Cloudstreet Oriel and Dolly similar

1032 words 5 pages
Text response homework:
“Dolly and Oriel have more in common than they realise.’’

Tim Winton’s novel Cloudstreet presents two seemingly dissimilar families that are forced to live together in the same house. This piece of fiction contrasts many characters with diverse morals and behaviours, in particular the two mothers of the families, Dolly Pickles and Oriel Lamb. Beneath the surface, these women have more in common than they realise, especially when it concerns gaining power, suffering trauma, their partners, experiencing loss and their home.
The characters Dolly and Oriel both display the need for power in their separate lives. Dolly and Oriel are alike in that they both crave power over people. Oriel is in charge of her entire
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Rose saw her fall against the gate, grabbing at Fish who didn’t move, who just looked across the road where no one was, straight as a board with his mother’s arms around him.” Oriel struggles with this as if it is a loss of her son, and in the conclusion of the novel Fish actually dies by drowning. Dolly shares this loss of a son with Oriel as she loses the child she loved most, Ted, after he dies from weight problems leading to a heart attack, “they killed my baby! Him, he was the one I loved …” It is impossible to say that these two characters have nothing in common when they have both lost a son that they love.
In the end of the novel, the house on Cloudstreet is what brings these two supposedly opposite women together and shows the reader their connection. Oriel confronts Sam about the idea of selling the house on Cloudstreet and expresses her fondness for the property, to which Dolly says, “She’s right. Yer right. She muttered, unable to look Oriel in the eye. The bloody place has got to us.” Dolly and Oriel have an aversion to each other throughout the novel because they seem so opposed, but in the conclusion of the novel they surrender to their differences, which in actuality are their resemblances, “The little boxy woman and the big blowsy woman folded end to end till the tent was a parcel that they


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