TASK: Write a letter to Patrick White telling him what you think of any one of the texts you have read this week.
Dear Mr. White,
I’m writing to you on your book, Down at the Dump, published in 1975. I was really intrigued by the characters of Meg, Aunt Daise and Mrs. Myrtle Hogben and the dynamics and the characteristics of each of these three females. The comparison between the two sisters is interesting, as Myrtle is very prim and proper, who gives off a sense of coldness and selfishness – as seen when she sends her daughter Meg out to cover the plastic creatures in the garden, with little thought as to her daughter’s health – and behaves in a melodramatic way, as seen at Daise’s funeral; while Daise is more free-spirited and whimsical, with little regard as to how others perceive her, as is evidenced by her house. It was also interesting to see Daise’s interactions with others before she died, namely Ossie, and how Daise was regarded as an outcast because of this kind of behaviour. This is yet another intriguing parallel between the two sisters, as Myrtle is a councillor’s wife – an esteemed position – and Daise is regarded as an outsider, quite different from her sister. It’s also interesting to note how these characters’ behaviour have affected Meg’s own behaviour as she grew up, and her activities with Lummy at the dump. I also found it interesting as to how society regarded Daise, as a “loose woman” and how that stereotype made it easier for society to dismiss her and not think much of her, as she was probably regarded as strange and a bit odd, especially with regard to her house’s appearance.
You have written a highly intriguing book and I commend you for writing about such interesting concepts, making it so interesting to analyse what you’ve written about.