Through de Bernieres emphasis of these 3 features, we sense a connection between the language and the landscape. There are many techniques the author uses to help us feel what sort of day it is. These techniques make the descriptions of the weather in the book feel like you are being smothered by a blanket of heat. One effective technique used is metaphor, for example, “It was a red-hot day in February. ” Steel turns red when it gets really hot, so a “red-hot day” is a terribly scorching day.
Another technique used is simile, for example, “…all the vegetation was looking as if it had been dried in an oven. ” This indicates that the weather is so hot and so dry that the vegetation shrivels up. Another example of an effective technique is the use of descriptive language. “The air shimmers…” The air doesn’t exactly shimmer; it’s only an illusion caused by the scorching heat. The description of the weather in Red Dog is very effective with the use of metaphor, simile and descriptive language.
There are many colloquial expressions that are used in Red Dog. These colloquial expressions are used when the men from the outback are talking, in the Australian vernacular. One example of dialogue that illustrates colloquial speech is “Hope it was up to scratch. ” (p. 50). Jocko is the man who said this line and he is a typical outback bloke. This line means that Jocko hopes the treatment he had given to Red Dog in stitching his wound would be a good job. Another example from Jocko is “I’ve just realised I haven’t told me missus where I’m gone. ” (p. 3), also meaning that he hadn’t told his wife that he had gone somewhere else. A third example is “…One big mess and no more roo. ” (p. 48). Vanno, another outback bloke, describes a situation if someone’s car hits a kangaroo, it would be a big mess. Colloquial language usually shortens or leaves out some words in dialogues. Australian vernacular is used quite a lot in Red Dog and makes dialogue in this novel much more interesting. There are many landscapes of Australia depicted in the book. De Bernieres describes the outback and the harsh Western Australian beaches.
For example, “Even the red earth looked less red. Visitors to that place can’t believe that the mining companies are actually allowed to leave all those heaps of red stones and red earth all over the place, without caring about it at all, but the strange fact is that all those heaps and piles were put there by nature, as if She had whimsically decided to mimic the most unity and careless behaviour of mankind itself. ” This describes that the outback was all red: it had red stones and red earth all over the place.
This strange natural phenomenon has made visitors think that the red stones and red earth were left there by mining companies. “Through this ungentle landscape galloped Tally Ho, raising his own little plume of red dust in the wake of the greater plume raised by Jack Collin’s car. ” This means there was red earth everywhere, so when Tally Ho ran, he raised a plume of red dust and when Jack Collin drove his car along the red earth, he raised an even bigger plume of red dust. “In those days nobody bothered much about whether or not the sun was bad for your skin… This means that the sun on Cottesloe beach may have been harsh, hot and damaging to your skin. We can see the Australian outback and the harsh Western Australian beaches are harshly described, with the addition of a bit of humour in them. Louis de Bernieres has created a vibrant representation of Australian culture and setting by emphasising the Australian vernacular. This has a special flavour that often reveals the down-to-earth humour of the people, as well as their fatalistic acceptance of the harsh realities of living in the harsh conditions and tough landscape.