- They don't have the compass - Can't find a way to work their relationships out
- The torch could signify that they can 'see' how they want their relationship to be but because they do not have the compass they can't get there.
“With bleached end-of-summer grass, bruised here and there with heather and age-old spills of purple granite” Very descriptive but the boy doesn't take notice of it. (Boys detachment from nature occurs throughout.)- Is the detachment from nature because of a troubled family life? (Mum and dad divorcing, arguing) or is it just because he is interested in his dad?
“He is watching the man” – He is trying to understand how a father behaves, what a father is. Dad is introduced as 'Man'; 'He is watching the man: the way he strides to the gate' - Shows that the relationship between father and son is not 'close'.
However changed to dad in; “The boy is intent. Watching Dad” – Veering (changing opinion form one to another) from the 'man' to 'dad' - The boy is unsure.
“The boy misses a breath” - When dad almost gets something wrong the boy is worried - Hero-worshipping, Idolising Dad, Trying to believe that he is this 'perfect' human and that his mum is wrong about him.
“I brought my torch!” - The boy seeks appreciation from his Dad (hero)
“I found my torch” - Torch is mentioned a lot throughout - Boy possibly finds comfort in the torch.
“He forced himself to put the torch into Jim's...hand” - The torch is reserved for dad? Only him and his dad can really experience the torch'
“Oh, says dad, good 'good” - Referring to torch - Dad is distracted throughout. Takes little notice of the boy - I think the dad is concerned on making the experience so perfect that he is ignoring/is distracted from his son. You can want something so much that you end up ruining it.
“Seared by the flitter of anxiety in the boys eyes” - Dad is nervous, has forgotten how he should react or possibly is...