Paper on “The Traveller” | Eksamenssæt STX 2. december 2015

Write an analytical essay (700-1000 words) in which you analyse and interpret Ryan O’Neill’s short story “The Traveller”. Your essay must include the following points:

- the setting
- a characterisation of Lockhart
- Lockhart’s relationship to his surroundings
- the title

Ryan O’Neill, “The Traveller”, 2013

A negative connotation is ususally associated with false statements, which are presented by an individual to be true. This is referred to as lying. It is usually frowned upon, as most people highly value honesty among their friends and family. Sometimes we may feel that it is necessary to lie, and we will convince ourselves that it is only a “white lie”. Although, one lie often leads to another lie, and before we know it, we could be living one.

In this essay I will attempt to demonstrate how lying can effect our relations, and how we can lose track of where our lives are going through my analysis of “The Traveller”, written by Ryan O’Niell, from The Best Australien Short Stories anthology, 2013. I will use analytical techniques to highlight features, which may help to distinguish traits common among liars.

At first, Lockhart just seems a little abnormal, but it becomes more and more clear thoughout the short story, that he is well and truly a dishonest man. As he is given an envelope filled with “sponsorship forms”, by his nephew Paul, Lockhart thanks Paul and says to him, “This means three months of square meals at the orphanage. Well done, son.” – making his young nephew believe that he had collected money for dying children in Africa.

Lockhart has no empathy at all in regards to his family members, as he has been cheating and manipulating them for years. He exposes his sister Narelle to the same cruelty as he does his nephew, when she generously comes home with a sheaf of money, raised at a “fundraiser” at the hospital where she works.

Little did they know, the funds were not going to needy kids in Africa, but they were going straight into Lockharts travelling budget, – “He added the envelopes that Narelle and Paul had given him to a dozen similar envelopes wedged tightly under the Australian phrasebook which Paul had presented to him (…)”. He hides the evidence and disregards his actions.

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