Eden Robinson first starts Traplines with the short story “Traplines”. The narrator Will is a young man who experiences an abusive home life. Will’s dad abuses Eric - Will’s brother - and in return Eric abuses Will. Will is at Mrs. Smythe’s house, his English teacher, a place where he often goes to escape from his family life when he thinks that his ribs hurt because “ Eric hit [him] pretty hard and they’re bruised” (Robinson 17) but this was only because “Eric got hit pretty hard by Dad” (17). This represents the cycle of abuse. Will will continue to be abused until his dad stops abusing his brother. He is trapped in this cycle and in silence because he cannot tell anyone what his dad does to his brother because those things are kept within the family.
Will’s only option is to get high at the RinkyDink arcade with his friends and just take what life has handed him. He cannot take the Smythe’s up on their offer to let him stay with them because they would only want to take him back after they get to know the real him. He is dirty and has “long, greasy hair, combed straight back” (34). Mrs. Smythe on the other hand is...
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...en up, either on her own or in groups. She has no choice but to keep her situation to herself and not tell anyone, not even when she gets pregnant and goes to Vancouver to get an abortion. She cannot tell her mother because this is her brother and he could not do such as thing, and she cannot tell her boyfriend, Jimmy, because she is afraid he will look at her differently.
Traplines by Eden Robinson is a collection of short stories whose narrators are children who have experienced things in life that a child should not. These narrators are trapped in their situations, as the title suggests, and they have to simply take what life throws at them because they have no other way out. Each of the narrators are trapped in silence. They cannot tell their family or friends of their predicaments and as a result they turn to drugs, alcohol, and violence as their only escapes.
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