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The Boat by Alistair Macleod is narrated by a boy who has experienced immense grief due to the loss of his dad during his childhood.

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The Boat by Alistair Macleod is narrated by a boy who has experienced immense grief due to the loss of his dad during his childhood. As the prose is non-fictional, the narrator revolves around his emotions and feelings about the damage done to him in first person; this allows the reader to identify and sympathize with the character since he directly shares his feelings with the reader. The significance of death is clearly shown with the help of an active voice as it is used almost throughout the passage to show how receptive and thoughtful the character is while recovering from his dreadful loss. The death of the character?s father is of high significance; words such as ?terrible fear? exhibit the anxiety concerning the death of the character?s father. Just in order to take his mind off as ?he?s afraid to be alone with death?, he indulges in activities that distract him from the idea of death. ...read more.


He imagined the various things his father used to do and all the activities connected to him such as the shore bound men ?blowing their hands? and ?stomping their feet?; detailed imagery has been used here for readers to have clear picture of what the narrator?s expressing. Sooner or later the narrator does ?realize? that he?s ?foolishly alone?. The word, ?foolishly? tells us that he has always been in his own fantastical world believing that his dad was probably still with him. Reality tells him the truth as he compares what he had: the ?call?, ?voices?, ?shapes? and the ?boat? to what he has now: ?shadows and echoes?, ?voices from the rain? and ?cuttings from and old movie?. The past contrasts with the present, as readers notice more negativity in the latter. There is clear evidence that narrator?s father is closely connected to the boat as he says, ?no one waits at the base of the stairs and no boat rides restlessly in the waters?, in this phrase, he is associating the boat and presumably, his dad. ...read more.


At the beginning of the fifth paragraph he mentions, ?Three or four of us?, were they just random people or similar people who he could relate to, is to some extent ambiguous. The whole passage is in present tense; this allows readers to connect immediately with what the narrator?s saying as it gives a feeling of something that?s happening while the reader is reading. Macleod has used a wide range of imagery, figurative speech, as well as appropriate diction in order to bring out his purpose and meaning to the readers. The image of the boat tends to carry out literal and figurative significance in many parts of the passage. The narrator seems afraid of death only because of his father?s death; he seemed to have been extremely close to his father. He also appears to have a lack of freedom; he wants to let go of the past and move into the present however, the fear pulls him down. Overall, the narrator is extremely expressive which helps in being effective as his meaning and feelings are put across to the readers in the best way possible. ...read more.

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