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The Character Quoyle In Annie Proulx's The Shipping News

1456 words - 6 pages

"The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure" - Sven Goran Eriksson. Success is an achievement in life which most people would be appreciative towards, but failure is looked upon in a disgraceful manner. People in society tend to face many challenges that occur in their daily lives. Some of these challenges can affect their lives dramatically in a positive or negative way. If one decides not to surmount their challenges they will suffer within themselves for a long period of time. Having confidence within is considered the greatest way to overcome suffering in life. In the novel, The Shipping News, by Annie Proulx, Quoyle deals with many difficult challenges along his life journey by suffering from bad childhood experiences which led him to have a low self confidence, which later on affected him in adulthood as well. All of Quoyle?s life decisions at first were base on him listening to others and continuing life suffering through it day by day but afterwards in the novel near the end, he experiences happiness for the first time. If someone is unable to overcome their bad experiences and fears in the past then they cannot be successful in the future. Also, a person should be strong and have faith in themselves to overcome their fears to fain the joy and happiness in their life. The modern day hero is distinguished as a hero with both successes and failures. A hero?s successes are determined by the hero?s power within themselves to overcome fears and obstacles and failures are determined by the hero?s weak point or flaw which leads to their predicted downfall and portrays them as an atypical hero. A hero can be depicted as an atypical hero at first but can still gain the success and happiness they longed for in the end.

When one is unable to clear their mentality of disappointments in the past relating to appalling experiences and inner fears they will not be capable of accomplishing success in their future. Quoyle, the main character in the novel, had a rough childhood which was one of the main reasons towards his low confidence level. Quoyle would always get pushed around and walked on which is just like the meaning of his name, Quoyle is a rope that is always tangled together and usually on the floor where people step all over it, which is very similar to Quoyle as a character because his life is also tangled and confusing and he too gets walked all over and pushed around by others. A quote that illustrates how Quoyle felt about his childhood would be, ?This gave me an uneasy feeling, the feeling of standing on a playground watching others play games whose rules I didn?t know.? (Proulx, 63) This demonstrates that even as an adult Quoyle had bad memories as a child that is locked into his mind. Quoyle?s physical appearance has been a great embarrassment for him because he feels as if he is ?ugly? because of his ?monstrous chin? as he calls it and it is shown in the novel that Quoyle hates his chin as well, ?Quoyle put his hand...

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