Life is about Second Chances
If first you don’t succeed dust yourself off and try again. Life is sometimes about second chances. In Louis Becke’s short story, “Denison’s Second Berth Ashore, overseer of a Queensland duck farm resigned telling the bank manager and its infernal ducks could go and be damned. In this story Tom Denison’s brother manages the bank, which his mortgaged supercargo is repossessed. Tom is ridiculed by his brother and sister-in-law being told he is a heartless and dissolute young ruffian, who would come to a bad end. Feeling hurt and indignant by his family, the ex-supercargo is eager to show his family he will succeed.
Loyalty within family and financial struggles are displayed within this story. Denison’s family sees him as unworthy when he loses his cargo ship to the bank his brother manages. His superficial sister-in-law now sees her relative as a degraded criminal heading to well-deserved penal servitude. When Denison loses his Cargo, which serves as his home and employment he soon realizes his family is not loyal as they once seemed. Denison is forced to rent a room at a diggers' boarding-house kept by a Chinaman. He took a job on the wharf discharging coals from a collier, and experienced a malevolent satisfaction when he one evening met his sister-in-law Mrs. Aubrey Denison in the street. He was in company with four other coal-heavers, all as black as himself; his sister-in-law was walking with the wife of the newly-appointed Supreme Court judge. She glanced shudderingly at the disgraceful sight her relative presented. He knew that this would be a dagger in the heart of his sister-in-law, who was the leading lady in Cooktown society. After the coal-heaving job was completed, Denison saw an advertisement, in the North Queensland Trumpet-Call for a proof-reader. Being possessed with an amount of wordly wisdom, he went down to the bank, saw his brother (who received him with a gloomy brow) and said he should like to write a letter...
Cited: Becke, Louis. “Denison’s Second Berth Ashore.” Classic Reader. Blackdog Media. 2010. Web. 1 May 2012.
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