The Australian Crucible: Alchemy in Marcus Clarke’s ‘His Natural Life’
Abraham finds a number of clear references to alchemy in the serial version of His Natural Life, and, connecting these with biographical evidence, argues that the struggles of Rufus Dawes can be seen in alchemical terms. The alchemical process occurs before the eyes of others who are blinded (or not) to the “gold” of Rufus Dawes. The process is complete when Rufus Dawes, after passing through the “prison-furnace”, becomes, once again, Richard Devine.
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