`` Simple Recipes `` By Madeleine Thien, And The Closing Down Of Summer

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“Simple Recipes” by Madeleine Thien, and “The Closing Down of Summer” by Allister MacLeod, both possess a theme of isolation or alienation within two different family dynamics, caused by cultural division. The impression of isolation found in the text is generated from the the character’s inability to communicate their internal emotions, or the forceful demand to adhere to cultural traditions. Macleod narrating protagonist has become detached from his family, losing the ability to communicate to them due to his seasonal occupation and adapting to the sub-culture of his work life. Whereas Thiens story demonstrates how the behaviour of a parent’s desire to retain cultural traditions has produced a dividing tension between the contrasting social identities of oriental parents, and Canadian cultivated children. In which this paper will analyze and interpret the similarities of both stories, in how isolation or alienation is generated due to the inability to properly communicate. Macleod 's story focuses on the struggling isolation a shaft miner faces in their seasonal occupation, consequently damaging their relationship with family due to their adaptation of a miner’s lifestyle. An emphasized result is the destruction of communication, which in effect deteriorated the narrator’s position as both father and husband. MacLeod’s metaphorical literalness in how he is “delving downward and outward through the unknown depths of and distances, and to become lost and separated and unavailable for communication” [104]. The narrator’s perspective of fulfilling the role as a parent and husband is buried within his work culture. Given the circumstances in being surrounded by others who have forgotten, or have no need for the uses of communicatio... ... middle of paper ... ...Additionally, being absent for all of his children’s youthful accomplishment, or needs for a father. Someone else stepped in took his role as a father, which is emphasized through the “broken tricycle wheels and dolls with crippled limbs have been mended by other hands than mine”. The significance in the concept of hands, and that another individual molded the upbringing of his children, and replaced him. The agonizing realization that Macleod’s fatherly figure is merely the odd parent that returns for a short span of time to try and regain his role as a father, yet doesn’t suffice. Rather he visits children that he can barely connect too, and possibly disregard his position as a father. In the harsh reality of not being there for their upbringing. This absence solidifies itself and he becomes incapable to defend his actions to his children, so it’s kept to himself.

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