Long, Clear View by Tim Winton

In Long, Clear View by Tim Winton we have the theme of conflict, connection, disillusionment, control, identity and responsibility. Taken from his The Turning collection the story is narrated in the second person by a young twelve year old boy called Vic and from the beginning of the story the reader realizes that Winton may be exploring the theme of conflict. Vic has moved from the city to a small town and does not like it. He pines for his old life and finds it difficult to connect with others. There is a brief time when he likes an older girl and wishes he could hold her like he does his baby sister. Also he joins the school basketball theme before he is kicked out for lack of showing up for practice and games. This may be significant as the only connection that Vic has is through his school and family. Later in the story he rebels a little and becomes disillusioned with the townspeople.

This disillusionment may be important as Vic retreats into his parents’ bedroom to allow himself the opportunity to get comfortable or at least for him to feel comfortable by holding the rifle. The rifle plays an important part in the story as it represents not only comfort to Vic but it can be seen to symbolize control. Vic may feel, after the move to the town, that he is no longer in control of his life. Though he does have responsibilities for his sister there is an element of dissatisfaction within Vic. He is living in a town that he feels is full of secrets that he does not like. If anything Vic is critical of how others live there life. He believes that his mother is having a relationship with other policemen while his father is away and this leads to Vic feeling even more insecure than he is already feeling.

There may be other symbolism in the story which might be important. The young girl with the birthmark that Vic cannot stop thinking about could be seen to represent not only Vic’s desire for connection but his desire to love somebody who might help him feel better about who he is. Due to the circumstances that Vic finds himself in. He does not appear to be confident about who he is. Which may play on the theme of identity. Vic through internal conflict is unsure of who he is. This added to the fact that he is living in a new town brings pressure on Vic. Who appears to act drastically when it comes to his playing with the rifle. The wharf and the fire at school can be seen to be foreshadowing. With the trouble that those events bring being mirrored by Vic’s own troubles later on in the story. Family life for Vic is important even if at times he may feel conflicted towards his parents. The family represent stability for Vic. Something he is in need of now that he has moved to a new town. The title of the story also has some significance. It can be seen to highlight the cold stare that Vic has not only as he is standing behind the curtains but also it can be seen to represent the decisions that Vic has reached when it comes to the lives of those who live with secrets in the town.

The end of the story is interesting as Vic ends up going to extremes. Holding the rifle by the curtains of the window. It is as though Vic has lost his ability to connect altogether. He no longer can see people as people. Rather he views people as being no better than their secrets. This disconnection is significant as it suggests that Vic has gone over the edge and that he is no longer capable of living his life without being in control. However he is just twelve years old and cannot be expected to be in control of large parts of his life. Though the reader does not know what will happen next it is clear that things will not end in a healthy manner. If anything Vic has not only gone over the edge but he appears to blame others for his own inabilities. He is a policeman’s son and somewhat of a novelty to others yet he is still only a young boy who is finding it hard to adapt and accept the position he finds himself. Through no one else’s fault Vic has changed dramatically even if outwardly it looks like he is a caring and responsible young boy.

Cite Post
McManus, Dermot. "Long, Clear View by Tim Winton." The Sitting Bee. The Sitting Bee, 22 Sep. 2022. Web.

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