By Choice or Chance: the Boat

Topics: Suicide, Family, Suicide methods Pages: 3 (1094 words) Published: June 8, 2011
By Choice or Chance?
The Boat

English 12
Alex McDonald The Boat written by Alistair MacLeod, is a story told from the perspective of a man looking back on his life. It's about the difficult lifestyle that fishermen in Nova Scotia lead. The story is told about the man's childhood, focusing on this father and the fishing lifestyle he has grown up in. The story really focuses in on the father-son relationship, where the father would prefer his son getting an education and not having to live the dangerous lifestyle he does, which in the end kills him. The father in the story commits suicide at the end of the story by jumping off his boat durning a storm. Many things contribute to his death such as the fact that he no longer wanted his son to follow in his footsteps as a fisherman, he was never really meant to be a fisherman in general and all together the father was just not happy with his life. The father never wanted his son to follow in his footsteps and become a fisherman. He had always wanted his son to be able to go and get an education, unlike him. As soon as his son found out that his father was ill, he immediately spent everyday on the boat with his father, ruining his chances at getting the education he wanted so badly. Although the father never really shows much affection towards his son you can tell how much he really cares about him and is willing to take his own life to benefit his son's. Twice in the story the father pushes his son to go back to school, first when he says "You will go back tomorrow" he said simply. I refused then, saying I had made my decision and was satisfied. "That is no way to make a decision." he said, "and if you are satisfied I am not. It is best that you go back." I was almost angry then and told his as all children do that I wished he would leave me alone and stop telling me what to do. He looked at me a long time then, laying there on the same bed on which he has fathered me those sixteen years...
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