VCE Essay prompts: Flames, Robbie Arnott

Looking for practice essay prompts for Flames by Robbie Arnott? Here are some practice prompts to help you prepare for the text response essay!

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Connections and pairs / Alienation / Isolation 

  • The characters in Flames are all at points of desperation. To what extent do you agree? 
  • ‘I wanted to feel close to her, to feel like she and I were almost interchangeable.’ Discuss the role of connection in Flames
  • In Flames, paths often overlap and intertwine sometimes without the characters’ knowledge. Discuss. 
  • ‘…the Oneblood Tuna. A man couldn’t hunt it alone, and neither could a seal, but together they could kill a beast twice as heavy as the two of them combined’. Flames is an exploration of the joys and tribulations of relationship and interconnectedness. Discuss. 

Humans / Natural world 

  • ‘I’d been burning ever since our mother had.’ Discuss the use of fire in the novel. 
  • Flames is a symbolic portrait of a real world. Discuss.
  • In Flames, animals and the environment reflect the human character’s emotions. Discuss.
  • Flames depict the natural world and human world as at odds with each other. Do you agree? 

Death / Grief 

  • In Flames, death is not the enemy. Discuss. 
  • The characters in Robbie Arnott’s Flames are interconnected by pain and sorrow. Discuss.

Self-knowledge / Misunderstandings 

  • Flames is about transformation. To what extent do you agree? 
  • Flames shows that it is not possible to entirely control one’s own future. Discuss. 

Narrative structures

  • How does Arnott use genre to influence the interpretation of his themes?
  • How does Flames use narrative perspective to construct relationships between characters? 
  • Arnott’s use of vignettes in Flames reinforce the interconnectedness of his characters. Discuss.

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