Literary Success in Alistair MacLeod´s The Boat

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Alistair MacLeod’s “The Boat” is a literary success on many levels. His ability to evoke mood, sustain a meaningful theme and a strong setting make this piece particularly impressive. One element MacLeod masters is choice of word. He is constantly using words that emit tone and connect to the over arching theme of water that never disappears. The words used are more often then not water vocabulary, connecting to the water theme. From the opening line to the closing line we are given amazing words with such strong imagery. He uses repetition in the same way. For example, in the first line he states “There are times even now” followed by “There are times when I am” in the fifth line. It is the repetition of this term that gives a wave like feeling to the text centered around water. As MacLeod begins to reveal information we gain more insight into the life of the main character. The story starts in the present tense where our main character is living in a city and teaching as a college professor. However we are soon sent back in time as he recalls his childhood living in a minuscule fishing town. It is an interesting technique, especially as the story develops and we learn about his conflict. As we see his struggle and his fathers struggle, we have it in the back of our minds that he leaves his life in the fishing town to move to the city. We also know it advanced that he is in a bad place and that he has unhappy memories about his past. As he discusses his past we are

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