The Gulls Analysis

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The waves are violent and “most wrongfully and barbarously abrupt and tall, and each froth-top was a problem in small-boat navigation.” (1352). The waves toss and jolt the small dinghy, which creates fear among the crew. After one tumultuous wave passed, another followed close behind, and “it was not difficult to imagine that this particular wave was the final outburst of the ocean, the last effort of the grim water.” (1354). The dinghy was no match for the waves, and “the craft pranced and reared and plunged like an animal.” (1353). The narrator describes the setting from third person point of view which encompasses the different characteristics of the individuals who make up the crew. The narrator is simply an observer and does not change the plot of the story, but he gives insight on the men’s thoughts. The four men on the boat form a brotherhood that is “more than a mere recognition of what was best for the common safety. There was…a quality that was personnel and heart-felt.” (1356). The men are in the same situation, face the same problems, and together their support keeps them united. They are devoted to each other out of respect, and dedicated to their goal as a group. The crew commonly sees sea gulls near the dinghy and the gulls are a source of anger for the men. The men see the gulls as “gruesome and ominous” (1335) because the birds are “uncanny and sinister in their unblinking scrutiny” (1355). The gulls represent nature’s indifference to humans. The captain wanted to knock the bird away, but the dinghy could easily be capsized, so he was stuck powerless against the gulls. The gull sat down on the captain’s head as if the man was an inanimate object. This shows that man is unable to change nature and that we are s... ... middle of paper ... ...rew’s resentment towards her (fate). The shark represents nature’s ability to change fate and invoke fear. The shark’s dark fin is subtle yet powerful and dangerous, and poses a threat that is beyond the men’s reach. Nature is an all-powerful force, and the shark reinforces the minuteness of man compared to the vastness of nature, and that nature is always in control. The shark intimidates the correspondent, and he wishes that one of his companions was awake to keep him company. The shark revives the possibility of death, and the correspondent formulates ideas relating to the relationship between nature and man. The correspondent realizes that “nature does not regard him as important, and that she feels she would not maim the universe of disposing of him” (1363). The correspondent feels powerless and wants to fight against nature but has no means of doing so.
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