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20200202 12 STA Home Discussion Notes

Home, Catherine Cole
Belonging (connection; disconnection; alienation) – to place; to
people; to culture; to community
Migrant experience (lonely; isolating; belonging)
Loss – of family; of culture; of connection to place
Solace (comfort; restoration) – emotional, spiritual, sense of self
New beginnings – new place, new home, new relationships and
Trauma (conflict; loss; war; fear)
Hope (new beginning; safety; family)
Memory (trauma AND hope)
Pick 3 ideas
For EACH idea, find ONE quote
that demonstrates this idea in the
“its gate is hanging on one hinge, like a child’s milk tooth held on by
a filament of skin.”
 Non-permanence – the gate/house/circumstance that Ahmed
is in is a place of transition.
 New beginnings
 Trauma – past is broken, lives with the emotions but with hope
of something better to come
“one day when his daughter finally comes they will plant basil and
parsley, tomatoes and oranges….they’ll live in a beautiful house with
brick walls and a red tiled roof and there they’ll live in happiness
until they too are dead.”
 Hope that sustains Ahmed – plants are symbolic of growth and
life, new beginnings and continuity.
 The house also represents to growth they will experience as a
family together.
“…he walks slowly into the cemetery, the visits allowing him time to
regain something of himself, some sense of a purposeful past from
the rows of neglected graves.”
 Symbolism + setting
 Irony of a place that is about death that also provides comfort
and solace for Ahmed.
“they look like a child’s storybook garden in which the flowers always
bloom and the sun always shines, round, its beams radiating from a
face as smiling as Bert.”
 Positivity, hope despite his traumatic past
Colour Palette
“wicked blue of Sydney harbour”
“sleekly silver…blending with the grey stones sprinkled between the
 Cold, sterile
“in Ahmed’s rusty letter box, not government brown but a flimsy,
crackling rice paper…”
 Drabness, boring, not lively
“far brighter than the red flowers in the Chinese cemetery, the red of
his granddaughters’ lips, the red balloon he will buy at Paddy’s
Market for his grandson. There will be red flowers on the table when
they make their first feast, vermillion pomegranates, blood red
cherries and wine dark figs.”
 Hope, life, new beginnings, family connections.