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Word Count: 1,307
Cloudstreet by Winton is a saga following the life paths of two struggling families sharing accommodation in a gloomy house but living separate lives Sagas are not however confined to family life Cloudstreet is also a historical novel in its detailed evocation of Western Australian society through two turbulent decades after World War II Notwithstanding Cloudstreet has epic qualities which dislocates it from the particularities of time and setting Responders are able to sense Wintons desire to confront them with values intrinsic to human life such as love through discord and differences The fundamental question is not however the correct reception of the text rather the values the responders bring to the text to shape its meaning Already early in the saga it is apparent that the Cloud Street house represents the Australian continent This idea is crystallised on the arrival of the Pickles family where Winton employs the language of colonial exploration The Pickleses moved around in the night stunned and shuffling They have no money and this great continent of a house doesnt belong to them Theyre lost These images are reminiscent of the Australian continent with its vast interiors its barrens and its seemingly unforgiving character Further this representation is manifested when the Pickless tenants the Lambs arrives When Lester Lamb recalls the Margaret River Winton personifies that the house moaned This creates an explicit link between the alienated land and its indigene with the haunting of the Cloud Street house Oriel also comments Strangeness is ordinary theres been queerness all our life This strangeness and queerness is a consequence of colonial usurpation of Australia which prevents the full sense of belonging for the whitefellas Though equally valid there are many other symbols other than the house that reinforce a different perception such a symbol is the river The river is a symbol for bonding differences between people as much of the novels important action - the scenes where the characters
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