Character Analysis: The Dressmaker

Words: 1112
Pages: 5

Over the course of the text, ‘The Dressmaker,’ very few of the characters actually ‘win’ and have a happy ending. Yet there are a few characters that are the expectation. ‘The Dressmaker’ is an Australian Gothic novel by Rosalie Ham. In this text, every character desires to gain something, whether it is love, status or just to be liked by the town. Yet, in Dungatar, where the novel is set, many desire for their freedom. For the purpose of this discussion, winning is defined as gaining something which a person desires. William Beaumont originally had his freedom, yet he must fight for it back after he falls into a loveless marriage. Marigold Pettyman, who has never experience freedom, brakes free from her controlling husband, and Tilly Dunnage, …show more content…
Tilly was originally from Dungatar, yet she decided to come home, to look after her mother. When Tilly was only ten years old she was sent away as she was mistakingly accused of murdering her (unknown at the time) step brother, Stewart Pettyman. She had no freedom as every day the children would call her “a barstd” and nicknamed her “Dunnybum.” Even the adults would call her “illegitimate.” Yet after she was sent away, for the first time in her life, she had freedom. She was free to be herself, without any bullies from Dungatar. Yet this all changed when Tilly came back home. The children that previously bullied Tilly, grew up to become adults that repeated their actions towards Tilly. The moment the town’s people knew Tilly was back, she lost her freedom. Yet unlike William, Tilly actively fights back in spite of the townspeople, to win her freedom back. After Molly untimely death Tilly proclaims pain “will be our revenge and our reason.” Tilly is indirectly stating that she will use the pain that the town has caused on her and Molly for all those years back on them. As Tilly knows payback “only seems fair.” After a series of unfortunate events throughout the town, which was indirectly caused by Tilly, she plans her final revenge. She burns the whole town down and she is successful in her plan. By doing this she burns away the past, and she is finally free from it. Hence why she regains her freedom and