Brett holds a rebellious attitude and has certain negativity towards authority; this is expressed in his attitude towards the police at the start of the novel and the use of the dialogue “pigs”. They capture Brett after a bungled robbery and he is taken from Sydney to a juvenile detention centre in Mungindi run by Sam and Mary Fraser. Brett Dalton is the individual we see the institution have major effects on, it changes his life, attitudes and morals.Brett’s attitudes towards authority are made very clear, the book is written in 3rd person, but through Brett’s perspective this allows us to understand his individual opinions and also allows us too see his change in perspectives due to his institutionalization “To Brett, Sam was everything he resented here, the more he tried to change him, the more Brett would resist, Brett wasn’t going to follow any rules or become the mans buddy like any of the other losers, he was happy with who he was and how he lived.
He would beat the system before it beat him. In the end Brett would win.” The irony of this attitude is that so long as Brett retains it, he will be the loserConversations between Brett and other characters are much more emotionally charged in dialogue form than they would be if Monk had merely described them.‘Get out’‘Why should I?’‘I said get out!’‘Make me!’At the beginning of the novel Brett has trouble taking responsibility for his actions, we see this when Brett gets a loving letter from his mother, and he bins it and we hear his thoughts “he was in trouble now so why didn’t she help him.Sam is a very influential person in Brett’s few months in the institution; he is a prime example of a positive aspect of the institution.
The Simple philosophy utilized by Sam early in the text, and reaffirmed in the conclusion “that only you can change your life” shows us he believes that rehabilitation of young offenders is much more likely to occur through the stressing of personal responsibility for.