Crossing: Narrator and Story

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Crossing

Some fathers take their sons out on camping trips to create a closer bond. These trips are cozy and relaxing and are done under safe circumstances. Most fathers would never dream of taking their sons out on dangerous trips, which is not the case in Mark Slouka’s short story, Crossing, which was published in 2009. It’s a nerve racking story about a father who takes his little son on a survival trip in a forest, which turns out bad. It is an interesting story and this study will analyze and interpret the narrator, setting and structure and will finally conclude on the story as a whole.

The story is being told from a limited omniscient third person narrative. “He remembered asking once – how old could he have been, seventeen? – and the old man calling back over his shoulder, “don’t fuckin’ fall.” The quote is the father’s thoughts. The narrator refers to the persons as he and their names, which is seen all the way through the text, which makes it a third person narrative. We can through the narrator, read the thoughts and feelings of the father, which also makes the narrator limited omniscient. The father is given a personality and a past, by having a narrator that can read his thoughts.

The story is told through indirect speech. “The second crossing, with the boy on his back, was actually easier. They talked the whole time, and he made his way carefully, steadily, feeling the skinny legs bouncing against his thighs, leaning into the hands buckled across his collarbone, and halfway across, with the hot smell of the pines coming from the shore and the sun strong on his face, he knew he’d made it out the other side” We’re told that they are talking with each other, but there is no dialog in the text, so it’s through the fathers thoughts and feelings that we’re getting to know what is happening. The dialog is not important in the text, because the act is what is interesting, so through indirect...
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