Observing and describing in Storm Boy 2: Describing a person

Describing a person


In the previous lesson, we looked at how author Colin Thiele described the setting used in Storm Boy—a wild and isolated beach in South Australia near a place called The Coorong. 

In this lesson, we’ll look at a description of Storm Boy, himself.

Here it is.

He grew up to be supple and hardy. Most of the year he wore nothing but shorts, a shirt, and a battered old Tom Sawyer hat. But when the winter wind came sweeping up from Antarctica with ice on its tongue, licking and smoothing his cheeks into cold flat pebbles, he put on one of his father’s thick coats that came down to his ankles. Then he would turn up the collar, let his hands dangle down to get lost in the huge pockets, and go outside again as snug as a penguin in a burrow. For he couldn’t bear to be inside. He loved the whip of the wind too much, and the salty sting of the spray on his cheek like a slap across the face, and the endless hiss of the dying ripples at his feet.
For Storm Boy was a storm boy.

Storm BoyColin ThieleSource

As mentioned in the previous lesson, the environment is an important part of the story, so it shouldn’t be any surprise that Storm Boy is mainly described in terms of how he interacts with the world around him—the clothes he wears in different weather, and his attitude to his home. In fact, Storm Boy’s physical description (“supple and hardy”) is the smallest part of the passage!

In this lesson, you’ll be describing a character using the same structure and techniques as this passage. It can be related to the environment you wrote about in the previous lesson but it doesn’t have to be (especially if you didn’t do the lesson, obviously). 

Your turn
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