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Abbreviation. By Victoria and Linlin. Summary.

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By Victoria and Linlin


Vic is a thirteen year old by that is visiting White Point with his family for New Years Eve. He greets the rest of his family including the cousins he dislike, before driving to the dunes in saltbush country. When they arrived it was dark, late and hot so they went to sleep. The next morning, Vic decided to go for a surf as the heat was intensifying. After a while he noticed a girl was watching him and started to applaud him. His first impression was that she was rude but he was attracted to her. They started speaking and she showed him her finger and explained how she lost half her finger in a hay baler. She calls this her abbreviation.


Later that day two of them kiss as the girl holds his earlobes and he discovers that the girls name is Melanie.

The following day, the family go for a ride in the boat and Uncle Ernie begins to carelessly drive. Vic falls out of the boat and a hook gets stuck in his leg. He is taken to his mother and auntie for help. After he recovers, he goes for a walk on search of Melanie but as he approaches her campsite, she is gone. He is left standing on the sand feeling empty.


Family – Each family member is so different yet they all get along.

Relationships/friendships – Vic believes to have started a relationship with Melanie.

Hopelessness – When he finds out that Melanie has left before he gets to see her for the second time. Also, the way he feels trapped with his family.

Desperation –Wanting to see Melanie again and the desperate attempt to escape his family.

Loyalty – Loyal to Melanie.

Youth – He is a typical twelve year old boy. He wants to spend time with his friends instead of being on the family holiday.

Loneliness – Feeling ‘empty’

Reality – Sometimes reality is not as great as we want it to be, which is what Vic experienced.


The ocean – Symbolises calmness, peacefulness and even freedom. This is ironic because Vic feels trapped in his small hometown.

The hook – This was personally symbolic to Vic.

Melanie claims that her finger is an abbreviation and Vic finds this intriguing.

Characters vic lang
Characters - Vic Lang

Vic is the protagonist and a twelve (almost 13) year old boy. He is quiet and shy. We can see this by the way his family acts in comparison to him.

He doesn’t seem to like family events as he spends most of the time trying to get away from them and feels, ‘stuck on this trip.’

He seems quite lonely as he wishes, ‘there’d been room for a mate on this trip.’

He comes from a poorer family, ‘ they didn’t have a boat, couldn’t afford one.’

He doesn’t particularly like his uncle and feels ‘uneasy’ around him.

Wants to escape his home town.

Likes the ocean but is not a good surfer.


Uncle ernie
Uncle Ernie

Uncle Ernie is known to be the funny one in the family, although he is quite rude most of time and is lacking in manners.

Loud and careless, ‘Ernie and Cleo came out pushing and shoving and swearing.’

Was Nanna’s ‘favoured son.’

Often in trouble with the law as everything he ‘touched turned bad.’

Not trustworthy

Never listens to others and instead likes to talk

Made Vic feel uneasy

Quite rich in comparison to rest of family

A ‘live wire’

Liked adventure

Thinks he is ‘irresistible’ – big ego.


16 years-old.

Lost half her finger in a hay bail accident and remembers the whole incident.

Often refers to Vic as ‘sport’.

‘Green-painted finger nails.’

Lived on a farm in the past.

Attended boarding school in the past.

Confident in the way she approaches Vic.

Quite humorous.

Other characters
Other Characters

  • Auntie Cleo – Similar personality to Uncle Ernie. She is loud and has a big ego. Her real name is Cloris. Bored Vic’s mum constantly with her uninteresting stories.

  • Vic’s grandmother – Quite strict and stern as she was ‘’barking’ out orders. It was mainly her idea to have the family trip for New Years Eve. Sticks up for Uncle Ernie’s bad behaviourand not much patience. However, she is respected in the family.

  • Vic’s girl-cousins – ‘Their faces as read as their hair.’ Vic describes them as unattractive. Must be similar age to Vic or younger.


Written in third person

Colloquial language e.g., ‘Inside having a blue’

The descriptions used allow perfect imagery of what Tim Winton is trying to say e.g., ‘A big tangerine moon’ and ‘But the sea and the sky were as pale and blue and blank as sleep’

Descriptive and colourful language

‘Bubbles danced beyond his face’

‘…nanna’s mouth was like a knife edge’

‘Carrot-top cousins’

‘Beneath him the water flashed by, white, green, blue, yellow.’

Views and values
Views and Values

Loyalty – He had only met Melanie a couple days ago, but was determined to see her again.

Valuing relationships and hard times - Although Vic found most of his family frustrating to be around, he still picked out the positives about each one and thought of the positive traits each one had.

Finds peace with the ocean and views it as a place where he can be alone and feel calm.

Values the company of others.