She makes us familiar with Dave in a very short period of time and uses his entrance into the play in direct contrast with Gary’s hot temper. We first meet Dave in Act 1, Scene 1 after Gary has a rage about Sue-Allen’s lack of support, walking up the hill towards the building site. Dave is introduced as a calm, laid back, Aussie battler stereotype in a moment of Gary’s vivid rage and almost violent behavior. His response to Gary ‘stabbing his head against the air, arms jerking to stop himself punching at nothing’ is ‘You’ll kill yourself mate – working like that in the heat of the day’ This is a great example of how Oswald uses drama and even humor to capture the audience’s attention at the beginning of the play.
She continues to describe Dave as a an easy going personality, yet in contrast portrays a more dark and reclusive side to him, not being phased by anger or tragedy where others perhaps would. Dave in his conversation to Gary talks calmly and rational about his father’s death with lack of emotion, ‘..looks like he had a heart attack and knocked the kero heater when he fell over.’ Oswald supports this lack of empathy by Sue Anne’s description of his house in Act 1 Scene 6. ‘…It’s so creepy over there. Like, the house is all black and burnt-up, but you can tell the shape it used to be. Like a skeleton.., That’s where Dave’s got himself set up’. The use of simile and symbolism, comparing his house to a skeleton, gives the audience an insight into his true personality. His father’s skeleton would have been the only thing left after the house burnt down. Also Dave almost hopes his dad had a heart attack, as he doesn’t want to feel responsible for him burning to death.
Oswald continues to contrast Dave’s friendly personality in the relationship to others by placing him into situations that are confronting and show a lack of empathy. She uses