Red from Green
”Red from Green” is a short story written by Maile Meloy. The story consists of four characters: Sam, her father, her uncle and Layton, who is a client of her uncle. The main character of the story is Sam Turner, a 15-year-old girl from Montana. Sam’s mother is dead but the text does not recite how or when. Every year Sam and her father take a four-day float trip down the river. The story is written in past tense, and this trip is said to be their last. (Lines 1-2) “The summer she turned fifteen, Sam Turner took her last float trip down the river with her father.” You get the impression that Sam is a clever girl. She got offered a scholarship to a boarding school that is much better than the local schools. Although Sam is clever she is very innocent and inexperienced. She doesn’t understand what Layton is doing when he tries to seduce her. She has never experienced that a man is sexually attracted to her, and she doesn’t know how to react. (Lines 159-161) “She kept her hands between her thighs for warmth and the feeling there was sharp and aching, but she didn’t know what to do about it except lie awake, breathing, until it went away.” Sam is not very confident either; when Layton compliments her she is not sure if he is sincere. “«You have perfect teeth», he said. […] praise made her suspicious.”(Lines 24-25) And “She had a sense that she wasn’t equipped for it. And she was wondering if she really had perfect teeth.” (Lines 62-63) But Sam gains more self-confidence throughout the story, because of Layton’s compliments and when she discover that she is good at shooting. “«Hit the branch» And she did. She’d never been so proud of anything.” (Lines 94-95)
Sam and her father have a complicated relationship, maybe partly because of her deceased mother. Perhaps Sam is missing a ‘mother figure’ in her life, which would teach her about womanhood and growing up. This might be hard for her father, since he is male, and probably doesn’t know that...
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