Fly Away Peter

The Search For Identity in Fly Away Peter 11th Grade

Jim’s search for identity throughout David Malouf’s novel Fly Away Peter is represented largely through his actions and interactions with others, as well as through his thoughts and interests. One of the strongest representations of this search is seen when he goes to Brisbane, where he finds himself being swept along in the excitement of war and the reader sees in him what he calls “an alternative” (39) or a new “steady and sure” (39) side to himself. He later ponders about the war and “all this action” (41), thinking to himself, “Maybe it concerned him, maybe it didn’t. So much of what a man was existed within and was known only to himself” (41). This can be seen as a turning point for Jim, as here it can be seen that he recognizes that he must make his own identity. Despite this he later thinks, “Nothing has changed” (41); however, soon after the reader sees him “strok[ing] his upper lip, where for two days now he had been nursing the beginning of a moustache” (43) a sure sign that he was beginning to make or find his own identity. The identity of the characters within Fly Away Peter} is very important in the overall search for a meaning or purpose to life, for it is their identity that defines who they are and what they are...

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