Rob Coram is six years old when, during World War II, Japanese forces threaten his isolated corner of the world—the rural coastal farmlands of Western Australia. For the next three and a half years, he grows up constantly fretting about the safety of his cousin and hero, Rick Maplestead. After Rick’s return from the war, the friendship is reestablished, but Rick is not the carefree young man he was, and Rob’s intellectual and emotional growth are affected by his friend’s outlook.
Rob and his immediate family live in Geraldton, a town about 250 miles north of Perth, while most other members of the Coram-Maplestead clan, which is well established in the Geraldton area, live in the country on large sheep stations. Rick Maplestead is twenty years old when he ships off to war just as Rob’s family moves to the country for greater safety. Much to Rob’s distress, nothing is heard of Rick until near the war’s end, when a comrade comes home and reports seeing Rick alive, in a prison camp in Thailand.
During Rick’s absence, Rob leads a relatively normal boy’s life. Despite occasional air-raid warnings, the evacuation proves largely precautionary. Rob takes the opportunity to exercise a keen curiosity about the countryside and the lives of his landed relatives. He also gains an appreciation of his heritage. Some of his relatives are old enough to recall the pioneers who established the Corams and Maplesteads in a desolate region peopled...
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Merry-Go-Round by Langston Hughes
512 WordsJan 31st, 20182 Pages
The child wants to ride the merry-go-round, but has a problem finding the back. From where the child comes from, Jim Crow laws segregate the blacks from the whites. This poem has a lot of depth and meaning, although it sounds very simple. It also tells us the mindset of most blacks in the South in the days of segregation. I chose this poem because the boy’s innocence was touching and its deep meaning was very powerful. In the beginning, the child asks, “Where is the Jim Crow section on this merry-go-round, mister, cause I want to ride?” in lines 1-3. Jim Crow laws are laws that segregate the blacks from the whites, so you can infer that the Jim Crow section is solely for the blacks. If you go to a carnival right now, colored children won’t be asking for the direction to the Jim Crow section. This points out that in the old days, blacks had to sit in different sections than the whites. The child then continues to say, “Down South where I come from white and colored can’t sit side by side.” In lines 4-6. As I said above, blacks had to sit in separate sections away from the whites down in the South. In addition, this tells you how sever racism was in the South because even a child knows that blacks and whites were supposed to be segregated. The child continues on and says, “Down South on the train there’s a Jim Crow car. On the bus we’re put in the back, but there ain’t no back to a…