Cloudstreet Division Reconciliation Essay

Cloudstreet is a post colonial text primarily concerned with the exploration of division and reconciliation. Discuss.
Cloudstreet is a postcolonial novel written and read in the postcolonial era so it particularly lends itself to a postcolonial interpretation. It engages postcolonial readers through the examination of issues related to the fact that Australia is a colony. Winton particularly focuses on the issues regarding national identity such as Reconciliation and Division between the characters.
In the text, Winton’s use of the timeless theme of a search for a sense of belonging gives Cloudstreet value. All of the characters in the text are searching for some sort of physical or psychological sense of belonging, and most of them seem to find this within their own family. We can see this when the character of Quick leaves home because he can not cope with the constant conflict and searched for a better life. Many of you may see a parallel to the biblical story of the ‘prodigal son’ (a story of a young man who leaves his family and lives a life of pleasure and sin, only to return to his family a depressed and poverty stricken man), here, Winton comments that a true sense of belonging can only be achieved by the acceptance of one’s place in society and an environment which is supportive. However, Quick returning home and the ‘prodigal son’ story contrast if we read it according to a feminist interpretation. When Quick returns home, he is greeted by his mother, Oriel, not the patriarchal father figure depicted in the biblical story. Here, Winton is challenging traditional gender roles by empowering the women in the text. The dominance of Oriel in her family is revealed in her reaction to Quick’s homecoming and the governing tone in her comment to her husband Lester: “Get your mouth outta gear and help me get him inside”
Characterization and Australian language and humour are important devices used by Winton which set a uniquely Australian tone in the exploration...