Red from Green
Maile Meloy’s short story “Red from Green” was first published in 2009. The short story is about the fifteen years old Sam Turner. Every year she goes on a float trip with her dad. This year Sam’s uncle and a client called Layton from her uncle’s law firm follow them on the trip. Layton compliments Sam’s white teeth and teaches her how to shoot with a gun he got with him on the trip. One night Sam gives Layton some massage because he has an old injury in his bag. When Sam’s dad and uncle are going to bed they leave Sam alone with Layton. When they are asleep Layton overturns Sam and puts his hand up under her shorts. After some time Sam finally gets him away. In the ending Sam wonders if her dad knew what happened when he went to sleep. She wants to ask her dad but end up leaving the situation. The story primarily takes place near the river they float down but also takes place back home at Sam and her father’s house in the last paragraph. A limited omniscient narrator tells the story, which is seen with Sam’s feelings. The reader only knows what she thinks. It is from Sam’s point of view and in third-person the story is told. This does not create some special effect of being present and thus there is not near as much thrill compared to a first-person narrator.
Sam Turner is the main character and the protagonist in the short story. She is a round character, but little is described about her characteristics. Particular in the scene after Layton teaches her how to shoot with his gun the reader gets an important piece of information “She’d never been so proud of anything (…) She could feel herself grinning like an idiot.” (Page 3 lines 95-99). This could indicate a typical teenage girl who is insecure and frustrated about her own personality, which is quite normal around her age.
Sam Turner’s relationship with her father is complicated. We know that they are not so good at talking about things for instance the conversation about Sam’s scholarship