Short story The Boat by Alistair MacLeod Book analysis

The short story The Boat by Alistair MacLeod is narrated by a man who comes from a fishing family. His mother’s side of the family has forever lived and worked by the sea and continues this tradition. The narrator’s father always wanted to be an academic, but worked by the sea to support his family.

The parents’ characters seem to clash in many aspects of their lives and this is very evident in the passage. In this passage, the narrator frequently describes his mother’s words as “savage”. The use of this word is in relation to the one-sided argument between the parents. The mother is absolutely appalled that the father would not act in response to his daughters going off in their lives.

The use of repetition of certain words is used throughout the story and its use in this passage emphasizes the opposing feelings of the parents. The differences in the parents are also demonstrated in this passage from something that is not directly said. As the mother yells at the father, it is obvious that they do not always get along, but this argument is only shown as being one-sided.

The narrator does not explain how the father reacts to his wife’s harsh words and whether he yells back or not. By not explaining this information, the reader must infer what the father would do based on his previous actions. In years past, the father has given up his own opinions and hopes to support his family, which is likely what happened in this case. This gives a stark contrast between the mother and the father since in an argument; the mother yells and yells while the father does nothing at all.

MacLeod chose to make the author infer the plot at a number of times throughout the story; the most significant of these being the father’s death. The use of leaving information out creates a very powerful message, adding to the father’s character. Just as the father often doesn’t communicate his opinions and feelings, the story doesn’t always include his point of view. This creates a character who keeps to themselves and is very different in contrast to the mother who likes doing things a certain way.

Type of service: Academic paper writing

Type of assignment: Writing from scratch

Subject: book analysis

Pages / words: 5 / 1400

Number of sources: 2

Academic level: Undergraduate

Paper format: APA

Line spacing: Double

Language style: US English