Cultural identity is represented in a range of ways in Cloudstreet by Tim Winton. This representation is constructed by the representation of class, gender and race, which create the aspects that define and verify the identity of our culture. This text is based in Australia from 1940s to the 1960s, however it was written in the 1980s. Over the twenty year span of the novel, Winton highlights that "cultures are always changing" and are not fixed. By writing in a different context to his own, he captures the essence and innocence of Australia's previous identity by introducing us to characters, situations and representations that define Australia - from Australian idiom to renowned Australian pastimes. The prose fiction elements, such as characterisation and setting are vital in constructing a representation of cultural identity. They are used effectively in this text, as a clear and definite representation of the text's cultural identity is offered to the reader. Thus, in order to both challenge and confirm aspects of Australia's cultural identity, it is represented in a variety of ways. The representation of class, gender and race and the effective use of the prose fiction elements are essential in the construction of this distinct representation.
Firstly, we will look at the prologue which provides us with an aspect that contributes to the representation of Australia's cultural identity. Prior to prologue, the epigraph - "Shall we gather at the river Where bright angel-feet have trod- foreshadowed a level of importance in regards to the river. It seems a place of gathering, happiness and memories, notions which was continued immediately in the prologue. It is in the prologue that we are subjected to a scene whereby the newly introduced characters are spending time by the river. By highlighting that the characters are enjoying the features of the land, namely the river, represents an important aspect of Australia's cultural identity.