Father And Mother In Aria Beth Sloss's 'North'

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(P1) In Aria Beth Sloss’ short story, “North, the narrative is told from the perspective of a child as he/she talks about his/her parents. The narrator opens the piece by telling the reader that his/her father, Thomas, was an explorer who left for an expedition and “was never heard from again” (Sloss 2). The narrative then continues into a description of the relationship between the father and mother. The mother, Mary, was considered a “wild woman” (Sloss 5) growing up. Her family had concerns that she was unsuitable for any man. Upon meeting each other, the narrator’s mother and father found common ground in that they both loved adventure and had “a habit of disappearing” (Sloss 5). As the story progresses into the couple’s married life, the father is described to be a man “in love” (Sloss 7) with the wilderness like a “schoolboy” (Sloss 7). He cannot be home from expeditions long without getting restless. As days pass, the father spends his time planning his next adventure, a hot air balloon ride to the Arctic, something that he claims will “write his name beside Darwin’s in the history books” (Sloss 13). The father does not tell Mary of his plans and she does not tell him of the loneliness that has struck her “sudden as a storm” (Sloss 13) from his lack of presence. One day though, Mary and Thomas have sex and Mary feels as though “something dangerous is running through her” (Sloss 21). Days later, she learns she is pregnant, but does not get to tell her husband as he

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