Dressing Down

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Dressing Down

Dressing Down, by Carol Shields, is a story about a grandfather’s passion for being nude and having no problem showing off what God gave him. His desire to feel free and natural as a nudist eventually creates a conflict with his wife and leads to a troublesome marriage. This story teaches you that sometimes your passions can affect the relationships you have with the people that are closest to you. We never learn the name of the main character in the story as he is referred to as grandfather throughout the whole story. Shortly after the grandfather gets married to his wife he travels with some friends to a nudist camp on a beach in France. During this experience the grandfather discovers a freedom and sensation he had never experienced before when he strips down his clothes. He loves the feeling of the sun caressing parts of his body it had never seen before, deciding that it’s natural and pure he becomes an instant convert. This new found love leads the grandfather to start his own nudist camp, Club Soleil, back home in Canada. The main part of this story takes place in Southern Ontario, in 1926, when the grandfather starts Club Soleil. Club Soleil is a two month long camp where basically anyone is welcomed as long as their share his passion of being nude. It’s like any other camp with activities such as swimming, biking, and tanning only without the clothes. He is very satisfied with his camp and loves spending his summers there with other nudists like himself. The conflict in this story is that the grandfather has no problem stripping down and thinks others should feel as comfortable as he does. But he soon finds out that his wife, referred to as the grandmother, is not as comfortable letting lose. She is described as a conservative and cautious woman who would rather cover up then strip down (Shields 788). The grandmother does not want to attend her husband’s summer-long nudist camp if it entails her to be nude. She eventually agrees to...
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