The Whaler

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Essay: “The Whaler”
Write an Essay (analysis and interpretation), 02-09-10, ML - Margit LYKKE BRUUN

Every innocent child has an Idol, a person who has a life they dream about having when they grow up. Children often ask questions about their future, that is why they often search for their identity in a role model. To picture their future life in such a young age often causes disappointment. This is exactly what happens in this short story written by Joe Sheerin, it is an Irish short story which appeared in 2000. This innocent boy gets very disappointed when all he ever dreamed about fell apart in less than an hour. The boy is not the only one who gets disappointed, another character in the short story is the Whaler, the boy’s biggest idol. The Whaler has lived his whole life based on one big lie and that is why the Whaler, when he finally opens up and tells the truth, realizes how disappointed he is about his life, and therefore ends up hanging himself. The boy, who also is the narrator in this short story, is proximately 10-12 years old; he is in his early puberty, he does not know about a trivial of things, but he is also old enough to do some shopping for his mother. The Whaler was the idol of his imaginations, “One from the old tribe of gods; hero, magician and priests”, a man with great arms and wide shoulders, a secretive man, with an air of mystery. One day he sees a Whaler, a man growing out of the field, the boy was in sharp disbelief, he had only met a Whaler once before. The fact that the Whaler is defecating, makes the boy embarrassed. The boy is described as a clever boy. The Whaler tells the boy a secret, the secret about his whole life based on a lie. This shocks the boy. The Whaler never saw a whale. He just ran boats on the St. Lawrence, he only ran the seaway. The boy grows with this secret, mentally he gets a little bit older, and he now realizes that life is not just an easy process, which forms exactly how you imagine it. A lot of...
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