Close to the Water's Edge
In our modern lives we have to form our own identity. We need to make a lot of choices concerning who we are and how we would like our lives to develop. But of course our identity is greatly affected by our childhood. The choices made by our parents and their parents are probably the most important choices ever made for us. The few people who rise in the social hierarchy is a proof of this. The short story is about the importance of our foundations. The grandmother did not dare to swim in the ocean, even though she was a rather competent swimmer, because she did not know when the water would become too deep for her. Likewise, she did not leave her husband even thought she wanted to because she thought that there was no other way than to remain a pig farmer's wife for the rest of her life. She did not think that she had other options. She was scared of not having a foundation. One the other hand the mother was not scared of leaving her husband. She left him and married a millionaire instead. But this was certainly not in order to get rid of the security a good foundation will give you. She married the millionaire in order to get a much stronger base. In this way she would no longer have to care about money, she became able to send her son to the best schools and to live a composed life etc. The son, who does not approve of his mother's choice, is trying to break free of her and create his own foundation. But he fails. He is even close to drowning in the attempt. The experiment costs him his clothes. This makes him think of the first species that crawled ashore. They had no foundation onto which they could tide their identity. The young man must feel sort of the same way. He has some quite mixed up roots with his grandparents being poor pig farmers and his mother being married to a millionaire. So the main character is trying to create his own identity, but fails. He cannot liberate himself from his roots just like his...
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