Novel Essay Example: Crow Country
Crow Country written by Australian author Kate Constable is a contemporary novel set back in 1933 rural Victoria. A time slip story with an extraordinary sense of place, explores and identifies significant themes such as racism and the indigenous culture. The lives of the three protagonists within the story are Sadie, Walter and Lachie and we witness the shadow and impact upon them. The novel highlights the power of friendship, courage and responsibility and which the characters utilise to unravel a strange mystery, whilst solving a vicious crime.
Through Sadie Hazzard actions, Sadie demonstrates the value of responsibility throughout the novel to help her overcome difficulties in crow country for example when Sadie discovers Jimmy’s tin, filled with his sacred belongings. Sadie immediately recognises it and takes it directly to Aunty Lily, ensuring it stays safe and secure , protecting his history and identity .Sadie is aware of the tin’s significance because “… they were holy objects, magical objects…” (P205) within and that “…it would be as awful, as disrespectful, as melting down the communion cup…” (P205) if she were to open the tin. Since Sadie has learnt to respect the land throughout the book, her respect for Jimmy’s tin is instinctive. Sadie acquires a strong sense of responsibility by her offering of the tin to Aunty Lily, enabling Crow’s enigmatic story to continue and develop a step further ahead.
Sadie exemplifies friendship and responsibility when Sadie and Walter choose to help Lachie Mortlock who is injured at the climax of the book. Instead of choosing a safer alternative and abandoning him, Sadie challenges lachie to take responsibility for his negative actions against the sacred land for which were committed by his ancestors and himself previously in the past. Sadie takes upon her obligation of writing the wrongs from the past and takes risks to prevent history from repeating itself. After this experience, Lachie, Walter and Sadie have built a forged friendship and a powerful connection and which Lachie began a process of reconciliation with both Walter and Sadie to help them find valuable information about Jimmy Raven and help them protect the sacred stones, Lachie and Walter displayed a vast amount of friendship and responsibility by putting their differences aside for the greater good of the land in which they cherish and respect.
Sadie and Walter confront the Mortlocks when they misuse the land. When Sadie sees the Mortlocks riding dirt bikes in the picnic area, she takes it upon herself when she exclaims, “this is a special place, you know it is,” (p.157) making Craig sneer and retort. Sadie then further defends Walter, saying, “…This land belonged to Walter’s people, way before the Mortlocks got here!” (p.158). This shows how beneficial qualities such as bravery and courage help to prevent past mistakes from occurring. Walter shows his true attributes when he was protecting the sacred place when the Mortlocks were riding dirt bikes in the picnic area. Sadie and Walter find the Mortlocks showing complete disrespect towards the stone circle. Craig, Lachie and friends are lounging on the stones and littering the land with such things as crumpled beer cans. They both react arrogantly and rudely towards Walter and Sadie as they show responsibility when they try to explain to the Mortlocks of the significance of the land. But the least respect is shown when the Mortlocks and their friends begin shooting the crows that come to help Sadie and Walter. Both are beginning to understand the stories associated with the land. This makes it even more important and special for Sadie and Walter to end the Mortlocks inappropriate behaviour.
One More Act of Responsibility
Another important act of responsibility displayed is when Walter, an Aboriginal who is not from Boort, shows integrity and courage when he tries to protect the sacred Dja Dja Wurrung land from being flooded by Gerald Mortlock. “Not my country. But this is my business.” (pg.89) Walter’s words demonstrate him as strong and respectful. He takes responsibility for what was right and stands up for the land. Walter takes responsibility for his previous actions and also demonstrates integrity when telling the truth about the incident.
In Crow Country, the stone circle represents the course of life and the physical connection indigenous Australians have with the land. Lachie displays a broad variety of positive qualities when faced with a prodigious obstacle such as his discrimination prejudice. He overcame his ego and stood up to help Sadie and Walter heel the wrongs of the past and stop it from repeating. Lachie helps save the land and also helps solve a strange mystery.
Sadie shows an act of bravery to include Jimmy in society and treat him as equal despite peer pressure and the cultural differences to right old wrongs and prevent history from repeating itself. As Sadie connects with the stories associated with the land, she starts to own the task set by Crow. Past Sadie proves her comprehension when she restrains her curiosity, not looking at Jimmy's special things and burying them where Crow indicated, protected by the “Blue Crane cigarette tin”. Not only tolerating Aboriginal culture, but embracing its values Sadie, in defiance of the law, breaks into the Mortlock’s house, as she understands the importance of Jimmy’s special things, The Hazards’, through their understanding, tolerance and inclusion of Aboriginal people and culture, portray Australians at their best.
By making many moral choices while inhabiting her great-aunt’s Sarah Louise’s body, Sadie seems to have transformed her great-aunt’s destiny to one full of adventure and success. The crow, however, neither confirms nor denies this—now that Sadie has fulfilled her obligations, her ability to communicate with the crows has ended. Nonetheless, Sadie now knows that Waa the Crow looks over, and protects the land and the heritage it contains. She also knows that beneath the surface of her everyday reality, a deeper, more ancient reality lurks.
Throughout the novel, the characters Sadie, Walter and Lachie have to overcome many difficult obstacles and difficulties. They achieve this by taking responsibility for their actions, forging a significant and powerful friendship, while demonstrating the acts of bravery and courage. The novel illustrates how these values and qualities help the characters to heal the wrongs of the past and make a positive change to the future.