Dolly Analysis Essay

Words: 1275
Pages: 6

The most influential and complicated character in Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet is Dolly Pickles. Dolly has the ability to inflict a variety of emotions in the reader. Due to her persona to be a ‘slut,’ alcoholic and a bad mother there are strong negative emotions invoked however as Dolly’s representation drastically changes the audience feels pity and sorrow for her. There are various symbols and language features that are associated with Dolly and as a consequence heighten the character’s influence in the reader’s response.
Dolly is the wife of Sam and the mother of Ted, Chub and Rose which is the role given to her by society but the way Winton represents her is completely the opposite of societies expectations. Dolly is very promiscuous
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and when she says, yeah? With a hip on the jamb, he is looking for a way to get a word out,” (48). The uses of language techniques enhances the way the reader sees and understands how Dolly’s appearance can affect men in such a sexual way.
Symbols are very important in illustrating a character’s personality and traits. Dolly has two major symbols associated with her. The first is the railway tracks as she is seen often sitting near them and commenting on the different people going places she doesn’t get to go. The railway tracks mean freedom and the opportunity to go someplace new. It also means to have direction for the train doesn’t go somewhere random but rather a planned destination. These are the things that Dolly is lacking. She is always contemplating going but doesn’t have the motivation or drive to follow through. The first instant where Dolly is at the railway tracks was with her father, “...after Dolly’s father had fixed up his business with the rail men he saw her standing by the buckled railway lines. Those rails go all over the world. They go forever,” (79). Dolly “never did get to try those rails” (79) and due to her inability to go anywhere in her life she is forever sitting by the rails contemplating a different life. Names add another element of symbolism to the characters. Dolly is as her name suggests a doll. She is beautiful and lets others