Write about the theme of family love which is portrayed through the characters in the novel that you have studied.
Support your answer with close reference to the text.
The novel that I have chosen to portray the theme of family love is “Step by Wicked Step” by AnneFine. This novel is regarding five British school children from Stagfire who shared their joys, sorrows and anxieties of their family life. It all begin when they arrived ahead of their classmates for a week-long field trip at "haunted' Old Harwick Hall. In the stormy wild night, Claudia, Pixie, Robbo, Ralph and Colin find a long-abandoned secret room containing a mysterious journal with the aid of flashes of lightning. They uncover a heart rending story of Richard Clayton Harwick, who runs away from the sinister influence of a loveless stepfather. This discovery triggers off each of them to reveal and share their own engrossing, heart-rending stories filled with hurting and healing moments way through a minefield of embittered or uncommunicative or just plain immature parents, insecure or reluctant step parents and resentful step siblings. The implied themes in this novel are revealed through the characters thoughts, speech, actions, reactions and what others say about them. Thus, based on this novel, I have chosen to write on Richard Clayton Harwick’s family members who have portrayed the theme of family love amazingly and dramatically through sense of love, devotion and loyalty.
Richard’s mother, Lilith was the first to portray the sense of love in the family. She took all the trouble to search for Richard after he ran away from home. Richard was frustrated as his mother married Reverend Coldstone after his father's death.Lilith suffered Coldstone’s anger as when she spent a fortune seeking for Richard, their money lessened. Out of love for her beloved son, Richard, Lilith willingly sacrifices her wealth. She never stopped searching for him until her death. She died of broken heart because of her undying love for her beloved son, Richard.
Charlotte showed her love too through her devotion. She kept searching for her beloved brother, Richard, after her mother’s death. However she faced trouble as she had no money of her own. Because of her strong family love, she married a rich man she did not love as he promised to help her find Richard. She was willing to sacrifice due to her immense devotion to her brother. She managed to reveal her selfless characteristic through her quest for her brother.
Richard also showed that he had strong love for his family through his sense of loyalty. Before Richard’s father died, he tells Richard to take care of his mother and sister, Lilith and Charlotte Harwick. Richard become depressed as his father had only thought of his mother and sister instead of him until the end of his life. Richard become more tensed when his mother marries Reverend Coldstone, who is cruel towards him. Richard is then sent to a boarding school called Mordanger School, where he still suffered. Then he decides to run away and sail all over the world. Although he ran away, he still came by the house twice to catch a glimpse of his mother and sister due to his love that still lives in him, He finally returns home after he found a note on the captain’s table from the solicitors who have stated something to his advantage . He discovered a letter from his beloved sister, Charlotte , who had written before her death, In the letter, Charlotte reveals all the difficulties they had had to undergo. He realized that his mother and sister was searching for him deliberately. He has restored his loyalty in the end but his loved ones are gone forever. His finaldecision of whether to stay or leave Harwick Hall remains unknown while the family love will remain in his memories for the rest of his life.
This novel managed to prove that strong family relationship sustains family bond and heals all the hurting moments through sense of love, devotion and loyalty. The power of family love leads to reunion and healing in a family. Therefore, we should appreciate and love our family unconditionally and be prepared to make sacrifices as when there is strong sense of love, there is forgiveness , patience, loyalty and devotion growing without force under the shade of genuine family love.
p/s Hope my personal response which is specially written for my beloved Form 5 daughter,Nur Jehaada Ibrahim(SMKA Maahad Hamidiah, Sg Ramal, Kajang) her friends, my tuition students and all SPM 2012 candidates, will be beneficial, ease your understanding and enable you all to score in the literature component. InshaAllah.
All the best to all SPM 2012 candidates, do your best and leave the rest to God.
With love and prayers!