– Legend Essay, Research Paper
Lockie Leonard ? Legend demonstrates how different characters can resolve similar conflicts using different coping skills. The conflicts faced by the characters and their final resolutions promote certain values, both from the character?s point of view, and the author?s. Lockie & Sarge are viewed as conscious characters and perceive the seriousness of the situation in the novel. Foregrounding and privileging are utilized in Lockie Leonard ? Legend in the instance of Nan & Pop, by positioning them as negative characters in the novel. In the opening paragraph, the general theme of the novel is set by introducing the author?s use of dolphins as a symbol of the importance of family. The shark may be considered as an omen, a representation of Mrs Leonard?s sickness. Throughout the novel, the author creates the characters, in a way that promotes the values of family and how they must stick together to survive.
Lockie is the main character, a kid who lives in a small coastal town and his mum has to go to hospital suffering from stress and Lockie has to take over her household duties. He not only misses his mum, he?s confused, and feels guilt that maybe he and his family caused her illness. On top of this he is overwhelmed by the job he has to take on ? stepping in on the role of his mum. An example of this caring nature is in the chapter, Lashings of Toast (pg 27), when he looks for something for dinner when his mum was acting unusually. This sets the tone for Lockie?s behavior and character throughout the novel. This shows the responsibility and maturity on Lockie?s part. Instead of doing his own thing, he prepares dinner for his brother and sister, and then organizes Phillip to clean up while Lockie puts Blob to bed. Lockie does this because he is concerned about how his mum is acting and he is trying to alleviate the situation.
As Mrs Leonard?s husband, Sarge has a somewhat similar conflict to Lockie, although there is a little more to it. Again, his frustration is aroused from his wife?s admittance to hospital; however instead of him just losing a mother, a carer and housewife, he?s lost his life partner, his wife. He has to juggle between keeping his job, looking after his children and being supportive for his sick wife. His optimistic nature derived from his humorous persona helps to hold the family together through out the family?s conflict. Although there are private times, when he finds it all too much, Sarge also finds strength in his son, Lockie and his initiative to uphold the family.
Mrs Leonard?s parents; Nan and Pop were asked by Sarge in desperation, to come to Angelus and help with the family. Their values conflict with the family?s; a visual instance of this, is when they arrived, all they had with them was ??two huge, tartan golf bags. Two teeny over-night bags, just big enough to get a tooth brush and some denture glue into? a family crisis and they bring the golf goodies, (Pg 70)? and, this highlights two things: their different priorities from the family?s and in terms of family; selfishness. Nan and Pop?s uncaring for the family, and selfish nature portrays them as negative characters and thus highlights the other characters? values, rather then theirs. When Lockie over-hears Sarge?s argument with Nan and Pop, he hears something that surprises him: ?I think Joy deserves a little more respect and support. That goes for the kids, too. It?s been hard for them with this transfer. They?re not spoilt or soft. They?re heroes, as far as I?m concerned. All of them. They could teach you a thing or two.(Pg 98)? This conflict between Sarge, and Nan and Pop not only gives them the message that they are a hindrance, not a help and to go home, but it also unites Lockie and Sarge and re-enforces the family unit, against Nan and Pop (the ?enemy?), promoting the value of strong family relationships.
Lockie?s actions promote selflessness and caring for others. Instead of Lockie simply walking away and giving up on the situation, he attempts to help out and mend it. The chapter Lashings of Toast, demonstrates how Lockie?s acts of caring for others and unselfishness positions the reader to value these particular views. For example, when Lockie takes the day to spend time with his little sister, Blob: ?Blob?s cot was moved into the boys? room… made spaghetti out of Lockie?s tapes and gnawed Phillip?s baseball cards, but neither lost his temper? They piggybacked her, rolled on the floor with her? They did it all like heroes. (Pg 48)? The compassion and caring displayed by Lockie and his brother is a perfect example of how Lockie, as a tool of the author, values unselfishness and caring for others, as well as how spending time with family members is a very important aspect of family relationships.
Sarge?s family values are also displayed by his reaction to Mrs Leonard?s sickness. He did a number of remarkable things, which are sure signs of a reliable, loving and caring father and husband. To begin with, as soon as Mrs Leonard was unable to take care of the kids, and do the housework; he took time off work to attempt to take over her role, and give Lockie a break. The chapter A Bit of Fresh Air (page 57) demonstrates this. Another instance, which highlights Sarge?s understanding and caring for Lockie, is when he organizes for a constable to take Lockie to the hospital, to visit his mum for the first time since her admittance to hospital (Pg 109). This unique father/son relationship between Sarge and Lockie is a very significant thing in the author?s portrayal of Sarge?s family values.
The promotion of a character?s values can be conveyed via both their actions, and their interactions with other characters. The conflicts faced by Lockie and Sarge, in Lockie Leonard ? Legend are coped with, and resolved by the characters using their unselfish and caring natures. The fact that these particular traits of a character helped them to overcome their problems promotes these values and thus, gives the reader an important message about life. If the characters were able to get through a rough patch in their lives by reaching out to others, and valuing a strong family relationship, why shouldn?t the readers?