The Boat, by Alistair Macleod

857 WordsJul 15, 20184 Pages
A household is a precious and sensitive system of a group. Everyone has a role and responsibilities and even if someone took a sliver of more than the rest the balance could be broken. In the short-story “The Boat” written by Alistair MacLeod, the mother controls decisions in the house and abuses them even if they are not for the better of the house. She refuses to accept the daughter’s gifts, she discourages her family towards getting a better education and she married their father and pressured him to be a sailor. Though these decisions are what she feels is right, it does not work out for the rest of the family members. The mother’s stubbornness towards change and education caused the state of desperation in the house-hold. The…show more content…
She said phrases such as “God will see those who waste their live reading useless books when they should be about their work” (MacLeod267). The general disapproval of education closed any possible doors for the family to improve their situation. The son was clearly struggling with getting an education because he would “wonder at [his] own stupidity in thinking [he] was somehow free and go on doing well in school” (MacLeod271). The son is not doing well in school but the mother, thinking the books were useless, does not care about him struggling in school. Perhaps if she were to get a job to help support the house her son would be able to get a better education instead of being forced to become a fisherman and barely support the family. The mother made it border-line impossible to further education when she would “slap [his] youngest sister so hard that the print of her hand was scarletly emblazoned upon her daughter’s cheek while the broken-spined paperback fluttered useless to the floor”(MacLeod271). Confidence is fundamental to further ones future but when your schooling has been oppressed confidence in it scarce, making it difficult to trust yourself to become any future job opportunities involving education and no physical work. Even if any the family members became very successful the mother would not accept any help from someone who is not a fisherman. The mother thinks their family having to work for their family in physical labour is how life should be, even if
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