A Long Way Home


Saroo Brierley

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Josef Character Analysis

Josef is Mum’s father. He was Polish and a part of the Resistance during World War Two. The experience disturbed him and eventually led him to extreme alcoholism. He married Julie in Germany and the two moved to Australia. Though Josef was initially trustworthy and kind, the trauma he experienced in the war soon made him violent and delusional. Though he became quite wealthy, he never was able to accept state authority and was jailed several times for refusing to pay taxes. He soon lost all the family’s money and property to loan sharks.

Josef Quotes in A Long Way Home

The A Long Way Home quotes below are all either spoken by Josef or refer to Josef. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Family Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of A Long Way Home published in 2013.
6. My Mum's Journey Quotes

Because of all she'd been through growing up, Mum had decided that there was nothing sacrosanct about families formed only by birth parents.

Related Characters: Saroo Brierley (speaker), Mum / Sue Brierley, Josef, Julie
Page Number: 130
Explanation and Analysis:
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Josef Character Timeline in A Long Way Home

The timeline below shows where the character Josef appears in A Long Way Home. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
6. My Mum's Journey
Family Theme Icon
Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
Destiny, Chance, and Luck Theme Icon
Mum’s father, Josef, was born in Poland. His mother died when he was little, and his stepmother hated... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
Human Kindness Theme Icon
Mum described Josef as being huge, powerful, and scary, as his moods could shift instantly from melancholia to... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Memory, Technology, and Friendship Theme Icon
Mum left school at 16 per Josef’s insistence, and she got a job as a pharmacy assistant in Burnie. She loved her... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Mum was very affected by Josef’s ensuing downfall. He went bankrupt twice and was eventually sent to the lockup. An accountant... (full context)