when the war began is an adventure/thriller story about a small group of
teenagers who go on a four day camping trip, after returning from camp their
families and the whole entire community had gone missing and their pets are
dead. The teenagers had been given a sign that the country had been invaded
while they were camping by a small foreign north Asia country.

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When they
returned home they found the whole town of Warrawee are held in a large
prisoner camp at the Warrawee showgrounds. The foreign country wants to take
over Australia because of the wide space. Australia has something that the invaders
don’t have. They also invade Australia to reduce imbalances within the region.
The main
characters, Ellie (the narrator) and Corrie are the organisers of the camp who
invite friends from their childhood; Homer, Corrie, Robyn, Lee, and Kevin, with
Chris appearing much later in the story. Ellie is the main character she’s very
strong and powerful, she also takes responsibility for her friends and leads
them through the journey. They come together as team to stop the forces and
find food and shelter to survive. The seven teenagers work together to regain
Australia’s freedom, by facing their deepest fears and putting their lives on
the line to save their families.

Paragraph 1: discussion of first theme
“At that moment only bullet a bullet have separated me from those two people. Suddenly they ‘be become my family” pg85.
In tomorrow
when the war began the theme of relationship becomes a really big part for the
teenagers, it is shown in two main ways friendship and family. Friendship is
the main part of survival, it is created by the situation they find themselves
in. Without friendship none of the seven teenagers would have had the courage,
strength and determination to do what they had to do to survive. Every choice
they made was because of their friends, they were the only people they had and could
trust. They had to come together and find strength to do everything for each
other. Example of this is when corrie gets shot. The teenagers knew that they
were in danger but they still made the toughest decision and drove her to the
hospital. “We’ve
got to stick together, that’s all I know.”
Sticking together

Discussion of second theme.
In Tomorrow When The War Began survival becomes the most important part. During the war, the teenagers face a lot of challenges, as well as lessons learnt. Each day was a matter of life or death. Ellie and her friends learn to become independent, look after and provide for themselves. Their friendship changed from a mutual relationship to being able to sacrifice themselves for each other. The teenagers did anything for survival whether it’s harming or shooting the invaders. Robyn who is a religious and did not want anything involving violence shows a different side of her by killing 5 soldiers. This shows the strong friendship, empathy and braveness they were willing to for they peers to survive.

Discussion of third theme-change.
In tomorrow
when the war began change is shown in a lot of characters on how they were
before and after. The teenagers experience a lot of change. When each individual
experiences threatening and environmental trauma caused by the war, the
teenagers are forced to behave different.
In the
beginning of the novel Ellie just turned 18 and she’s carefree and wants to
have fun and experience things now that she’s older, but as the war starts she
realises she need to behave different and maturely “At that
moment, I stopped being an innocent rural teenager and started becoming someone
else, a more complicated and capable person, a force to be reckoned with even,
not just a polite and obedient kid.”
shows that Ellie is more mature than others and thinks differently, she’s never
been in a situation like this, but she starts showing her potential by
leading the others in the right path.
character that experiences a lot of change is homer, ” the day this started
you have made good ideas , you have made us do things we wouldn’t do without
the beginning homer is a considered a class clown, he wants to make jokes and
always starts trouble, he does not care about anyone’s opinion, but later in
the text his attitude becomes entirely different. He becomes a positive guy who’s
really strong and brave. He changes and becomes the leader of the group. An
example is when he speaks to everyone about the situation and what tells his
peers what needs to be done, “We’ve just
got to become totally nocturnal and triple-check everyone…we should get more
supplies in and make it a proper headquarters…organising rations…living off the
land we’ve got to become a guerrilla outfit.” Homer uses his creativity and brings the idea of blowing the blow up a
bridge in Warrawee to stop enemy movements.

In conclusion things were important in the text
but the main theme that was very important is change. It’s a very dominant theme in tomorrow when the war began
because it is shown in action through Ellie, homer and warrawee. The teenagers
were able to change their attitude due to the devastating situations their town
warawee was put in by being invade by a foreign country. Change is also a very
dominant theme because it’s something everyone goes through in their lives. The
teenagers had the strength and resilience to co-operate with the invasion of
their town and were able to put their lives on the line to save their town. We
see how relationship and teamwork changes the way people treat each other. In
the novel it talks about how hard it is to be in a war and not knowing where your
next meal is going come from. Knowing that the next day is a matter of life or
death, we see how friends sacrifice their lives to save others. We see the town
of warawee has been invaded and how hard it is to be taken away from your
family. This novel tomorrow when the war began teaches us that support,
teamwork and courage can get us through the impossible.


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