Analysis of "The Raft"

1164 WordsApr 16, 20135 Pages
“The Raft” by Peter Orner The short story ”The Raft” is written by Peter Orner in 2000. The story is about a boy growing up, who becomes aware of life and death and the difference between good and evil. This analysis will focus on the main theme growing up, the narrator, and his relationship to the grandfather. “The Raft” is about a twelve-year-old boy, who visits his grandparents. The grandfather tells him a story that he has already heard several times, but this time the story is different. The grandfather used to be in the army and fought in the Second World War, and he tells his grandson about an episode, where he bombed naked Japanese on a raft. The story is being told in the grandfather’s closet, and this makes the story…show more content…
When a person reaches puberty, a three-split happens. You get knowledge about the difference between good and evil, life and death and boy and girl. This also happens in the Fall, where Adam and Eve against God’s will eat an apple from the Tree of Knowledge and become aware of their nudity. Another theme is identity. The grandfather has lost his short-term memory, and it seems like he has lost his “civil” identity along with the memory. During the confession to the grandson he plays a role as a captain or a soldier in the Second World War. The Japanese sat on a raft, and they tried to travel from one shore to another. The two shores symbolize the grandfather’s two identities – his professional identity and his civil identity. The raft is the way for the grandfather to switch between his identities, and by shooting the Japanese and sinking the raft, he destroys his only way of getting back to his real and civil identity. And that is why he plays a role as a captain and why he is still living in the past. The raft may also symbolize the boy’s impression of the grandfather. Until he realizes what the grandfather has done, he respects him and is almost looking up to him. You can say that their relationship and the impression is floating like the raft, but when he becomes aware of the grandfather’s deeds, the impression changes, and the raft sinks. The story is about how every decision you make and every
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