Goodnight Mr Tom Analysis Essay Example
Goodnight Mr Tom Analysis Essay Example

Goodnight Mr Tom Analysis Essay Example

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  • Pages: 3 (649 words)
  • Published: May 31, 2017
  • Type: Analysis
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Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian, is set in a small village during the Blitz, and explores the lives of child evacuee William Beech, and his guardian Mr Tom Oakley. The novel exhibits themes of patience, love, community, and in particular, healing. It is primarily Mr Tom’s love which assists in Willie’s emotional and physical healing.

Mr Tom aids him in overcoming his fears and obstacles, and provides him with unconditional love. Willie is healed by Mr Tom’s love, as Mr Tom aids him in overcoming his fears and other obstacles.Initially, Willie arrives as a frail, scared boy who fears asking questions, being disobedient and acting inappropriately, as these sinful actions would have resulted in a beating. This fear is gradually overcome, as Mr Tom reasserts that he is not going to beat Willie with a belt, and


their mutual relationship forms a bond of love and trust.

Mr Tom exclaims that whenever Willie is in his house, “he’ll live by his rules. He ent ever hit a child and if he did, it’ll be with the skin of his hand”.Additionally, Willie is intimated and humiliated by his lack of literacy skills, which has resulted in not being able to join Zach in Mrs Hartridge’s class. Mr Tom helps Willie conquer this obstacle through pledging devotion to teach literacy skills to Willie.

Mr Tom, “sits beside Willie and tells him how he’s going”. Furthermore, after realising Willie’s use of his artistic abilities to aid himself in writing, Mr Tom was “speechless for a moment”.Mr Tom’s strong stance against child abuse and his devotion to Willie become confident, able to exceed his normal boundaries, realise his

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artistic talents, and most importantly, feel protected and loved. It is through this way that he is healed by Mr Tom’s love. Mr Tom provides Willie with unconditional love which acts as a powerful antidote to Willie’s scars. The unconditional love acknowledges and accepts Willie.

His mother’s love was unconditional, as it did not accept Willie as a child that should talk back, ask questions, ask for help, befriend girls and Jews, or a child that should be loved.His mother dismisses the fact that Willie is innocent, and as a result, she has inflicted physical and emotional scars on Willie. Contrarily, Mr Tom loves Willie regardless of how fit he is, his literacy skills, or even if he threated to kill his dog, Sammy. Mr Tom’s love stems beyond the surface, and recognises Willie as an innocent boy.

Despite Willie’s strange behaviours such as bed-wetting, Mr Tom does not beat him. Instead, he “stripped them (urine-drenched bed sheets) off the mattress, and sluiced Willie’s body tenderly with cold water and soap (p42).Mr Tom understands the suffering that Willie has endured. Thus, he gives him many sentimental objects such as “paints and brushes” (p146) for his birthday, not as an act of pity, but unconditional love. It is through this way that he is healed by Mr Tom’s love.

Opposing views claim that Willie’s friends, especially Zach, have had a greater impact on Willie’s healing. One cannot deny that they didn’t have a role in Willie’s healing as they were all close friends who understood each other.Nevertheless, as Mr Tom is the guardian and carer of Willie, as well as a kind father figure, he is

definitely the closest individual to Willie whose relationship extends beyond friendship. Therefore, Willie is healed primarily by Mr Tom’s love.

Initially, Willie appeared as lifeless and loveless, the product of 9 years of suffering, abuse and neglect. It is Mr Tom that changed him; through assisting him defeat his hurdles, and providing him with unconditional, faithful love, that Willie has grown into a robust, young man with a bright, new start to life.

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