Describe at least one important character in the written text. Explain how this character is revealed to you throughout the text and/or how this character helps you understand an important theme/idea in the novel.

In this novel by Barry Crump, Wild Pork and Watercress one of the main characters in the book is Ricky Baker who is a Maori boy and this book is based on his life as he goes through the struggles of the social wellfare system and being a young maori boy who is perceived as dumb for most of his life. As the story progress’s throughout the story and Ricky gets taken in by his loving kind Auntie Bella we get to see that Ricky is not in fact just a dumb Maori boy but actually a capable young man that can is kind and loving life as he thrives in the element of the New Zealand country with his Aunt and Uncle. Wild Pork and Watercress has been written in first person with the narrative point of view being young Ricky Baker as he takes us through the stuggles of his life and how he has overcome them.

Ricky goes through many struggles during his childhood one of the major ones being his struggle with the social wellfare and education systems, being fostered from house to house not having a place that he can call home and being perceived as just a dumb maori boy. Ricky always had trouble fitting in at school as he was overweight and wasn’t very good at sports like most other kids his age. After he was at school for a few years he could read really well for his age but was lacking in his other subjects so he was then classed as a slow learner therefore resulting in being shifted from class to class just like he was in the social welfare system being shifted from house to house not having any place to call home. As seen today, the disproportional amount of maoris to pakehas in prisons is significant and we can only imagine if all of these maoris had the opportunities Ricky had to escape the city where he didn’t fit in and go into the country the outcome of the lives of these maoris today could have very different.

Throughout the text the emotion that Ricky is experiencing is portrayed in the language used in the book. Language used such as “I knew they had me all wrong but there wasn’t much I could do about it” portrays the idea to the reader that he has given up on himself and it is no use trying to argue his point anymore. If Ricky has given up on himself then it is not only effecting his school and at home life but is also effecting his well being. The amount of people (more significantly maoris) that are dropping out of school at and early age is really sad as most of these kids don’t get a proper education and just misunderstood like Ricky.

Growing up in an environment where the was no one to love or trust, Ricky was very skeptical about moving to the country with his Aunt Bella and Uncle Hec as he had never had any guidance but as he comes to realise that being out in the country is his element he starts to really come into his own, finding things that his good and passionate about. After being failed by the education and

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  1. Wild Pork and Watercress has been written in first person with the narrative point of view being young Ricky Baker as he takes us through the struggles of his life and how he has overcome them…what is the effect of the use of narrative pov? The use of colloquial and idiomatic language?

  2. Make sure you are focussing on the character and themes, as required in the question Sophie.

    In you paragraph about language, discuss the effect of the use of the first person narrator. Also the author’s use of colloquial language.


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