Question: Through friendship, Marina progress. Explore this statement and comment on how the reader is positioned to viewed
In his novel, ‘So Much to Tell You’, John Marsden [IS1]presents a traumatised teenager who makes progress[IS2] through friendship[IS3]. Important friendships Marina encountered include those with school friends, her councillor, Mrs Ransome and crucially, her father.[IS4] When witnessing Marina’s progress, the reader is positioned [IS5]to feel sympathy, relief, and joy as the novel develops.
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The reader is first introduced to Marina in Chapter 1 when the author/ Marsden reflect her thoughts as she has recorded them in her diary. However, over time and though growing friendships, Marina makes great progress[IS6]. Marina is an elective mute and seems isolated. She states that she is, ‘very embarrassed at being noticed’ [IS7]and ‘uses only grey school blankets’ [IS8]as if to facilitate hiding. Marina has experience a traumatic accident that has resulted significant scaring to her face. It seems that as a means of coping with the trauma she has opted not to speak. However, her feelings about her mutism are ambivalent.
Marsden[IS9] presents her feelings on her silence as ‘always my fortress, sometimes my prison[IS10].’ These metaphors[IS11] are highly effective; a fortress suggest a fortified building that is impregnable and invulnerable to intruders and this suits Marina as she feels protected by her silence. Oh the other hand, prison is also apposite (fitting) because it suggest a state of isolation and punishment and sums up the way Marina sometime feels. This isolation positions the reader to feel sympathy for Marina, and the reader is encouraged [IS12]when Marina begins to make progress[IS13] through connections with her peers and starting to feel mildly safe.
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Important progress[IS14] is seen through her friendship with Cathy. When Marina leaves her clothes on Cathy’s bed, she is very alarmed by the ensuing confrontation. Hitherto Marina has avoided direct contact with her peers, and has made every effort to be self-effacing. In fact, she has physically bruised herself pressed into the wall as hard as could be in order to escape scrutiny. However, following the conflicted with Cathy, Marina reflects that ‘I felt scared and very sick inside… but didn’t run away like I normally do.’ [IS15]Here it is clear to the reader that Marina is developing[IS16] and this makes the reader feel optimistic for her. Later in another important progression[IS17], Cathy writes a note to Marina apologising.
There is also a gesture of sympathy when Cathy brings her a ‘cup of Milo'[IS18], and although this leaves her disarmed- ‘in a shocked heap of little pieces[IS19],’ life and friendships are certainly improving[IS20] for Marina. As their relationship develops,[IS21] Cathy’s family sends flowers, and eventually their friendship[IS22] will take on a more conventional nature when Marina visits her home and participates in normal family life. It is highly satisfying for the reader[IS23] when Marina contentedly says, ‘I’m so glad I came here now!’
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Crucial progress is evident in Marina’s friendship [IS24]with the Lindells especially Mr Lindell and his daughter, Anna. Even at the start of the novel when Marina is totally isolated, she admires Mr Lindell. Unbeknown to Marina, he is very astute and perceives that a journal might give her an opportunity to express herself and although she feels ‘fear’ [IS25]initially, she swiftly moves onto saying ‘more then I wanted to’ [IS26]through him, she finds a voice. Soon she is invited to spend the weekend with the Lindells; she finds herself ‘surprised’ and in awe of this ‘kind and loving family[IS27].
A moving and vital development occurs through the disarming innocence of the small child, Anna. As a child she is guileless and unaware of the sensitivity surrounding Marina’s disfigurement, She has the naï¿½ve confidence to reach out and touch her scar and refer to it through, ‘Hurt face, hurt face[IS28],’ which completely throws Marina. The result is a spontaneous, emotional outpouring. ‘Something breaks inside[IS29]’ her and for the first time since the incident Marina hears her own voice through her sobs.
Over time it becomes clear to Marina that crying can be cathartic and she feels relieved and ‘glad’ to get it out. Ultimately, its Mr Lindell’s intention that results in Marina being sent back to Warrington to the people she has steadily come to consider friends. Marina notes privately, ‘I guess I have come to like them.’ [IS30]It is because of her growing friendship[IS31] with Mr Lindell that Marina feels she can appeal to him when her enrolment at the school is jeopardised. The reader[IS32] sees this relationship as a very positive one he has influence and tremendous kindness. His interaction represent a significant step [IS33]on her road to recovery.