The spillway is set at party at Dana’s house but the spillway is a dangerous narrow path across a waterway and very important part to develop the story line. “The setting is rapidly planned which allows the action of the story to begin. The party throbbed on, like a living thing with an existence and momentum all its own” (Kirkwood M,). More clues are given right through the story about other settings about the spillway such as: “there has been an open dare to walk across the dam’s spillway for as long as I could remember. No-one had ever done it, of course. Not surprisingly, as it was not only forbidden by law, but highly dangerous.” …late this afternoon we identified a body found in mealla creek…..” and “we were up there fishing, and I dared him to walk the wall.” The action starts by the conflict involving the need for peer-group acceptance like Spencer and the need not to accept somebody who tries too hard such as penny and friends.
The Spillway has two main characters Spencer and Paul and other minor characters such as Penny and the police which are a part of the action. Spencer is the one who drives the story as he narrated it in first person and also is a part of the action plot.
Themes and ideas
The shown in the short story are peer-group pressure and consequence of lying and death.
Style and structure
The language used in the spillway is relaxed and recent, for the teenage characters. terms and purchases such as: cool, goin’ down, jerk and out of it to reveal the youth of the characters. Formal language tone had began used when the policemen arrived.
“It looks as if the young lad might have been walking across the spillway when he fell.”
Short sentences were attached long pauses, was used to build emotional tension.
“He...he…fell, and God help me, I didn’t know what to do. What could I do? I ran away. I have been trying all night…all bloody night…to pretend it didn’t happen.”