Presentation on theme: "The Shark Net and Whose Reality?"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Shark Net and Whose Reality? Connections between text and context
2 MemoirThe Shark Net is a memoir. Reality and its representation play a major role in the writing of memoirs or autobiography. Memoirs have three layers of reality: the present, the past, and the remembering of these.As a memoir, The Shark Net is a sub-genre of autobiography, generally less inward looking, focusing on re-creating setting and a feeling of the time and place being remembered.Taken from an article on The Shark Net by Janet Strachan published in Insight Guide
3 Memoir- Narrator versus subject The difficulty of discretely identifying these layers of reality lies in separating the reality of the subject – the one being written about – from the reality of the self – the one who does the writing. In other words, there is a gap between the reality of Robert Drewe the adult writer (in the present) and the reality of Robert, the little boy and young man (in the past) who appears as a character in the text.Taken from an article on The Shark Net by Janet Strachan published in Insight Guide
4 The reliability of the narrator How accurate is Drewe’s picture of his childhood and adolescence?By their nature, all memoirs present a subjective reality. Memoirs are often more fiction than fact because memory is selective and details of a remembered event are often lost.Taken from an article on The Shark Net by Janet Strachan published in Insight Guide.Drewe has selected memories from his childhood. His perception of these have been reshaped by becoming an adult and hindsight.
5 The reliability of the narrator There have to be some fictional aspects to Drewe’s re-creation of events in which he is a young boy, even if this is only in the selection process – that is, in what Drewe chooses to recall in print.What does Drewe select? What memories has he focused on to construct his memoir?Taken from an article on The Shark Net by Janet Strachan published in Insight GuideDrewe’s parents will have a different perception and reality of the events he is recalling,
6 Constructing reality- the writer’s craft The memoir is full of details that transport us into the sights, sounds, feelings and smells of the author’s childhood world. This is the adult self, the experienced journalist and wordsmith creating the illusion that these details are factual descriptions of the past.Taken from an article on The Shark Net by Janet Strachan published in Insight Guide
7 Memoir- Re-shaping reality “This is both a book of memory and my portrait of a place and time. Memory may falter and portraiture is a highly subjective endeavour, but I have tried to tell a truthful story.” pg 361The Shark Net’s epigraphs enhance this idea that reality can be reshaped, in particular, the quotation from Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros: ‘You can only predict things after they have happened.’Drewe indicates that he has selected the memories of his childhood and adolescence in the light of what happened to him in later life. His experiences as an adult have reshaped his perception of the past.Taken from an article on The Shark Net by Janet Strachan published in Insight Guide
8 Memoir- Re-shaping reality Although the setting – Perth in the 1950s and 1960s – has an objective, historical reality, Drewe’s memory of a sunny, seaside childhood is shadowed by a retrospective guilt about his mother’s death. This guilt provides the text with a different kind of reality that is both personal and psychological.In what ways does Drewe’s guilt present itself? Where in the text can you tell that he feels this way?His guilt makes him feel like he is a murderer, that he is responsible for her death.Eric Cooke becomes Drewe ‘alter ego’ as he personifies the murderer he feels himself to be after the death of his mother.THEREFORE HIS GUILT HAS ALTERED HIS PERCEPTION AND MEMORY OF THE TIME.
9 Truth versus fictionIt is assumed that nonfiction is more ‘real’ than fiction, but it is sometimes more difficult to determine ‘whose reality’ is presented in a story such as The Shark Net than it might be in a purely fictional work.Because a persons truth is sometimes hard to discover.
10 What are the multiple realities presented in this text? Ways of reading / Ways of writing The ‘multiple realities’ at work in ‘The Shark Net’While The Shark Net has one author – Robert Drewe – it depicts multiple realities.It is the work of a reporter, attempting to re-create a specific place and time.It is, however, reported on in retrospect, so this reality is distorted by the selectiveness of memory and the inevitable way in which we see things differently in the future from how they happened in the past.What are the multiple realities presented in this text?What are the multiple realities that are presented in this text?
11 Ways of reading / Ways of writing The ‘multiple realities’ at work in ‘The Shark Net’ The Shark Net is also a personal memoir, distorted by Drewe’s feelings of guilt.It is a ‘true crime’ story, distorted by sensationalism and the conventions of thriller writing.And it is a satire, shaped by exaggeration for the sake of humour.How would guilt distort Drewe’s reality?How would ‘guilt’ distort Drewe’s reality?
12 Ways of reading / Ways of writing The ‘multiple realities’ at work in ‘The Shark Net’ The Shark Net is also a literary memoir, employing symbol and metaphor to describe realityThe ‘shark net’ that fails to protect Perth and Drewe from danger and death is its primary literary construct.