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Comparative Commentary 'The Boat' by Alistair MacLeod and 'Those Winter Days' by Robert Hayden

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Introduction

Text 1: Those Winter Sundays ? Robert Hayden (1966) Text 2: Extract from ?The Boat? ? Alistair MacLeod (1976) When first looking at these two texts, the texts seem to be totally different from each other. But when you take a closer look, you find many similarities. Text 1 is a poem from Robert Hayden called ?Those Winter Days?, written in 1966. Text 2 is an extract from the short story ?The Boat? by Alistair MacLeod, published in 1976. Hayden and MacLeod want to teach the reader the lesson to love their father before it?s too late, like it was in the poem of Hayden. They both want to tell a story and entertain the audience. ...read more.

Middle

In the first text, the child looks back on life and realized warming the house every Sunday was his father?s way to show his love. You can see this by different element. For example by the sentences ?no one ever thanked him? (line 5) and ?what did I know of love?s austere and lonely offices? (line 15). The last two lines also make clear that the child finds it frustrating that he didn?t realize this love in time. In the second text, the child realizes just in time that he has to love his father. The father gave up his dream to go to university and is hurt by the mother all the time because he was a failure as a husband. ...read more.

Conclusion

In both texts the speakers of the stories are children who tel about how their view on their father changed. You can see it is them telling about their own father by the words ?I? and ?my father?. Another similarity is that both texts have a loving, but regretful tone. This is suggested by the sentence ?cracked hands that ached? in text 1 and by the actions of the father in text 2, such as ?he burned and reburned over and over again?. This helps the reader to understand the regret of the author. Now you see that two totally different texts, can have many similarities. The most important similarity is the theme and the tone. This makes you understand both texts more than you would when you would be looking at them separately. ...read more.

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