Journey- Patricia Grace, the People Before- Maurice Shadbolt (Lack of Clear Outcome

1540 Words Nov 4th, 2011 7 Pages
Analyse how the lack of a clear outcome in at least TWO short stories you have studied makes the stories successful for you:
Journey by Patricia Grace and The People Before by Maurice Shadbolt both look at land confiscation and compensation cases that occurred during the early colonization of New Zealand and their modern relevance today. Although both these authors approach this similar topic differently, both stories lack a clear outcome. This is particularly effective for us as readers because it causes us to revaluate our preconceptions and prejudices regarding this issue and draw our own conclusions. We quickly discover the difficulty of reaching a truly successful outcome, and can therefore see the relevance that these types of cases
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Because, in the beginning, Shadbolt presents the father as a likeable and respected character, he lays down a foundation of conflict, because our loyalties to the two sides become so divided that we wish both parties could simply live on the land, yet we know this is not possible. We, the reader, are left with a sense of loss at the lack of conclusion drawn by the author, with the tribe returning to their new homes and the father feeling that “the land itself had heaped some final indignity upon him” which eventually leads him to sell the farm. Because neither party here comes out better off as a result of the confrontation, we are left to puzzle over the ways we would have resolved this issue, therefore because a Shadbolt did not simply present us with a resolution, he effectively showed us the complication of these types of scenario’s which make them very relevant today.
Whilst The People Before approaches this issue from a white boy’s perspective two generations after the confiscations occurred, Journey, by Patricia Grace approaches this issue completely differently. The story set in present tense and is centred from within…

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