English Literature and Film

Late in the novel, that eye, the sky, Henry Warburton takes out his glass eye and says to Ort, ???This is like the eye of God ??¦ sees everything??™ (p. 133). Ort scornfully dismisses the idea.
Analyse the significance of the eye imagery in the novel as it relates to both Ort and Henry.

Throughout the novel by Tim Winton, ???That Eye, The Sky,??™ there is much relevance in relation to the all-seeing eye. The novel revolves around a young man named Ort, who is struggling to deal with the recent car accident that left his father comatose. During this time, the characters in the novel each have their own personal demons, including Henry Warburton, a mysterious stranger who is seemingly simply offering his help to the suffering family whilst passing through the sleepy country town. This in turn leads to the significance of the eye of God reference. This is further explained in the following arguments. Tim Winton uses direct references to symbols such as Love, Death and the Sky as is appears to Ort.
During this novel, the importance of the Eye is referenced through the symbolism of love. Ort??™s relationship with his family is strained and complicated, however the feelings that Ort has do not change. Whilst the reference of the glass eye does not occur until the end of the novel, upon reflection, the reader can understand that the eye is symbolised in the love between family members, flawed but pure. This is shown through the complicated life of Ort??™s sister, Tegwyn, (p.20). Her struggle with depression after her father??™s accident, and the feelings she then gets for Henry, provoke a strong connection between love and loss. The shadowing of the two seems to be where Ort lives in the novel. Henry tries to influence Ort by telling him stories of God, and the importance of faith. The link between God and love is portrayed through the glass eye, as it shows that a major contributor in this novel is this complicated pattern of loss and religion. The idea that the glass eye is like the eye of God, can be taken as the Eye of God does not need to see to be believed. The lack of functionality of the eye shows to Ort that it should not be taken seriously, in the beginning. The readers can see the change in Ort as he progresses through the novel.
The significance of Death plays a large part in the novel, ???That Eye, The Sky.??™ Ort is forced to deal with the idea that his father may not resurface from the coma, which he relates to death itself. As Ort tries to struggle through this time, Henry??™s ideas of religion and the power one can gain from it, conflict Ort further. The reader can see that this reference is warring against Ort??™s dismissal of God and the all-seeing eye (p.133). The end of the novel brings Ort??™s believe to the forefront, after his father wakes. This shows the link between the eye of God and Ort, as well as the distinction of Henry??™s faith never wavering. Again, the reader sees the burgeoning relationship between God and Ort, as he starts to believe there may be more to this than he thinks.
The symbolism of the sky in the novel plays a large part. This significance is a link between Henry??™s glass eye and God. The sky to Ort is religion, as he spends most of his time staring up at the stars and imagining that someone is watching. Henry??™s comparison between the glass eye and God further confuses Ort, as he begins to progress from blatant disbelief, to pondering the idea of God. Henry encourages this, as he believes that this will help to heal Ort in the end. The sky starts off in the novel as being a watcher to Ort; he feels a connection to it. However, this grows into something more complicated under the influence of Henry. The comparison of the eye and the Sky, is a direct path to God.
Therefore, throughout the novel, ???That Eye, The Sky,??™ Tim Winton uses many different forms of symbolism to make his point that God can see everything, and is in all things, including something as blind as a glass eye. The Symbols of Love, Death, and the Sky play the biggest part in the novel, as all of these tie in with Ort and the struggles of his family.


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