Goose at Goldie's Milk Bar: the nature of human animal relationships in three modern literary fairy tales

Teasdale, D 2006, Goose at Goldie's Milk Bar: the nature of human animal relationships in three modern literary fairy tales, Masters by Research, Media and Communication, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Goose at Goldie's Milk Bar: the nature of human animal relationships in three modern literary fairy tales
Author(s) Teasdale, D
Year 2006
Abstract The Goose at Goldie's Milk Bar is a modern literary fairy tale written in the form of a novel for adult readers. Set in the fictional Australian small country town of Baxters Creek, it tells the story of Goldie Sullivan, an elderly former milk bar proprietor who has an affair with a gigantic cognisant gander. Goldie lives out the back of the town's old milk bar, hiding from the surrounding narrow-minded community, until late one night she witnesses a bolt of lightning strike the bell tower on the nearby church. When she goes to investigate, Goldie finds the body of a large bird buried in the debris and, believing it is an omen, she carries the half-dead bird home on her back. As she rehabilitates the bird, Goldie discovers there is more to the feathered creature than she first thought. The bird, a giant gander blown off course and struck down in the middle of migration, reveals an advanced awareness of humanity and the profound ability to comprehend the sorrow in Goldie's life. Through a shared appreciation of jazz music, Goldie and the goose learn to communicate and a close friendship ensues. Goldie teaches the goose to dance, the pair share baths and the goose moves into Goldie's bedroom. Before too long, Goldie finds herself in the midst of a most indecent affair. Goldie's relationship with the gander unfolds against a backdrop of other unconventional relationships. Kevin Dwyer, the new reporter in town finds himself drawn to the shire maintenance worker, Travis Handley. Real estate agent Alexander Bourke has taken Lynne Fontaine, the chef at the local Chinese restaurant, as his oriental mistress, and recently windowed farmer, Mary Peddley, sets tongues wagging with the one-legged publican, Jack Diamond. The novel uses the human animal narrative to explore the premise that fate is driven by unseen, sometimes magical forces that manifest in inexplicable ways to reveal the hidden truths of people.

The writing of the novel has been supported by research conducted for an exegesis titled, The Nature of Human Animal Relationships in Three Modern Literary Fairy Tales. The exegesis identifies and discusses the nature of the central human animal relationships in three novels: Yann Martel's Life of Pi, Peter Hoeg's Woman and the Ape and the writing project, The Goose at Goldie's Milk Bar. The exegesis identifies and discusses the roles and functions the human and animal characters perform in the three novels through a comparative analysis of the narrative theories of early Russian Structuralist, Vladimir Propp. The exegesis also identifies and discusses the types of transformation the human and animal characters undergo, and conducts a comparative analysis of the theories of English academic and fairy tale historian, Jack Zipes. Finally, the exegesis analyses and discusses the multi-dimensional nature of the bonds formed by the human and animal characters and demonstrates how writers of modern literary fairy tales seek to awaken the reader to the possibilities of relationships with animals beyond usual human understanding or experience.
Degree Masters by Research
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Media and Communication
Keyword(s) Animals -- Folkore
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