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* Contents derived from the Canberra,Australian Capital Territory,:Australian National University Press,1974 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Wilding discusses Clarke's attempts to influence his Victorian readers to sympathise with Dawes and, through Dawes, with the convicts themselves. While the connections between John Rex and Rufus Dawes seem implausible, they offer a special effect in the presentation of alter-egos. The connections allow a comparison of the freedom of each, but Wilding argues that none of the characters are free. Wilding concludes that guilt is a major theme that originates in the first Oedipal killing and reverberates in other crimes committed throughout the novel.
Brissenden looks at the variation between the serial version and the first English edition of Robbery Under Arms and concludes that excised passages were dispensable. The revisions produced a structure that is more compact and concentrated with a faster pace and more consistent tone. The use of colloquial language in conjunction with the pacey narrative may be a crucial element in the continued popularity of Robbery Under Arms.
Wilkes attempts to explain why Geoffry Hamlyn continues to attract readers despite limited critical attention. In comparison with Kingsley's other novels and travel writing, the overt romanticism of Geoffry Hamlyn is unique, suggesting that Kingsley had a distinct artistic intention. Geoffry Hamlyn's narrative point of view must be considered in any interpretation of the novel because it partly explains the peripheral place of other classes in the novel. Wilkes argues that the mythical quality produced by this narrative stance and the romantic atmosphere evoked by the landscape are the elements that many readers continue to find attractive despite condemnation by nationalists.
F. Devlin Glass examines the intertextuality of Joseph Furphy's three novels, arguing that Rigby's Romance and Buln-Buln and the Brolga expand on themes first broached in Such is Life. The presentation of Tom Collins in Buln-Buln in the Brolga supports readings of Such as Life as a comic and satiric novel, and Rigby's Romance provides another insight into Furphy's attitude to novel writing.
Stewart argues that the organisation of small and large "imaginative units" in the trilogy accumulate to become an aesthetic whole. Stewart discusses the role of money and sex in the novel and suggests that Richardson's knowledge of music influenced the narrative structure of recurring motifs. While noting the unevenness of Richardson's prose and her superfluous characterization, Stewart concludes that the last chapters of the final volume reconcile these recurring motifs with great success, proving to be the best section of the trilogy.