The Novel Taronga by Victor Kelleher

            Discuss how the representations of groups in the novel Taronga reinforce or challenges your attitudes about these groups.

             Taronga is a novel written by Victor Kelleher, which is set in Australia in 1987, two years after Last Days, a tragedy caused by Chernobyl. Australia had been pushed into anarchy, and it had become a fight for survival. The weak were killed, and the strong became stronger. In the novel Taronga, by Victor Kelleher, there are many groups which are represented, and these representations either reinforce or challenge my attitudes on these groups. The groups represented that will be discussed are heroes, males, females, leaders and survivors.

             Ben, the main character of the novel Taronga, is a representation of a hero which reinforces my attitudes regarding this group, yet challenges the stereotypical or society's attitudes. Ben is constructed as being quiet and submissive, such as the fact that he stayed for a long time and put up with Greg using him for his telepathic gift, before finally coming into his own and running away. This is another example of Ben's submissiveness - he chose to sneak away from Greg quietly in the dead of the night, instead of a fight or a loud confrontation. He is also a humanitarian, as he cares for other animals, even when killing them. This reinforces my attitudes and views on heroes, as I believe that most true heroes are quiet, usually introverted, and do things to make the community better - often without receiving the recognition they deserve. The extroverted heroes, such as Superman, is what society expects, and because of this they often overlook the real heroes. On the other hand, Ben is not a passive character. He takes control of situations, such as when he arranges a meeting with Chas and tells him his plan (which was all untrue) which was the only way that he, Ellie and the animals would be able to escape from Taronga Zoo.

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