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Tough Times in The Shipping News

People in society tend to face many challenges that occur in their lives. Some of these challenges can affect people's lives in a positive way or a negative way. If they face their challenges in the negative way, they will suffer for a long time. Having confidence in themselves is considered the best way to overcome the suffering they have in their lives. In the novel, The Shipping News, by Annie Proulx, Quoyle deals with many difficult challenges along his life journey by suffering from bad childhood experiences which led him to have a low self confidence, falling in love with the wrong person that made his life miserable, and raising his two children on his own without getting any support from his wife.

Quoyle experiences a lack of self confidence during his life journey that makes him think wrong of himself. He has never seen one happy day in his life since the day he was born. One of the main experiences he had to go through was his childhood. Quoyle was not treated as a son by his family since he was a child. He believed that he had been given to the wrong family. "Until he was fourteen he cherished the idea that he had been given to the wrong family, that somewhere his real people, saddled with the changeling of the Quoyles, longed for him." (Proulx, Pg 2). This shows how Quoyle's confidence started dropping since he was a little boy. In most times, Quoyle's father would always put him down on anything he says or does. This issue is considered one of the reasons for causing low self confidence in Quoyle. For instance, Quoyle's father is knows as an aggressive parent that only cares about himself and his satisfaction when he forces Quoyle to swim without teaching him or fearing about his life. This statement is proven when it is said in the novel, "Quoyle feared water, could not swim. Again and again the father had broken his clenched grip and thrown him into pools, brooks, lakes, and surf." (Proulx, Pg 2). This quote indicates how bad a father can be treating his son in a horrible way where his son is close to death.
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