Bush. Australian term for wilderness area that also has connotations that make the bush a fearful place on one hand and a spiritual place on the other. As the novel opens, the central character, Stan Parker, walks into the virgin bushland awed by the “simplicity of true grandeur” where the silence was “immense.” From the novel’s beginning, then, the bush assumes religious dimensions comparable to a cathedral. It continues to be treated in this way throughout the work, and at its end, Stan’s grandson undergoes a similar revelation as he walks through the bush.
A crucial passage of The Tree of Man describes a powerful storm that strikes the area and the flood that follows. Such unpredictable weather characterizes Australia, where bush regions suffer drought for years then heavy rains flood the parched earth. The raging water heightens the drab landscape and figures as a pivotal experience in Parker’s quest for understanding. Like so many elements in the novel, the deluge carries religious significance and brings to mind the biblical flood.
Parker farm. Farm that Stan and his wife, Amy, build for half a century. It begins with Stan’s clearing of a space in the bush and building a simple hut. Soon, he marries Amy, with whom he has two children. Over the years, their farm expands as more of the scrub and trees are cleared away. The crude hut evolves into a rambling...
(The entire section is 582 words.)