Monday, September 30, 2013

Whale Story

For the background on this post, check out my post on The Sea Devil.

In continuation of that post... 

The next evening, we took a look at another story. This one was actually just an excerpt, of a novel by the name Whale Story, by Cheryl Kaye Tardif. What made this novel awesome for us was that the setting was right across the inlet, in the town of Bamfield! 

Again, we analyzed what we read. In case you actually check out the novel... we read up to page 27 (the first two chapters). The topics we were to talk about this time were...
-your initial feelings/reactions to the protagonist
-your overall understanding of the developing theme
-your connection to the story considering where you read it!

To be completely honest, I'm not too sure what I think about this protagonist. She seems quite open-minded, yet arrogant at the same time. One thing that I can say without doubt is that the narration of the story reflects her and her age, providing more substance to the question of "who is she?".

Without knowing what is going to happen, I find it hard to predict a theme, as there are so many turns the story could take. So that brings me to one certainty: theme requires the whole picture to be visible. Otherwise, its just superficial.

Probably the best way to describe the connection of where we read this and the story itself is, well, weird. Its a constant inquiry into "is this true?" "is this right across the inlet?". I found myself feeling that I wanted these answers, and it partially took away the fictional aspect of the plot, even though it primarily was fictional. The story was fun, suspenseful, but mentally a challenge. But challenges aren't necessarily bad things :).

The Sea Devil

Oh gosh. I haven't posted in a looonnnggg time. Life is crazy.

A few days ago, my grade at my school returned home from nearly a week on Vancouver Island. We spent five nights at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, exploring the ocean and the wonders of this world :). In the evening, we embraced the peace and read a short story. The first reading we did was of "The Sea Devil" by Arthur Gordon.

Essentially it is the story of an un-named man who goes out fishing one night, but ends up with a giant Ray on the other end, and he battles with both himself and this ray to escape the depths of the ocean.

Naturally, since this was a school thing, we then analyzed what we read. There were four topics we were told to touch on:
-your initial feelings/reactions to the protagonist
-any foreshadowing you noticed or predictions you made as you were reading
-your overal understanding of the story's theme
-your connection to the story considering where you read it

In some stories, the narrative is more so an adventure of willpower, thoughts, and inner-being, rather than the more common physical journey. "The Sea Devil" is one of these, mainly because of the nature of the protagonist. Numerous times, I got the sense that he was a very down-to-earth, honest, hardy man, with strong values and deep morals. The plot of "The Sea Devil" brought out a timeless side of man: the roots we have in nature. Freedom, turmoil, life.

Throughout the piece, the plot was communicated in a logical, orderly manner, as though most of what happened (in the beginning) was routine. For me, this sparked an inference that something was obviously going to happen to greatly differ that routine. The author took this a step further and even directly said what the character planned to do.

Many different themes seem to be present, but one key one that I took away was the struggle for power between man and nature. Most obviously, this is symbolized by the protagonist's battle with the giant ray. Neither is really the winner, and they both succeed and fail in different ways. Determining the theme really comes down to the perspective you chose to view the story through.

Reading this story in Bamfield allowed me to make my own connections, deep down inside my mind and my heart and all that deep stuff. I could relate to that pull of the ocean, and the mystery beneath its surface. My location made the story more real, and in turn, it made me feel real :). Deep. Like the ocean.