Peter Temple the Broken Shore Views and Values

983 words 4 pages
THE BROKEN SHORE

Peter Temple's acclaimed crime fiction novel 'The Broken Shore' chronicles the unfolding of a murder investigation on the rugged Victorian coastline through the eyes of a morally flexible small town cop. The novel showcases the complex social structures apparent in contemporary rural Victoria, particularly focusing on the often shaky relations between anglo and indigenous Australians. It also addresses the segregation between the have's and the have not's within society and the institutions that separate the social classes and explores the intricacies of the arguably broken Australian/Victorian legal system. Temple uses Joe Cashin, his lone-crusader type protagonist, to assert his view that the justice system
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Perhaps it is the very fact that Cashin operates of the outskirts of society that allows him to look past the idiosyncrasies (-does this word make sense here?) of small town life and challenge the conventional attitudes of his peers. Cashin's moral flexibility and emotional instability are what makes him human and relatable, he truly is a reflection of the archetypal Australian male.

There are a number of subplots in 'The Broken Shore' which succinctly explore a handful of other issues facing Australian society. One such issue is that of homosexuality and the homophobia that accompanies it. About midway through the text we are introduced to Cashins brother Michael right after he has attempted suicide after being outed as gay and opts to take his own life over facing the repercussions of his sexual orientation. Temple also uses the failed and/or fractured marriages of characters like Villani and Sybil to comment on the current state of the institution of marriage in Australia. It isn't quite clear whether Temple is saying that it is marriage itself which is at fault, as an outdated institution, or whether it is the hedonistic young lovers who subscribe to it on a whim that are to blame. The portrayal of Villani's marriage, in which he confesses to Cashin neither he nor his wife is faithful, is just one example of the unfortunate reality of modern day marriages. through the cliched romance

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