While I Live Essay
“Conflict may be a way for the protagonist to gain a greater degree of self-knowledge.”
Conflict often helps the leading character to find out more about themselves. In the novel While I Live, by John Marsden, the main character, Ellie Linton has experienced a lot of conflict in her life. Ellie experiences all of the major forms of conflict. She has lived and fought throughout a war. She experiences the death of her parents and a very close family friend, this is an example of intrapersonal and international conflict (due to the fact that her parents and Mrs.Mackenzie, a close family friend were killed by the other countries commando’s). She has a traumatic dispute with Mr.Sayle, her financial adviser and she struggles with her own decisions about the future of her farm. Ellie discovers more about herself while undergoing all of this conflict. Ellie learns to be independent, take responsibility, to believe in herself and have more confidence.
In the war Ellie experienced mainly international conflict, with New Zealand and Australia on one side, and an unnamed country on the other. When the war ended Australia was divided into two parts, one belonging to Australia, and the other part belonging to the other country. In While I Live, Ellie goes across the border a few times, with a group known as “Liberation” to free captured Australians, and also her friend, Homer. While she is fighting she learns more about herself by discovering she has natural survival skills and fighting skills. “I realised in the middle of this just how quickly and easily I had slipped back into my wartime role” as we are told on page 157. This shows Ellie’s understanding of her talented military skills. On page 161 the book reads “…I could tell there was no real system of sentries”. This tells us that Ellie knows about things like this, whereas a normal person would see lots of people and not sentries. Also, you have to be a natural soldier to be able to see things...