Analysis Of 'The Boat, And Simple Recipes' By Alistair Macleod

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The reading of “The Boat” by Alistair Macleod, and “Simple Recipes” by Madeleine Thein, both display many components that draw attention to different family dynamics, as well as how each member is tested when if comes to love. The reading of “The Boat” by Alistair Macleod is an interesting and sad story that displays many elements figuratively and literally. The first figurative element is the boat. At a literal perspective, the boat is used for fishing and boat rides, although these are not the only things that the boat represents. We learn that the father in some way, as been sacrificing his working life for his family, for something that he doesn’t absolutely love. This shows that he is in some way trapped, or imprisoned. The boat displays…show more content…
The son is somewhat imprisoned as well. He struggles throughout the story to choose what he wants to do in life, either go to school or stay at home and help his father with fishing. This is a difficult decision for him as he is pulled in different directions as his mother wants him to stay, and his father told him to go back to school. At the beginning of the story the readers realize that the narrator works at a university. This displays that the narrator, or son, chose to go down the path of education after his father died. He feels as though he owes it to his father to live his dreams. Another part to this story is the mother’s relationship with her husband and children. It is clear that she strongly is against anyone doing something other than fishing with their lives. Why is it that she strongly dislikes anyone going against fishing, while her husband is the total opposite? Her husband is fisherman, whose desire is education, but the mother can’t stand anyone wasting time on useless books. I feel as though this may be because the mother frowns upon what her husband loves, and she is upset that he has to escape the life he lives with her and their children, using books. There are key quotes throughout this novel that display the imprisonment that the father went through. Near the end of the story, the narrator states “the brass chains on his wrist”, and also “wedged between two rocks”. These two quotes display the imprisonment the father had experienced his whole life, and his desire to want something more in life other than just fishing. The second quote reveals how he was stuck between his desires and his responsibilities. These three points in this short story all display the importance of choice in a

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