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The Messenger by Markus Zusak

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Informative task

‘The Messenger’, by Markus Zusak, tells us a story of a young adult named Ed Kennedy, who is a selfish man who only cares about himself and his friends and family at the start of the book but realises he can go beyond his comfort zone through the story and changes in the end. The story begins with Ed receiving a playing card in his mail from out of the blue where he is given a set of tasks to complete. Each card had a list of clues and addresses that tell Ed where he needs to go to help who people are in need. Sometimes he also needs to “dig deep” to see what the problem is and how he can resolve it. These issues significantly relate to the issues in real Australian communities. One of the issues that is showed in the book as well as in real life is the diverse forms of domestic violence, one scenario being a lady who is experiencing repeated domestic violence from her drunken husband every night and Angelina (her daughter) having to hear her pain every night. The other issue that is presented in the book is the issue of poverty in the society, Zusak implements this by the characters “Lua Tatupu and Marie Tatupu” who are refugees from another country and were “not welcomed in Australia happily” as they put it, they could not afford many things for their children as they were facing poverty.

In ‘The Messenger’, Ed’s first mission is Edgar Street where he recognises that there are several forms of domestic abuse at the household where the daughter Angelina is forced to watch and listen to the shrieks of her mother as she is raped repeatedly by her drunken father. At first Ed is cautious to interfere but after nights of watching from far away, Ed chooses to threaten the father to try and stop the repetitive abuse from occurring. Domestic violence is usually disregarded in the society because the victim too afraid to talk to anyone about it or even speak up, because they are forced to keep quiet in the fear of repeated abuse. Several Australian organizations thrive on obstructing domestic violence that occurs in families, as it is estimated that at least one woman is a victim of domestic abuse or even killed in a week. Organizations such as White Ribbon aims to make “A nation that respects women, in which every woman lives in safety, free from all forms of men’s abuse.And Ourwatch which offers 24/7 telephone support and counselling services and online chat, for people going through difficult situations. These telephone lines can be reached through 1800 RESPECT. There are also countless number of online services and 24/7 support for those I need of guidance and support.

The Tatupu family are introduced in the spade card, in The Messenger. Where he must dig deeper to find what the problem is they are having. The Tatupu’s are, like many immigrants in Australia, hidden in the society overlooked. They were never fully welcomed to Australia, but Ed starts the process of welcoming, which is symbolised by Ed gifting them a set of Christmas lights because they couldn’t afford a new pair of lights. There are websites like RacismNoWay in Australia which aim to “find information and resources to combat racism in the learning environment.” And are supported by schools and communities who aim to assist asylum seekers, immigrants and refugees. Other services like Human Rights Law Centre endeavour to “protect and promote human rights in Australia and in Australian activities overseas”. There are also other services and support for asylum seekers and refugees which have 24/7 support for any enquiries or help. Many immigrants have an experience or feeling of segregation from their communities in Australia like those felt by the Tatupu family which many organizations thrive to terminate.



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