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The Story of Tom Brennan

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A famous quote by Alan Watts elucidates the true meaning of transition “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” Exploring transition is a process to move through one situation to another into a new phase of life and social context. Transitions can be challenging and confronting or transformative and may ensue in growth, change and a range of consequences for oneself or others. Hence it can be from individual’s acceptance or through others influence. Similar aspects are analyzed in the book called The Story of Tom Brennan by J.C Burke as it portrays how individuals experience transitions. Tom Brennan’s life is shattered after his brother is sent to jail but his uncle ‘Brenden’ directly and his brother ‘Daniel’ indirectly influences him to defeat the agony he suffered through after traumatic incident. Friendship and rugby are shown as a vital theme to enhance Tom’s personality and helps him to transform.

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Brenden as being Tom’s uncle starts rectifying situations after the Brennan’ s shift to Gran’s house by becoming Tom’s close friend. He starts building a gracious relationship by expounding Tom as it is shown on page 177 when Brenden states “Everyone’s got secrets, Tom, but this is a big town. Nobody’s thinking about other people’s business, they’re too busy thinking about their own. Coghill’s not Mumbilli. You got to remember that, mate.” The author uses disjunction technique ‘but’ to dramatically interrupt the rhythm of the sentence as Brenden realizes that Tom is suffering a lot and needs support to heal emotionally therefore he demonstrates a strong bond towards him by letting the audience pounder on his words. As the author uses techniques to illustrate Brenden’s dialogues he tries to change Tom’s thinking by juxtaposing Tom’s idea. This technique accentuates the relationship between both Tom and Brenden as he puts all his effort making Tom mentally and physically strong. Similarly, friendship is shown in between Tom and Brenden on page 217 “You sneaky bastard,’ I panted. ‘You kept me talking so I didn’t know how far we’d gone.’ He slapped me on the back. ‘And you talked all the way up too.’ I slapped him back. ‘I’m turning into you.” This dialogue shows motif of running as Brenden helps Tom in physical activity it reinforces the positive steps of Tom towards his future. This allows the audience to perceive the changeover of Tom by the friendship of Brenden. This dialogues also emphasizes on the closeness of each other as Tom couldn’t realise how far he has reached, this also indirectly indicates that how far he has reached in his life away from the past due to the friendship of Brenden. Indeed, these techniques show that Brenden directly influenced Tom’s transition to help him heel and become a better person both mentally and physically.

Daniel as being older son of the Brennan’s, he was always prioritised and loved by the family and in rugby whereas Tom used to see him as an idol and was always repressed by him. He used to live in the shadows of Daniel as he used to always follow his strides. Burke uses symbol and motif of rugby in the whole story. She states this idea on page 213 “You know, Dan, they really enjoy playing. It’s not just about winning.” She also uses didactic technique “It’s not just about winning” to make it obvious between Tom’s attitude towards winning in rugby before and after the accident as well as emphasize Tom’s positive attitude towards life. This shows the impact Tom had without living with Daniel as he has started enjoying his life by contradicting the fact that winning is everything which was Daniel’s motif and Tom used to follow his footsteps. This statement also makes his personality outshine as he has changed from the Tom he was in the shadow of his older brother Daniel to an independent Tom Brennan. Similarly, this also highlights the fact that due to Daniel’s reckless and irresponsible behaviour transition took place in Tom’s life, as he has started to learn from his mistakes and accept the truth and become sensible without the presence of Daniel. Even though Daniel directly did not helped Tom in his transition but indirectly it took place due to Daniels actions. In summation Daniels absence make him understand that winning is not all what we need in life whereas happiness is the essential key to living a life.

In conclusion in the book The Story of Tom Brennan, Tom endures after a tragic event takes place and his brother is sent to jail. Due to this he starts to deteriorate he goes through transition. But is later influenced directly and indirectly by his uncle ‘Brenden’ as well as his brother ‘Daniel’. This leads to the transformation in Tom’s life and helps him to accept the reality by the help of friendship and rugby. He adapts the circumstances and subsequently starts a new life as a resilient Tom Brennan at the end.

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