Society and Nature in Such is Life


Kiernan questions whether Such is Life reflects the “spirit of the nineties” and whether the ideas that Tom Collins expresses in his digressions are simply Joseph Furphy expressing ideas prevalent at the time. Kiernan concludes that Tom Collins’ digressions must be read against the contradictions of his actions because his philosophy does not always match his behaviour: “Man’s relationship to the universe and his fellow man are the real concern of Such is Life, not the presentation of Australian fronteir society, and the novel offers us Tom Collins’s comic response to life rather than Furphy’s ‘philosophy’”.

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Published 1 December 1963 in Volume 1 No. 2. Subjects: Australian identity, Characterisation, Landscape & identity, Mateship, Narrative techniques, Nationalism, Poverty, Satire.

Cite as: Kiernan, Brian. ‘Society and Nature in Such is Life.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 1, no. 2, 1963, doi: 10.20314/als.b5870b3588.