Dialectics of Space and Place in the Australian Novels, Indelible Ink and Five Bells

Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D. Candidate of English Literature, Department of English Language and Literature, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Professor of English Literature, Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran



Through the lens of spatial studies expounded in human geography, this paper aims to investigate the dynamics of space and place in the metropolitan context of two twentieth-century novels set in contemporary Sydney titled Indelible Ink (2010) by Fiona McGregor and Five Bells (2011) by Gail Jones. The characters' interactions with city spaces and places will be studied to examine the effects of spatial experience on their lives. Inter-related notions of sense of place, place identity, and topophilia are analyzed in the light of theories expounded by thinkers including Yi-Fu Tuan and John Agnew. This is complemented by an examination of the impacts of landmarks as iconic public spaces on the characters employing ideas put forth by Christophe Den Tandt. One of the conclusions the paper reaches is that characters of both novels fail to establish or maintain stable bonds with places of their dwelling and cityspaces, as a result of which, their sense of place as well as their inner peace and security are disturbed. When place identity is undermined, they suffer from a sense of dislocatedness and placelessness.


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  • Receive Date: 10 July 2021
  • Revise Date: 31 January 2022
  • Accept Date: 28 April 2023
  • First Publish Date: 28 April 2023