Ellie is our narrator, whether she wants to be or not. Out of the small group of teens she's hiding out in the wilderness with, she was tapped for the task of writing down everything she and her friends have gone through in order to leave a historical document behind. We're thinking her friends were onto something when they chose Ellie, too—she doesn't hold anything back, not even personal information or judgments about her friends. Tomorrow, When the War Began, then, is the whole truth and nothing but it from Ellie's perspective.
Ellie's perspective isn't just honest, though; it's super detailed, too. For instance, check out this description she offers up about a tree in Hell:
The gum tree was at the base of a sheet of rock that stretched up to Wombegonoo's summit. It was an unusual tree, because it had multiple trunks, which must have parted form each other in its early days, so that now they grew out like petals on a poppy. (5.40)
Ellie doesn't just say, "The gum tree was kind of odd," or something like that—nope, she explains its quirks, even busting out a simile to drive her point home.
When her detail and honesty come together, though, is when Ellie really shines. For instance, when she's lying in her tent, gossiping about love with Fi, Ellie dumps the following on the page for our reading pleasure:
[I]t was my feelings for Homer that were stopping me from taking the plunge with Lee […] Fi's saying "sexy" made me realize that with Homer it was pretty physical. I didn't want to spend hours with him talking about life; I wanted to spend hours with him making animal noises, like sighs and grunts. (15.27)
It's okay if you feel a little uncomfortable after reading that passage—that just goes to show you how effective Ellie is at communicating her experiences to readers. It shows something else, though, too: bravery. After all, this book is intended as a document for all her friends, so someday they're all going to read it. And Ellie still doesn't hold back, boldly laying herself bare on the page anyway.
(Not So) Smooth Operator
For all of the unflinching clarity Ellie brings to her storytelling style, she's kind of a hot mess when it comes to her feelings for Lee, which are complicated by her secret attraction to Homer. And bummer for Lee, she doesn't exactly keep this entirely to herself—honesty's kind of her thing, after all. So after they spend some quality time together in the hay stack and then Ellie ignore Lee, she offers up the following explanation when he asks her why:
"I don't know. It meant something at the time, and it means something now, but I don't know if it means what you seem to want it to mean. Why don't we just say I was being a slut, and leave it at that." He looked really hurt and I was sorry I'd said that. I hadn't even meant it. (14.34)
It's not a response that's particularly concerned for Lee's feelings—he clearly likes her and she's pretty flippant about the ways in which her words and actions affect him. The downside to her honesty, then, is that Ellie can be pretty brutal with other people's feelings.
The Gutsy Guerilla
You know how we said that Ellie shows bravery in her writing? Well, that's not the only time she busts out come major chutzpah. Even though Ellie is scared of weapons, explosions, and guns, she doesn't shy away from rescuing her friends or fighting for her family's freedom. Heck, Ellie contributes to every major move the group makes against the military, often taking on the most dangerous tasks.
Ellie heads up the big rescue mission to save Lee, and it involves major guts: She has to steal a front loader, learn to drive it right away, and bring it into the most dangerous area possible (a.k.a. town) to pick up Lee, who is wounded, and Robyn. Not only does she pull this mission off, getting shot at as she drives and hurting her own head badly in the process, but Ellie never even tries to get out of doing such a terribly risky thing in the first place. She just rolls up her sleeves and gets going.
The second huge mission the kids endeavor relies on Ellie's excellent driving record and unfaltering moxie. She has to steal a gasoline tanker and sneak it down to the bridge, where she then has to drive it right under the sentries' noses (while they are hopefully distracted), soak a rope, run it far away, light it on fire, and cross her fingers that she doesn't get shot or blown up in the process.
And you know what? She does it—just like she rescues Lee, and just like she writes the whole book. When the going gets tough or there's a task that needs doing, Ellie isn't one to shrink away and hope someone else volunteers. Nope, she does what needs to be done. You go, girl.Ellie's Timeline
Tomorrow When the War Began- John Marsden Essay
1261 WordsJul 21st, 20116 Pages
Tomorrow when the war began- John Marsden
“Tomorrow When The War Began” by John Marsden, is a novel of survival, friendship, love and war. He uses many language techniques (e.g. simile, metaphor, personification, oxymoron, irony, symbol, allusion etc.) to get across to the reader the importance of each of the themes discussed. He also uses these techniques to set the mood in each chapter and to help emphasise each major point in the novel. “We’ve learnt a lot and had to figure out what’s important- what matters, what really matters.”- Ellie
Survival in “Tomorrow When The War Began” is a very important issue. The whole novel is about Ellie and friends learning to become independent and to fend for themselves in a world…show more content…
They must go through a series of challenges to get from point A to point B by stealing vehicles and food. When Ellie and Robyn pick up Lee from his restaurant they have to kill soldiers to get away. Same as when Ellie, Kevin and Corrie blow up the lawnmower, they also blow up soldiers in order to stay safe for a little while.
Friendship is another major theme in the novel, John Marsden uses this theme to overlap with other issues like survival and war. The characters of the novel all depend on those around them for help and support in everything they do. Friendship provides people with strength, hope and love, and all these things help a person overcome tragedies, death, and moments when it seems life isn’t worth living. An example from the novel would be when Corrie’s house is blown up, she is devastated and it is only with the support of the others that she can continue. A real life issue about friendship/love and survival would be the incident with the Beaconsfield miners. The miners were sure they would die, but with the thought in there heads of family and friends outside waiting for there arrival, they continued on battling for there lives, relying only on the support of loved ones. When Lee was shot in the leg by soldiers, Robyn carried Lee over her shoulder until it was safe enough to treat the wound. Robyn overcame her fear of blood and cuts, to save Lee from infection and disease. John Marsden uses techniques like first person