"Fly Away Peter- is a short novel written by David Malouf in 1982, set in 1914 in Queensland, Australia, where two young men, an Australian and an Englishman go to war and experience the horrors and misery of World War One. The book deals with various Australian cultures and identities which cover patriotism, war, and Australia-England relationships. .
David Malouf brings his representation of patriotism in Australian culture to life in the early chapters of Fly Away Peter. His idea that Australia was a young but patriotic nation in 1914, when the book was set, is seen when he introduces a minor character, a young girl in chapter 6, which in many ways, reflects the ordinary people within that society period. When she meets Jim in Brisbane in a shoe shop, she asks if Jim is going to join the army, and when Jim asks why, she passionately and patriotically says to Jim If I was a man I'd want to be in it [War]. .
At first, the strong patriotism of Australians seems to be shown in positive light in Fly Away Peter', however in depth it seems that Malouf tries to create a negative view. His representation of patriotism shows how it can influence a person's life, and in this case it is the influence of Jim's decision whether to join up to fight the war. The girl's initial words, I reckon you'll be joining up' is what plants the seed of excitement' in Jim. On page 36, "When he stepped out . beginning of a stampede- this passage indicates that something is going to happen in Jim's life. The patriotism that suddenly fills the streets of Brisbane affects Jim and persuades him to drop his passion for bird watching and go fight the war, which through the book the reader certainly knows will not suit his particular character. Malouf expresses negative concern and further enhances his view making references to the slope' and stampede' to indicate that Jim's decision is not totally under his individual control.