Walkabout Essay, Research Paper
by James Vance Marshall
A Book Report By
Mary and Peter were very lucky. They survived a plane crash that annihilated many others. But they had to pay a big price because the survived the crash.. They would have to live in the Australian Outback for seven weeks. Those seven weeks would be exhausting, hard, and full of instruction. The things they learned would prove to be very useful skills in their later life.
In the seven weeks that Mary and Peter were stuck in the Australian dessert they live with an Aboriginal boy out on his walkabout. Walkabout is a six-eight week trip which Aboriginal boys go on to prove their manhood. They also find their spiritual animal on this trip.
At first, Mary is very worried. She hopes Peter won t see it in her because she does not need him to be very worried at the time. They find a little ecosystem with fruit, water, and shade. They decide to wait here as long as they can. Good Choice. In a few days a Aboriginal boy comes around. Just in time too, for they just ran out of fruit and water. The Aboriginal boy is very fascinated with them. He laughs at their actions and pleas for water. Then, things get desperate. Peter starts to riot. He says Please, Water, Water, Water! He makes motions to his mouth. The Aboriginal laughs and says Arkooloola! Ha Ha. Yeemara. Kurura.
(Water! Ha Ha. Food. Follow Me.) And so their journey begins.
For many days and weeks they walk, stopping occasionally to drink, play, or eat food. By day the aboriginie hunts kangaroo, or other rodent animals. By night they sit by the fire watching the rodents cook. They eat their share and drink water until they fall asleep. In the morning they are off walking again. This went on for weeks on end. Until the aboriginal got sick. He sat by the fire and refused to get up. In his point of view, his time had come to die the lubra looked at him with the death look in her eye s. In the last few minutes of his time on the earth, he told Peter were to find food and water. He died sometime that night.
Then Mary and Peter were on their own. They set off over the hill were the Aboriginal boy said they could find food and water. In the mountains they cooked their first self caught meal. They ate Yabbies, that were hidden in the mud of a pool. They stirred up the pool, choking the yabbies and forcing them to come out. They killed them by hitting them in the head with rocks. They cooked them and ate. For water, they cut reeds and plugged the ends up with moss. The water was filtered and came up clean and smooth. They slept.
In the morning they got up and walked.They walked for two days straight. Then they came to a cliff. Up the cliff they climbed. Then at the top they saw their vision. The clouds parted and they saw food and water. There were Billabongs, hundreds of them. Then the clouds parted and they stumbled on, smiling. They stayed in the valley for several days. One morning when they woke up, Mary noticed a thin line of smoke coming up from behind several trees. She woke Peter and together they watched the smoke rise and fall. Suddenly Mary realized that it was a smoke signal. She and Peter made a fire and put out smoke signals in return. A black man and his daughter appeared from behind a tree. They communicated with motions and tried to with words. Then after a little while the Aboriginal man motioned for Mary and Peter to follow him. He led them to a house. Then he and the girl left. Mary and Peter looked at each other and walked toward the house. That was the end of the book.
All the characters in the book Walkabout are different in their own unique ways. Mary is a loving, caring person who is kind to animals. At first she is afraid of the bush boy. Then she learns to trust him. She has good judgment and is smart but, throughout the book, she doesn’t ever pick up the habit for exploring and hunting in the wild like Peter does. Peter he has an eight year old’s attitude. He has the as a matter of fact tone of voice. In the book, he picks up the exploring and hunting in the wild habit very quickly. He enjoys it and he knows he s doing it. Peter also is a natural leader. He naturally leads Mary through the mountains. But when there is an option to play, he immediately gives everything up for it. The aboriginal boy is a very hard character to describe. Because he is from a different culture than Mary or Peter, he can t communicate very well, he cant play very well, and he also finds the lubra frightening. All this makes him hard to describe. The boy comes from a very primitive race. He is very stupid compared to Mary s race, but he is very smart for the Aboriginal race. He knows just what is needed to survive, and how to have fun, nothing but. He is swift in hunting but gentle in play. He is a good teacher but is sometimes impatient.
Walkabout was a very interesting book to read. It entertained me with its vast descriptions, while egging me on with its exploration. I enjoyed the ending. Wonce they had reached the Billabong, everything I didn t like about the book just cleared up. I would read the book again. Although it is not the type of book I usually enjoy, I enjoyed this one. I would strongly recommend this book to those who like nature adventure books!