Quoyle's Life: The Shipping News by Annie Proulx

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The Shipping News

"I'm tired of going somewhere. I want to be there!"
These words spoken by Bunny Quoyle, riding along with her family on their way to the old homestead in Killick Claw, New Newfoundland seems an exclamation to a deeper desire to settle what has been an unsettled and unhappy life. The quote could also define the transition that Quolyle, Bunny's father, experiences. Quoyle is nowhere it seems, until he finally arrives somewhere meaningful. The transformation is a lot about getting over the loss of his wife, Petal, but also much about getting over himself as a loser and getting to a place of contentedness and confidence. Quoyle's life rides on waves – some small that are body-surfing-like, others that are huge and tumultuous that crash onshore with Tsunami-like devastation. Eventually, he manages to find a place suitable and sustaining. Quoyle began life feeling, believing that he had been born into the wrong family; that somehow he ended up with the wrong parents. He stumbled into adulthood, feeling invisible until someone noticed. His lack of esteem and confidence is evidenced by his always trying to hide his chin with his hand; the hand always goes to the chin, his monstrous chin, when he feels threatened. His love for Petal is partly based on the fact that he caught her attention – once, quite by accident – and that they had a meaningless sexual relationship that resulted in two children. He is the sort of character you feel sorry for from the start, feel badly that he'll never become anybody, never make something of himself, yet you want to cheer for him all along the way. As we get to know Quoyle, we realize that although he has a negative self image, is always self conscious and has no confidence in his abilities, he has a huge heart and a huge capacity to love, and he especially has a huge consciousness to do what is right for his family. Quoyle is a man growing into himself. His first opportunity to grow comes by an...
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