The Boat Essay

The Boat Essay

  • Submitted By: COLTONS
  • Date Submitted: 01/12/2014 2:25 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 607
  • Page: 3
  • Views: 1

The boat

Alistair MacLeod’s short story The Boat is a coming of age account in which the narrator tells of a period in his life when he must choose between what he desires and what his family deems is important. In Alistair MacLeod’s The Boat, the narrator is trying to come to terms with himself by confronting his past life with his present life. He is trying to decide if he has chosen the right career and lifestyle. His decision not to live by the ocean and to pursue the life of a fisherman was the right decision for him in the beginning. Although it was the right one for him at first, one can easily see why it does not turn out to be the best choice in the years to come. In this essay I will show you the reasons why he did not make the right decision to leave the ocean. These reasons are because of the unresolved grief over the loss of his father, the importance of family and tradition, and the guilt that he feels by his selfishness of up and leaving. The narrator has many unresolved feelings of grief over the loss of his father. He has not come to terms with the significance of his father’s passing. In the beginning of the story he is still having frequent early morning awakenings where he “imagine that my father is waiting for me in the room below the darkened stairs”. Although the narrator has made clear career and lifestyle choices far from the traditional world of his youth, he has not come to resolution to his grief.

The narrator delves into his relationships with his mother, tradition, and most importantly his father. His family lives in a small Nova Scotia fishing community where his father owns and operates his own fishing boat and his mother stays at home to take care of the seven children. The relationship between his mother and father is conflicted and it is obvious that they do not hold the same views. The narrator is forced to choose between finishing high school and helping his father out on his boat. He realizes that it is his duty to...

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