Theme Of The Boat By Alistair Macleod

955 Words4 Pages
Often, for an individuals to pursue his/her happiness one must disregard societal and family expectations in order to achieve an intended dream or goal in life. In most instances, it’s not considered to be apart of the “social norm” for an individual to follow their ambitions because of the baggage.With this reason one has no choice but to abandon their happiness in most occasions. In Alistair Macleod's long lasting short story, The Boat, a university professor looks back at his lengthy life where he relates the first memories of his life until the subsequent passing of his father. His father exemplifies the case of compromise in happiness as he is told to follow the tradition of becoming a fisherman, proven to work generation from generation,…show more content…
In mcleod's short story, the father is forcefully pushed into the business of fishing in order to follow tradition, even though he pictured something bigger, like education, but the mother did not want anything to do with that. “At times, although she was not overly religious, she would bring God to bolster her arguments, saying, "In the next world God will see to those who waste their lives reading useless books when they should be about their work." Or without theological aid, "I would like to know how books help anyone to live a life." Clearly, the father did not appreciate the art of fishing, but because of family expectation he had no other choice but adapt to the profession of fishing. In a sense the trade of fishing had him by the throat as said in text, “ There was not much left of my father, physically, as he lay there with the brass chains on his wrists and the seaweed in his hair,” metaphorically saying that fishing was something bound to him and was al that he did in his life, so he had no other choice but to take fishing t the grave. In Alistair's Mcleod’s other short story also the art of fishing was all he knew, The Return, The narrator’s grandfather in “The Vastness of the Dark” says of the coal mining life: “Once you start, it takes a hold
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