How does Grenville use dialogue in the text? What are your initial impressions?
Read this selection of direct speech taken from pages 98-105. Observe its use. Consider what it can tell us about:
- characters (their dreams; views and values; relationships with others)
|Where the river comes out
They call this Broken Bay
River comes in yonder
Best hidden river in the world
Never find your way in nor you’d been shown like I’m showing you
Oysters, the shells
Suck the guts out, chuck the shells away. Been doing it since the year dot.
And fish! My word they get the fish.
Not putting none by.
Why would they? River ain’t going nowhere.
They seen us alright
Now they’re telling the others, up the line.
One thing you best know, only time we see them is when they want us to.
Come out on the Minstrel along of me
Burns the shells for the lime
Plus does a lot of mischief besides.
Damn your eyes, Smasher
Get on that other damned oar, Thornhill. Look sharp man.
Ain’t nothin in this world just for the taking.
A man got to pay a fair price for the taking.
Matter of give a little, take a little.
Got my place up there a ways.
Where that First Branch come in.
Got myself a pardon, be two years this summer
Best pardon money could buy.
Picked meself out a hundred acres.
Catch a few fish, grow a bit of corn, brew a bit of rotgut, I can please myself
Not a matter of ask up here mate
Get your backside on a bit of ground, sit tight. That’s all the asking you got to do.
I seen you looking
That back there
That ain’t no good
Give a little, take a little, that’s the only way
Otherwise you’re dead as a flea
|Not putting none by?
For tomorrow, like?
Where are they, then?
They give you a hundred acres just for the asking?
Got no argument with that
|Got the bugger!
Leaned that poxy thief
Learned him good and proper!
Look what I done
Last time that bugger thieves from me
- Sentence structure: read about sentence structure in this handout Tredinick-Subordinating_Sentences . Look particularly at Sentence Fragments as you consider dialogue since you will have noticed that these are predominantly sentence fragments.
- Write a 300 word piece that centres on an interaction between two characters from the text at a moment in time not recorded in the text (an imagined instance/a moment after the action of the book. The dialogue will sit within the description of setting and action. It should draw on what you have considered about the structure and nature of dialogue and what it can reveal. You can choose from the following pairs:
Mrs Herring and Sal
Dick and Thornhill
Sal and Dick
Sal and Long Jack
Blackwood and Dick
Bub and Dick
Dick and a stranger to the area