Question 8: Analyze how one or more events had a powerful impact on a main character
Title: In the rubbish tin
Author: Apirana Taylor
In the rubbish tin, the short story by Apirana Taylor shows the views of humans in a negative light that showcases no heroes in the story. We learn that children and many women in our society become victims of domestic violence as this is accepted and “normal” which leads to drug abuse and child neglect. Phillipa becomes trapped in a rubbish tin at the end, effectively symbolizing the way she along with her mother and father seem to be trapped on the rubbish heap because they cannot escape the negative aspects of their life due to the constant cycle of violence. The author highlights the harsh reality of life as Phillipa mother Ruth tries to escape hardships of dealing with family violence and drugs/alcohol. By exploring the ideas of how Ruth uses drugs and alcohol for a way out to escape the reality of her abusive and violent relationship with Rolf , these two events create a powerful impact on how she is as a person. The author uses the language features of Metaphor, extended metaphor, dialogue and symbolism to show this theme.
The first event that had a powerful impact on the main character of Ruth, Phillipa’s mother, was the terrible cycle of her abusive and violent relationship with Rolf on how she often faced the consequences of being physically hurt. The evidence that can be used to support the idea is through the language feature of a metaphor through the quote “An aching power burning in Rolf’s fists’ '. This idea is able to convey the horror present in the anger that is portrayed throughout the action of Rolf as we can understand that the rage is filled with negative emotions. The use of metaphor is used to portray the relationship that had created difficult challenges for Ruth to face in her life as she is abused, creating a trauma that is faced against her life to feel hopeless and weak. The cycle of violence and how it has been neglected is seen to be continued as this ends up being a normality for Philippi as another example is through the use of the language features dialogue, she quotes “You know what Chubby? When me and you grow up we will be like mum and dad” while being trapped in the rubbish bin. The author’s purpose behind the use of the language feature of metaphor is to show the frequent emotions that are influenced by the violence, showing Rolf as a tempered man seen to be a monster, creating a shadow behind Rolf as it controls her life to be someone kicked around like a doll, turning a blindside on how she would feel as this can be seen from the quote “Rolf grabbed the hair at the back of Rolfs neck”. This can be translated back as it interrelates towards how Phillipa treats her doll Chubby the same way as it mirrors the actions of her father Rolf, showing the cycle of violence throughout the family by wanting to be like her mother and father when she grows up as she punches it shown through the quote “There, Chubby. That’s what you get. Just like dad does”. Through the author’s purpose, it made me understand the portrayal on how it uses Rolf as a symbolism of a monster to enhance the portrayal of him being an abusive person as it is described for him to be seen as someone full of hatred and cruelty, wanting the desire for control over Rolf. We learn the bloodshed and tears of the experience Rolf faces through her relationship with Rolf as it shapes her life to feel hopeless and how it influences their child to act the same way as Phillipa a herself walks into a different world of slowly transitioning into a monster where one won’t be recognized to be innocent.
In the second event that had a powerful impact on the main character of Ruth. Phillipa mother experienced the consequences as she felt the emotional and physical impact of the abuse as this has changed her behavior to undergo a result of change that has changed her perspective on life as it influences her actions as she follows into the pathway of using drugs and alcohol as a human desire to get away from her nightmares of responsibilities and pain. The evidence that can be used to support the idea is through the language feature of an extended metaphor through the quote “Drowning in an ocean of liquor” and “nibbled away her brain” as the drugs invaded her mind. This idea is used to convey how the use of drugs and alcohol was a way for her to cope as it eased her mind into a peaceful and calm world where her nightmares were washed away by the consumption. It helps her with alcohol and drugs as a means of escaping the harsh contours of reality, seeking a mind of peace in the temporary substances that seem to offer that escape. In the swirling depths of intoxication, the complexities of her personal and societal pressures blur into a distant haze, allowing for a fleeting escape from her negative Emotions. The author’s purpose behind the use of the language feature is to show that the language feature of the symbolism of the rubbish tin was highly effective in showing how difficult it can be for innocent victims to break out of the cycle and how they often retreat to their own fantasy world to escape the nightmare they hope for to stop. Through the author’s purpose, it made me understand the portrayal on how the coping mechanisms of Rolf using alcohol and drugs to escape from reality, by neglecting her daughter we understand that this has caused the trauma of Phillipa to get neglected as Rolf slowly started to dysfunction from reality in order to cope with the struggles of her abusive relationship. It shows how the symbol of the rubbish tin was highly effective in showing how difficult it can be for innocent victims to break out of the cycle and how they often retreat to their own fantasy world to escape the nightmare they hope for to stop. Many women in society are often trapped in a world where domestic violence creates fear and a loss of who they are as a person as the terror of being scared keeps their mouths shut, creating a cycle of the violence to continue as they instead create barriers to help them cope without further hurting them. This can be seen through our community in NZ where our society still has huge domestic violence and child abuse issues, ranking at 4th place for the highest rate present in our world. This creates an increase of individuals to become alcoholic in our community while also putting children at risk as the constant cycle has created a dysfunctional family environment for children such as Phillipa to end up learning that this is a normal thing to do to people they love.
In conclusion, the author uses the language features of Metaphor, extended metaphor, dialogue and symbolism to enhancive show the 2 powerful events that have had an impact towards Rolf to become a dysfunctional parent who, like her daughter, struggles to find a way out of her situation and by showing Ruth’s decline into alcohol and drugs. This is done through the author’s purpose to explain and show how problematic the situation can do to damage innocent children who end up facing the same thing as they go through a continuous cycle of violence. This can be seen through our community in NZ where our society has high levels of neglect towards violence and child abuse issues with a ranking at 4th place for the highest rate present in our world. This idea heavily interrelates to the wider society on the ideas how many women and children are victims and are often trapped in violent situations where society drowns them to face these challenges with no help as they a forced to be one in the heap of rubbish, where life and happiness is nowhere as they hide within the darkness underneath the rubbish tin.