving the Aboriginals, whether it is the tribe or Charlie Sunrise. The character of Charlie represents the complexity of Aboriginal history, their dignity in the past and their depredation in modern years. Because of this, Charlie acts as a living link between Wouter Loos and Steven Messenger. He helps correct the reader’s impressions of the Aboriginal people and explains how they once lived and the reasons they acted the way they did. This is demonstrated when Charlie explains the importance of whales to the Aboriginal people and how they are somewhat spiritual. Charlie says, “for white people, these whales only mean money. The whites kill the whale for oil, a terrible thing.”(Crew, p. 212) However for his own people, “this whale is not an animal, he is a person like me.”(Crew, p. 212). Without this explanation the reader is unable to understand the reasons behind the tribe’s actions when they cry in agony as Jan Pelgrom enters the whale’s carcass and acts in a rather cruel manner towards it to impress them. This binary shows the reader the differences between Australian cultures and the misconceptions that can occur with people of different

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