Firstly the “Compass and Torch” is a story about a young boy setting out on a camping trip with his father. The compass and torch are used symbolically throughout the narrative to reflect the boy’s feelings and relationship to his family. The compass in the story could symbolise a lack of direction or the absence of a relationship between the father and his son. This can be demonstrated when they are about to leave the car for their journey together at the bottom of the hill. “The man looks up – for the first time – at the path they will take, which runs from the gate to the brow of the hill. Then he groans: I didn’t bring a compass”. The fact that they both don’t have a compass means that they have nothing to guide them, the chance for them to get closer in their relationship is not very high. However, later on in the story they narrative suggests that the compass is not requires, and that father and son will always be bonded. The compass can also be seen as a metaphor for the pull of the boy between the divorced parents. This can be shown when the boy had gone upstairs looking for his torch and overhears his mother and her boyfriend, Jim, who is the only named person in the story, talking in the kitchen.
The compass can also be seen as a metaphor for the pull of the boy between his divorced parents. This idea is shown when the boy had gone upstairs looking for his torch and overhears his Mother and her boyfriend Jim talking in the kitchen. “The boy might have remembered it, the compass, as they were leaving. But he couldn’t wait to get going, for it all to be over …… And the way his mother said hardly anything, and made her face blank whenever Dad spoke to her or looked her way
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