The Novice Critical Analysis

1554 WordsSep 24, 20147 Pages
Is it socially acceptable behaviour for people to dedicate their lives to an object? Sure, one might say. People have passions and hobbies; these “objects” are worked hard for and should be enjoyed. Although most would say that this type of behaviour is not how normal people should live and that life’s fruition lies in the hands of social interaction; we can only truly enjoy life in the company of other humans, not objects. Where is the line drawn? Is it possible to cling on to a possession so much that it starts to detrimentally affect the person involved? W.D. Valgardson’s short story The Novice demonstrates that this is certainly a possibility. The protagonist undergoes a similar situation; he gets caught up in idealism (glamorizing…show more content…
6), as if the archetypal series of events for a typical male seemed like a toxic path leading to voodoo badness. He doesn’t only choose to live without a wife or children; he goes one step further and believes that it is cumbersome. Finally, the most telling passage: that “He had never done anything except work on the boats” (p. 5). Of course, these words are hyperbolic in nature, but would be almost effortless to believe given the context, which goes to show how isolated and unorthodox the protagonist is. This type of behavior, however, is certainly not healthy, as his close-minded idealism assuredly has its consequences. The protagonist experiences severe repercussions due to his all-consuming lifestyle, including the inability to come terms with truth and an irrational mindset as the boat sinks. However, this idea doesn’t immediately stand out, as some would argue that the mate actually comes to terms with his obsessiveness, as demonstrated in the passage “His faith in the boat had been overwhelming that he had to force himself to realize it had been destroyed.” (p. 5). The significance of this line is not the fact that he did realize it had been destroyed, it’s the fact that he had to force himself to. No man who has come to terms with his obsessiveness should have to force themselves to see what’s right in front of them. To further emphasize, he shouldn’t receive any pats on the back for noticing that his foundered ship was indeed
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