Fly Away Peter

by

David Malouf

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One of Jim’s fellow infantrymen in World War I. Like Jim, Clancy is from Australia. He’s also something of a trouble-maker, though he’s ultimately kind-hearted and friendly. A flirtatious man outside the war, Clancy eventually tells Jim about his love for one woman in particular, who—for reasons he doesn’t make clear—seems to have inspired him to join the military. While bringing Jim some water one day, Clancy is taken out by enemy fire. His body completely evaporates into blood and gore that spray over Jim so that even after he bathes, he never feels like he’s fully cleaned himself of his friend’s insides. When Jim himself dies, he encounters Chancy, who instructs him in a friendly way to dig into the earth until he reaches “the other side.”
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Clancy Parkett Character Timeline in Fly Away Peter

The timeline below shows where the character Clancy Parkett appears in Fly Away Peter. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9
Boundaries and Perspective Theme Icon
Time, Change, and Impermanence Theme Icon
Friendship and Human Connection Theme Icon
In the military, Jim is grouped with a number of Australians, including a man named Clancy Parkett who is a kindhearted trouble-maker. Jim takes a liking to Clancy, who tells stories... (full context)
Boundaries and Perspective Theme Icon
Friendship and Human Connection Theme Icon
Innocence and Maturity Theme Icon
...like friends, told you who you were.” As Jim and Wizzer square off to fight, Clancy steps in and takes Jim’s place, but the “spirit” of the fight is less murderous.... (full context)
Chapter 10
Boundaries and Perspective Theme Icon
Time, Change, and Impermanence Theme Icon
Friendship and Human Connection Theme Icon
Innocence and Maturity Theme Icon
...up as they sit in train cars watching the snowy countryside scroll by. One day, Clancy and Jim decide they want to get some hot water for tea, so they jump... (full context)
Chapter 11
Boundaries and Perspective Theme Icon
Innocence and Maturity Theme Icon
...farming. Jim’s company is scheduled to join the frontlines on December 23rd. The night before, Clancy urges him to “break bounds” by sneaking off to a small nearby village, where there’s... (full context)
Friendship and Human Connection Theme Icon
Innocence and Maturity Theme Icon
Jim agrees to accompany Clancy to the bar. As they set off, a boy named Eric Sawney runs after them.... (full context)
Friendship and Human Connection Theme Icon
Innocence and Maturity Theme Icon
At the bar, Clancy drinks hard liquor while Jim and Eric drink white wine sweetened with syrup—a drink Clancy... (full context)
Chapter 12
Language and Naming Theme Icon
Time, Change, and Impermanence Theme Icon
Innocence and Maturity Theme Icon
...and peeks “over the parapet twice,” only to have “ his head shot off.” When Clancy tells Jim the name of this unfortunate soul, Jim is horrified to discover he can’t... (full context)
Time, Change, and Impermanence Theme Icon
Innocence and Maturity Theme Icon
...of rain, Jim feels a hand on the back of his neck. “Cut it out, Clancy,” he says, but when he turns around, he sees a bloodless hand hanging out of... (full context)
Boundaries and Perspective Theme Icon
Time, Change, and Impermanence Theme Icon
Innocence and Maturity Theme Icon
...of ammunition, which will be taken into the trenches. As he eats, he waits for Clancy to come above ground with some water. Without warning, he feels as if his breath... (full context)
Boundaries and Perspective Theme Icon
Time, Change, and Impermanence Theme Icon
Friendship and Human Connection Theme Icon
Innocence and Maturity Theme Icon
...carried in his head,” and “might persist after the fact.” But then Jim wonders where Clancy is and, in a shock of horror, realizes that his friend has been shot and... (full context)
Chapter 17
Boundaries and Perspective Theme Icon
Time, Change, and Impermanence Theme Icon
Friendship and Human Connection Theme Icon
...gets on his knees and puts his hands in the ground. “That’s it, mate,” says Clancy Parkett. “That’s the style! Dig!” Startled, Jim looks up and is disconcerted to see his... (full context)
Boundaries and Perspective Theme Icon
Time, Change, and Impermanence Theme Icon
Friendship and Human Connection Theme Icon
Clancy tells Jim that he and everybody else in the garden are “digging through to the... (full context)
Boundaries and Perspective Theme Icon
Time, Change, and Impermanence Theme Icon
Friendship and Human Connection Theme Icon
...dig, he knows the “direct route—straight through” is best. Having thought this, Jim turns to Clancy, and his friend returns his look with a “humorous gaze.” As both men smile, Jim... (full context)