Crossing Af Mark Slouka Essay

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The short story, ‘Crossing’, is written by Mark Slouka in 2009, and takes up father and son relationship together with man vs. nature. From the beginning of time fathers have taken their sons on camping trips or similar to pass on their knowledge about how to conquer Mother Nature. But more important it binds them closer together, and this is exactly these two purposes the father here wishes to obtain.

Through a third person limited narrator the reader is presented to a father who has a hard time in life after a divorce from his wife. Therefore he is now determined to find something that matters and has set his heart on maintaining a strong and sound relationship to his young son, ‘when he looked at her she shook her head and
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As mentioned the author also makes use of setting to create the right mood, exactly because the story is set near the raging river which, together with the barn, are described with words that usually give associations to death, ‘there was something about pitching a tent inside that skeleton’ (74-75). Furthermore the father constantly has to calm himself down, because the current makes him nervous, ‘he was thinking too much’ (100-101). Despite that is nature at the same time also described as the totally opposite; as beautiful and magnificent, ‘and sometimes, if you were quite, herds of elk would graze in the meadow at dusk’ (31-32), because father and son have great experiences in nature. Men become very small when confronted with the powers of the Earth. Another contrast is the one between the son and the river, since the boy is introduced as fragile and small, and the river as great and ominous.

Even though the father, who remains unnamed, has a feeling that the trip might end badly he does not call it off, because he is in such an in-between place in his life where going back is not an option, ‘for a moment he considered pulling out, explaining … but there was nowhere else to go’ (39-40). He needs to do this to get some meaning back with his existence. But

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