The dominant image in the story is fire, which appears in the beginning as Ned watches a group on the beach build a bonfire and, at the end, when the museum is set ablaze. The fires provide an ironic tension in the story as they suggest both destruction and positive change. Both the bonfire and the museum fire represent outside forces that have the potential to disrupt the Tyler family, but at the same time, they also provide a cathartic and unifying influence. Initially, the bonfire presents tension through Ned’s response to it as he fails to get support from Write an autobiographical essay exploring tensions within your family. Note whether the tensions were resolved and if so, how.
Read another story from Dream Stuff , and prepare a presentation for the class comparing and contrasting that story’s use of the dream motif with that of “Great Day.” Do some research on the national holidays of Australia and how aborigines may feel about them or observe them. Write a paper on your findings.
Visit a small, local museum, and learn about a local family whose artifacts may be housed there. Write a paper on this family, describing its contribution to the local area and describing some of the items belonging to the family you saw in the museum.
his family for his contention that the group on the beach is breaking the rules. His eventual acceptance of the bonfire helps Ned become less rigid in his thinking. The bonfire also enables Fran to realize her connection to the Tyler family: she imagines herself enclosed in the circle of light it offers, the same comforting “light that fills the world.” Malouf connects the bonfire to the museum fire as he describes the glowing embers of each at the story’s close. Initially, the museum fire causes a similar tension in that it is the result of outside forces, here specifically more threatening ones. Yet as Audley watches the artifacts of his past be destroyed by the fire, he comes to recognize the importance of what is left behind. In both cases, the fire draws a circle of people around it, emphasizing connection between those who form the circle.
Ira Mark Milne – Short Stories for Students – Presenting Analysis, Context & Criticism on Commonly Studied Short Stories, vol. 24, David Malouf, Published by Gale Group, 2006