Journeys are a recurring statement throughout Tomorrow When the War Began. Showing hardships that alter a character physiologically and corporeality. Characters face struggles and are associated by these conflicts. This is what gains a readers interest, development through misfortune. Tomorrow When the War Began exhibits this theme through the title. War, many choose to view each side as opposites, one suffering peril through invasion. Whilst the other promotes destruction and infiltrates the land. Characters must choose a side or rise above the stereotype, altering their perception. This Bildungsroman novel analyses the difference this choice can affect a person’s journey.
As a character proceeds through the story they reach changes, these either block or strengthen them. Some characters are nurtured in this struggling environment on a new level, they mature mentally. Breaking down barriers of selfishness and restricting concepts. Robyn demonstrates these qualities throughout Tomorrow When the War Began, she fights for her freedom while sympathising with the enemy. Robyn wishes to aid the invading country, although not by giving them their home. “Tomorrow, When the War Began”, chapter 13, p 170. “We ‘ve got all this land and all these resources, and yet there are countries a crow’s spit away that have people packed in like battery hens. You can’t blame them for resenting it, and we haven’t done much to reduce and imbalances, just sat on our fat backsides, enjoyed out money and felt smug.” John Marsden uses modality through Robyn to represent his views and morals. In the Authors statement, he has written, Robyn is based on my older sister. Growing up together they would have experienced similar nurturing and experiences, Displaying his and his sibling’s thoughts. Journeys are evident in both the fictional and real world. Mr Marsden has made a story out of his experiences, altering it into an engaging novel. He has shown his emotional and intellectual growth through Robyn. Not only has Robyn grown aware of herself, but also others. “Tomorrow, When the War Began”, ch6, p64″Lee had tears pouring down his face, but now he wiped them away quickly, ‘Let’s listen to Robyn. Come on everyone’.
‘I’m sorry Robyn,’ I said. ‘I know you didn’t mean …’
‘I’m sorry too,’ she said. ‘It was a bad choice of words.’ She took a deep breath and clenched her fists. You could see her calming herself, like she did at netball sometimes.
At last she continued. ‘Look, everyone. I didn’t want to say much. Just that we’ve got to be careful. If we go rushing around the countryside, to seven different houses, well, it mightn’t be such a bright thing to do, that’s all. We should decide on some things, like whether to stick together, or to break into small groups, like Kevin and Corrie want to do. Whether we should use the vehicles. Whether we should go any further in daylight. It’s almost dark now. For a start I suggest no one goes on from here till it is dark, and that when they do go they don’t use lights.'” Using emotive language John Marsden creates a rhetoric passage that convinces the audience she cares deeply for her friend’s wellbeing. Robyn is easily empathising with the group, she can relate to the struggles they are facing and is trying to keep them safe. Robyn has developed some slight paranoia towards being out in the open, the military is armed. Though she understands why Robyn is still extremely cautious towards the vulnerability of open space and daylight. This change of attitude towards strangers is part of her growth towards adulthood. The maturity she shows makes her a leader, not by greed but fear for their safety. Robyn has been impacted by the War, whilst it has pushed her maturity it has shed her innocence. This mix is necessary for war, although extremely horrible for a teenager to be moulded into. Journeys can either make or break a character, they can develop exceptionally in some areas but severely lacking in others. This mix matures a character but can consequently alter their lives.
Some people are capable of rising to challenges, others falter. They are restricted and become isolated. Kevin does not grow, he is still, neither moving forwards or backwards. This leads to a separation between him and the group. He is shown to be a coward, this is not the case. Like a swing, he is moving from active to immobile in the war. (Tomorrow, When The War Began, Chapter 18) “Kevin was more of a puzzle, changing his attitude from one day to the next. There were times when he seemed blood¬thirsty and times when he seemed chicken. I won¬dered if it depended on how long it had been since he’d been close to danger. Maybe when he’d had some action recently he went a bit quiet, dived for cover. But when things had been safe for a while he started getting his aggression back.” John Marsden is trying to ward away the stereotype of a coward using a hyperbole, highlighting words such as bloodthirsty. This states that he is not weak but like any human, complex. Kevin’s views on the invaders are straight ford and he is burning for revenge. (Tomorrow, When The War Began, Chapter 13) ‘I hate them,’ said Kevin. ‘I don’t know why you’re all being so understanding. I just hate them and I want to kill them all and if I had a nuclear bomb I’d drop it right down their throats.'” This satire conjures an image for us to understand Kevin’s emotions. He is the direct contrast of Robyn, who is trying to find their motive. This is the first major difference between him and the rest of the group. Kevin is lacking sympathy, which the others don’t understand. His blatant disregard for their wellbeing slowly starts to cover up Kevin’s maturity and is overcome by perception. He simply cannot see the reasoning behind the invasion, this one tracked mindset is stunting the intellectual growth that every young adult goes through. Journeys are delicate, the adventure that takes place alters one’s perception, values and morals. Shaping them into adults, capable of hardship. Kevin has failed to change his perception and mould a young adult. His one-track mindset has stunted his perception, leading to detachment.
Just like War, some characters are similar to opposing sides. Kevin and Robyn are opposites, one appears heartless the other innocent. As the story grows this stereotype is shed to reveal complex people, that are rapidly become, adults. The bildungsroman genre shows this, there fast maturity and transition into adulthood through war is a perfect young adult fiction novel. This books central action is war and the characters are unique and fitting to it. Journeys, they are central to Tomorrow When the War Began, displaying suffering that moulds a character into a warrior.