That Eye, the Sky In the novel That Eye the Sky, Ort Flack appears to explore some of the questions that all young people are faced with, but he often seems unconscious of this exploration, and it would be more accurate to say that Ort is used to explore these questions. Certainly he never takes the time to sit down and think about his own sense of self. It is just as true that from his life experiences he can draw incredible flashes of insight. As a narrator Ort doesn't often 'negotiate' as such the relationships he has with those around him, he simply makes statements about what happens, and then continues with logical statements. His sexuality he obviously thinks a lot about, but in the text he there is very little direct exploration of the subject.
Of course faith is something that hovers over the entire novel and Ort draws a few conclusions about it, but he rarely contemplates it directly. Through his actions and the things he says is the best way to judge Ort's sense of self and his opinion of himself. He is utterly selfless in almost everything he does, and always feels very deeply the pain of others. But there are times when his actions reveal that he does sometimes evaluate his situation, and these actions reflect negatively upon the outcomes. When he attempts to escape into another world like the children in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, we very clearly see the need for an escape; that his life is closing in on him.
Apart from that he is worried or unhappy about the situation with his father and Henry Warburton, he obviously is conscious about what he is perceived as by the older characters. 'I love staying for a second cup, makes you feel so grown up' he says, which is obviously important to him. Although he fears going to high school and growing up, he often resents 'small thing' and 'you wouldn't understand,' something that many children face as they feel that they are growing up, and nobody else seems to think so. But once again the matter is not directly contemplated on by Ort to us by direct text, but revealed to us by his actions. In the book much is revealed, though in pieces, about Ort's relationships with those around him.
With Henry Warburton, his mother and most interestingly Tegwyn. This is an address towards problems of pre-pubescent relationship problems that must be faced by most pre-teens. Ort's relationship with Henry Warburton raises questions in him about most obviously faith, but also of the paternal nature of the relationship. Through this Ort comes to questions the quality of his parenting. Through his growing up and through the events of the novel Ort begins to view his mother differently. As most children do he views his mother with respect and the assumption that she can do anything.
As she shows Ort her tender weakness for Sam this slowly vanishes, and like all growing up children he must realize that his mother is human. None of Orts relationships however raise as many questions in him as his and Tegwyn's. Tegwyn seems to change a lot in the novel, likely of course due to mood, and Ort has trouble figuring her out. 'She can still be funny, Tegwyn... she must be the saddest angriest person in the whole world.' Ort comes up with both of these statements within a few lines when he and Tegwyn are walking to the shops and her and Tegwyn muck about. Ort already questions external happiness, and external depression and sees that anyone can be happy or depressed given the situation.
Again, there is no direct discussion of his exploration of the topic, only what he directly tells us, and then lets us on an insightful 'it proves anyone can be funny, because she must be the saddest angriest person in the whole world.' Sexuality is an obvious topic of exploration for a young male coming into his teens, and Ort again almost never has a paragraph of discussing it, but gives us snippets of his thoughts. In the bath with Sam he 'would look at his old fella and wonder about it.' He doesn't give us much on his thoughts about it, and the only real opinion he shows about his penis and sexuality is when he in the bush naked and ' (his) old fella with its nine black hairs, sticking up just like that old man's under the bridge... Makes you sick.' The only other opinion we have is his revolt at Henry Warburton under the bridge with his own erection. This topic especially Ort, although we get a bit of insight into his opinions and the fact that he does think about them, does not truly directly contemplate. Of course the biggest topic explored by Ort in That Eye the Ski is one of faith. He raises questions such as the obvious, 'is there a God?' , 'why does he let bad things happen to bad people?' and so on, though he himself never doubts the presence of an omniscient being.
But he also raises questions about the nature of faith. Does faith truly need a name? Does God need to be called so? Do we need to drink sherry and say grace before every meal to be good believers? As usual Ort does not raise these questions directly, but quietly almost pokes fun at the Christian rites, and when shown an extreme example of Christian faith, they cannot contain themselves, and Alice and Ort must leave the bible group. One of the most important themes in the book, the exploration of faith by Ort shows a very simple reasoning of belief, and hence at a very basic level shows us how perhaps we believe. It is the way that Ort raises these questions that makes the questions themselves more deeply looked into by readers. Winton uses Ort to open up thoughts about the nature of these discussions, and in the way that Ort explores them helps those readers to explore their own questions. Certainly Ort explores these big questions, but more importantly helps the readers to do so for themselves..