Analysis of the Boat

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Show how Alistair Macleod demonstrates relationships between landscape and memory in “The Boat”

Alistair Macleod portrayed various details that developed key ideas to lead from landscape to memory in 1st person. To evoke his memories, he described these events using his five senses. After all, the whole story is a reminiscence of the narrator’s childhood.

The vocabularies that Macleod uses are somewhat mystifying. Words such as “I imagine… or they were only shadows and echoes” were used to portray his feelings at that time. Macleod also has the tendency to appeal the five senses. During his reminiscence, he would include things like “I remember the sound of his rubber boots galumphing.” And “There are only shadows and echoes” The sound of the rubber boots of his father and the visual context of “only shadows and echoes” are all influenced by his feelings. He also describes the physical feeling of his father. For example, “My earliest recollection of my father is a view from the floor of gigantic rubber boots and then of being suddenly elevated and having my face pressed against the stubble of his cheek.” Again, appealing to the five senses he also says “and of how it tasted of salt and of how he smelled of salt from his red-soled boots the shaggy whiteness of his hair. Using the five senses, it gives a clearer insight as to how the narrator recollects his memories and feelings at that time. By giving example of both the physical and mental element of his memories, the readers can truly understand and almost feel it themselves.

Macleod also took direct conversations to enhance the imagery of the memory. Linking between landscape and memory, he would always say “My earliest recollection of my…” To portray his mother, he would include direct conversations lines, for example, “Well, how did things go in the boat today?” Which would have occurred at that certain period of time, and by doing this it gives the reader a more acute sensory of what is going...
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