Tomorrow When the War Began

Published: 2021-07-28 00:50:06
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When the War Began,” is an Australian novel that represents how eight ordinary teenagers respond to a surprise invasion. John Marsden’s greatest strength as a writer is his grasp of character; once again he has created and constructed powerful compelling characters that appeal to the reading audience in many different ways. He appeals to the reader by using the following techniques, first person narrative, constructive characters, morality and leadership.
John Marsden has many different, creative ways to write a story, but in this case he has chosen to write “Tomorrow, When the War Began” with one of the main characters (Ellie) narrating from first person. Ellie (the story teller) is a seventeen-year-old country girl, born and raise on a cattle and sheep farm. Ellie is a natural leader, she doesn’t choose to be, that’s just the way she is. On page 20, Ellie show her first sign of leadership as they climbing their way down Satan’s Steps, Ellie gives a motivational speech saying, “Guys, I don’t know if its possible or not but there’s plenty of people round Wirrawee who say it is.
If you believe the stories, there was an old ex-murderer lived in there for six years – the Hermit from Hell. If some pensioner can do it we sure can. I think we should give it our best shot. Lets make like dressmakers and get the tuck in there. ” The signs of leader ship shown in this speech are, encouragement and a never give up attitude. This makes Ellie connect to the audience because she is strong, confident, motivational character. Another appealing aspect is how the book goes on the characters change, they emerge from their average selves to leaders/warriors that take on roles and do things they wouldn’t have done before.
For example, on page 90 when Ellie blew up three soldiers by setting fire to a ride on mower, she didn’t won’t to do it but she had too, if she wanted save her friends. Another main character to step up and take leadership was Homer. Homer started off as a troublemaker, a joker. He would always get up to mischief, but as the war goes on he matures quickly and become leader full of tactical plans. For example on page 249 Homer came up with a cunning plan to blow up the bridge by using the same method Ellie had with the lawn mower.
The war made Homer change for good, and also helped him reveal the hidden leader inside of him. Homer wasn’t the only one to mature, all of the eight teenagers did. They had a tough time and saw horrible things that no one should have to see, but it was these experiences that helped them mature and become stronger characters for the future. They are all brave and over come their fears, some quicker than others. On page 240 Fi says, “I know logically that we should do this and we should do that.
But all I know is the thought of anything makes my nose bleed. All I really want to do is go to the hermits hut and hide under his mouldy bead till this is over. ” This shows how scared Fi really is during the war, but then she overcomes her fear and goes with Ellie to get the oil tanker to blow up the bridge. The whole group was courageous with the approach they had of fighting back and even though they had their hick ups along the way they managed to pull through as a group to blow up bridge.
Ellie struggles with what is right and wrong, but these are the questions that form an important and moving part of the early novel. She says “I had blood on my hands, like the Hermit, and just as I couldn’t tell whether his actions were good or bad, so too I couldn’t tell what mine were. Had I killed out of love for my friends, as part of a noble crusade to rescue friends and family and keep our land free? Or had I killed because I valued my life above that of others? Would it be OK for me to kill a dozen others to keep myself alive?
A hundred? A thousand? At what point did I condemn myself to Hell, if I hadn’t already done so? The Bible just said ‘Thou shalt not kill’, then told hundreds of stories of people killing each other and becoming heroes, like David and Goliath. That didn’t help me much. I didn’t feel like a criminal, but I didn’t feel like a hero either. Ellie believes she has done the wrong thing by killing the soldiers, but later in the book Home states “this is war now and normal rules don’t apply.
These people have invaded our land, locked up our families. The moment they left their country to come here they knew what they were doing. They’re the ones who tore up the rule book, not us. ” This explains that if they want to survive they have to push the boundaries and forget about their morals. John Marsden has effectively created eight teenage characters appeal to his reading audience. Using his writing skills and techniques he develops his characters to grow, mature and learn from their experiences, which helps them survive.

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