Tom Brennan

‘Resilience determines the success of an individual’s transition from one phrase of life to another’

Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from setbacks. ‘The Story of Tom Brennan’, by JC Burke, is a novel which follows the main character, Tom, and his family, who deal with the dramatic event that the oldest son, Daniel, creates in a drink driving accident.
An important theme that is carried throughout this text is drink driving and how events have effects on many people surrounding it, not only on the direct victims but also the strong theme of conflict runs deep throughout the novel. JC Burke has structured this novel in a way that does not deal with the customary experiences of the victims family, but instead focuses on the ‘murderers’ family, how each individual deals with crisis, and how such events can have a lasting and strong impact, much deeper than an observer naturally sympathizes with.

Daniel’s is one of a stubborn and aggressive teenage boy who overestimates his capabilities and develops raging jealousy towards his cousin Fin, over his sporting abilities and school girl, Claire. This results in the tragic events of the ‘sudden death’ party where 2 teenagers are killed, and Fin is left a paraplegic at the expense of Daniel’s stupidity. Irony is used in calling the match that St. Johns has to play in order to have a place at the final in the Wattle Shield, the ‘sudden death’ match, as the resulting after party leaves two individuals suddenly dead. When the ‘sudden death’ accident occurred, Tom was never able to be the same, “Above all the silence, was the piercing sound of death.” This quote shows Tom’s un-preparedness in this situation and that it is something he has never experienced before. The ‘piercing’ sound [of death] shows that he is so overcome by this situation that he suddenly becomes unaware of anything else. This is a major scene of the novel as it determines and changes the future of the Brennan’s life and for tom,...