The Boat, by Alistair Macleod Essay examples

The Boat, by Alistair Macleod Essay examples

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A household is a precious and sensitive system of a group. Everyone has a role and responsibilities and even if someone took a sliver of more than the rest the balance could be broken. In the short-story “The Boat” written by Alistair MacLeod, the mother controls decisions in the house and abuses them even if they are not for the better of the house. She refuses to accept the daughter’s gifts, she discourages her family towards getting a better education and she married their father and pressured him to be a sailor. Though these decisions are what she feels is right, it does not work out for the rest of the family members. The mother’s stubbornness towards change and education caused the state of desperation in the house-hold.
The mother gave birth to six daughters. The daughters all got jobs at a seafood restaurant ran by a man from Boston. All of the sisters “made good money on tips” (MacLeod 268) but even though they made a respectable income the mother “was angry [her daughters] should even conceive of working in such a place” (MacLeod 267). The mother does not judge the restaurant on their food or the service but simply that he is an outsider. She didn’t accept their daughter’s gifts because they get their money from that restaurant. If the mother were to accept financial help from the daughters they would have a better lifestyle. The six daughters of the mother later became wives to six young men in big cities such as New York or Montreal. There they are wealthy and “drove expensive cars” (MacLeod271), yet the mother “never accepted the young men” (MacLeod 271) because “They were not of her sea” (MacLeod271). The daughters becoming so wealthy could have been a blessing for the family. They could have had help from the d...


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...e disapproved of every job but fishing the father would not have died and he would have gotten an education.
The mother is a selfish and stubborn woman. Raised a certain way and never falters from it. She neglects help, oppresses education and persuades people to be what she wants or she will cut them out of her life completely. Her own morals out-weight every other family member’s wants and choices. Her influence and discipline brought every member of the family’s future to serious-danger to care to her wants. She is everything a good mother isn’t and is blind with her own morals. Her stubbornness towards change and education caused the families state of desperation. The realization shown through the story is the family would be better off without a mother to anchor them down.



Works Cited

MacLoed, Allistair, “The Boat”. Canada: Oxford University Press, 2001

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