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The Boat Essay

1141 words - 5 pages

Have you ever thought that it is not the dreams you possess that form your path in life, but the influence of the people with whom you surround yourself? The author of “The Boat” composed a theme to the story to relay the message that you should not let the opinions of others have a controlling influence on your decisions in life. There are many narrative techniques that this author used to communicate the theme of this story. Three of these specific and effective techniques are: narration in first person; past and present tense narration; and repetitive narration. Each of these techniques contributes to the effective communication of the theme.
First person narration ...view middle of the document...

Since he had made such a dedication to stick by his father, the readers can connect to that unconditional love and realise how that love can influence the narrator’s future choices in life. Each of these supporting details prove how first person narrative communicates the theme effectively.
The use of both past and present tense narration gives contrast and allows the readers minds to compare the past events to the present. Alistair Macleod chooses to use past tense narration as well as present tense which help communicate the theme effectively by proving his dedication to his father, his resentment to his mother, and the impact his father’s death had on him. Firstly, the switch from present tense to past tense foreshadows what ultimately is his strong dedication to his father. The main character stated “I told him.....I would remain with him as long as he lived and we would fish the sea together.” (190). This quote shows how much he loved his father, and even though he could not continue fishing with his father since the father had passed away, he continued that dedication by living out his father’s dreams, which are shown in the present tense section where he had got an education and lived a lifestyle probably exactly how he believed his father would have, if not for the influence of his wife. This alone supports the theme tremendously. Secondly, the use of past as well as present tense shows his resentment to his mother by showing how the influence of his mother causes him to do the exact opposite of what his mother would want him to do. The past tense section shows how he is frustrated by his mother’s hatred for change and hatred for her husband’s ways, and then the present tense section shows how he smokes, is untidy, got an education, and acts like his father,
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which are all things that the mother would not want him to do. Thirdly, the theme is communicated effectively by the use of past tense and present tense shown with the impact the narrator’s father’s death had had on him. His father had probably killed himself because he didn’t want his child living the life of fishing as he had promised. The fact that...

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