In the book, A Bridge to Wiseman’s Cave, James Maloney makes the main characters, Beryl, Harley and Carl act and seem extremely real and life like to the reader, he manages to do this by exploring deeply into each of these three characters different personalities and how they handle the different events that happen in the story and shows how their personalities change at the different stages, for example Carl wants to be accepted by the community and will do whatever it is necessary to be liked by other people, so he goes from a shy loner who keeps to himself, then he changes and try’s to please the Duncan family by working on their barge for heaps cheap pay at the end of the story he is friends with basically everyone in wise mans cove.Aunt Beryl- Carl, Harley and Sarah’s aunt is a very self centred and uncaring type of person, she does not like the idea of having to look after the kids as she sees they will only cost her more money to feed and keep them healthy, so she makes Carl pay her out of his own hard earned money so that he and Harley can live with her, and she feels that it is not her responsibility to have to care for the children and she thinks she has been hard done by Kerry, she’s a grumpy, angry old woman who only thinks of herself and does not care about others, particularly Carl and Harley. and at one stage she hits Harley on the face for getting in trouble with a few locals. Eventually, beryl has a breakdown because of all the recent events and cant cope so she runs away from the boys leaving them in the care of the Duncan family. Carl Matt- All Carl wants is to be accepted and wanted by the other people around him and he is willing to do anything to get that acceptance, many teenage boys are like this in real life.First he offers to help around on the barge to Wiseman’s cave, working for skip Duncan for just a minimum wage, when he finds out what his grandfather done to Skip’s son he tries to make it up to skip for what happened , then he starts washing the sand of the cars and cleaning them to please Skip and the barge’s customers, for no extra cost, Carl behaves and acts like a typical teenage older brother, he is always looking out for Harley and gets upset when he sees that Harley is doing bad things such as vandalizing a few buildings and stealing twisties packets from the general store.
Carl tries to use his Aunt beryl as a mother figure because he feels empty without one, he tries to please Beryl but because of her angry personality he is not able to do this. Carl And Harley are eventually accepted into the Duncan family when it is revealed Kerry was killed in a bus accident.Harley Matt- Just like Carl, Harley wants the same acceptance from all his friends and the people around him, But his way of trying to get that attention is different from Carls and he quickly becomes a nuisance for the shop owner, vandalizing the building and stealing stuff. He rides his pushbike until late at night and gets into fights at school with other boys, he also has arguments with his Aunt Beryl over his bike being locked up. Like Carl, Harley is a typical boy, he is a good kid but he is misunderstood, and he acts the way he does possibly because he lacks the love from his parents that many people need, this leads to his bad behaviour.