Preview

Anne Fadiman's 'Under Water': An Analysis

Good Essays
Open Document
Open Document
407 Words
Grammar
Grammar
Plagiarism
Plagiarism
Writing
Writing
Score
Score
Anne Fadiman's 'Under Water': An Analysis
Anne Fadiman’s “Under Water” 1. Anne Fadiman narrates the events of “Under Water” in first person. She prepares us by describing the setting and the conditions and intentions of the event. I think Anne wants us to realize that everyone on the trip, including the instructors, are human. Even though they knew there was no chance of saving Gary, or even possibly reaching his unresponsive body, they tried their hardest.
3. I think she uses statements such as “Class II was not an unreasonable challenge to novice paddlers” to foreshadow events because it is kind or ironic. She has such a positive and fearless attitude in the beginning that she does not possibly see anything going wrong.
The reader is likely to be aware of the inevitable outcome when Anne sees the first canoe fall over but didn’t assume anything wrong could happen. That probably gave readers an eerie feeling, as if something wasn’t right; the author was way too optimistic in a situation where she probably should’ve been the opposite.
If Anne Fadiman began the story with the drowning, then the mood of the story would start gloomy and probably remain that. Instead by putting that event towards the end, she started the story with a sense of youth, freedom and adventure but also got to turn that around and give readers the feeling of helplessness and fear. She got to use a whole set of emotions instead of just one by not putting the drowning in the beginning.
4. “Under Water” has characters which are Anne Fadiman, Gary, the instructors, and the several other paddlers. The conflict is Gary drowning in the strong current. The motives of all the characters are to save Gary. The plot is Anne and the group going canoeing but a horrible mishap occurs, and they try their best fixing it but they fall short. The setting of this story is June of 1972 in western Wyoming on the Green River. This story is told in first person and there is no dialogue.
We know “Under Water” is not fiction because it is a

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Better Essays

    The title The Drowner explores the main concerns of the novel through the different representations of ‘drowning’. As a result the title itself is a complex structure of the novel. According to Robert Drewe ‘as an occupation, drowning was somewhere between a trade and an art’3. However drowning is more than just an occupation, it is to Will a way of life and tradition. However Will is not a drowner but an engineer, and here it becomes symbolic of Will’s life. Although through his rationality he left behind drowning, he speculates that engineering is “in its hydraulic potential maybe just an extension of drowning”4That is, although through Angelica he enters a new world and life, drowning is symbolic of his past and continues to influence his present. Here the past is presented as an inherent part of life and an aspect of human frailty in the way that we succumb to it.…

    • 1676 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The Candymakers

    • 655 Words
    • 2 Pages

    In the story, Miles has a burden. He doesn’t know how to express what he’s going through. One day at the lake, he saw a bee follow this girl into the water. No one else saw her, just Miles. He tried explaining it to people, but they never really believed him. He always felt like that girl was watching him, telling him what to do. Daisy tells a story one night about how she practiced with her parents at the lake to see how long she could swim under water. Miles is relieved that she is okay, but mad that she never told anyone. On page 352, Miles says, “I was on the boat. The one Daisy swam under. Only I didn’t see her. All this time I thought the girl-I mean Daisy-had drowned and I hadn’t been able to save her.” That statement helped me understand how he felt and how he thought she was dead.…

    • 655 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Saints at the River

    • 396 Words
    • 2 Pages

    In both stories, a plan to use portable dams to retrieve the body is implemented. These dams fail because of the rapid flow rate at which the water moves. Even though rescuers drill holes in the bedrock to support the dams, the force of the water destroys these supports. Divers were sent into the river to see if they could discover exactly where the body was lodged and how to get the girl out of the river. Political pressure and clout also played an important role in both accounts. Governors, senators, government agencies, and people that lived in the area where the accident occurred were pitted against each other in the attempt to determine how to retrieve the drowning victim.…

    • 396 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    An offering by Sandra Benitez, A Place Where the Sea Remembers is a tale of love and anger, hope and tragedy, filled with haunting characters. Its setting is the Mexican village of Santiago, where Remedios, the healer, listens to the peoples' stories and gives them advice.…

    • 904 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    In Rebecca Kanner’s Sinners and the Sea and Yasmina Reza’s The God of Carnage the human capacity to commit violence is emphasized. Kanner portrays violence during the time of Noah time before and during the flood. The sinners of the town of Sorum, as well as some members of Noah’s family, commit acts of violence toward one another. Reza portrays violence with the same intensity as Kanner, but with a limited cast of characters. The difference between the two portrayals of violence is that Kanner uses evil as a transformative force, while Reza depicts evil as an end. Kanner is hopeful that evil restores the good, while Reza believes that evil does not bring positive outcomes.…

    • 1601 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    In Casual Water by Don Lee, the story addresses the many challenges that are faced when attempting to cope with loss, as well as demonstrating the subtle distinctions between abandonment and departure. Lee uses the Fenny family to represent the universal fears of isolation, abandonment, and regret that transpire within all of us. Lee begins the story with the image of a desolate and abandoned airstrip, only accessible by boat as “ the road bridge washed out by years of storms and erosion and neglect” (22). This airstrip is a metaphor for Brian, the younger brother who has weathered years of storms and neglect. He is only accessible through his boat, his lifeline to the world, his older brother Patrick. Yet like most boats, Patrick fears the idea of being tied down and yearns to venture out and explore, but his parents abandonment has already left Brian battered and worn down, with severe emotional issues. While Brian struggles to cope with the abandonment of his parents as well as the gradual loss of his brother, Davis and Patrick struggle to cope with the idea of abandoning their respective dreams, PGA golf and going to Annapolis, to stay home and raise Brian.…

    • 1395 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    The woman the author portrays in “Floating” is married. I believe that this woman has a husband who loves her very much; he takes care of her and makes sure that she is alright. Her husband also loves her very much, “I married a nice responsible man who loved me”(303). I think that the woman in “Floating” was pregnant and being pregnant and having a baby was one of the happiest things that had ever happened to her. This woman considers pregnancy a gift, “I wonder if he knows about the baby, the other miracle” (303). This woman unfortunately had a miscarriage. In the beginning of the story the author tells us of the morning the woman discovered the baby outside, I believe that the author is telling us of the morning she miscarried, “She had been crying for two days straight and had survived”(302). This baby…

    • 1799 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Alldredge, A. 2009. Review of Chasing Science At Sea: Racing Hurricanes, Stalking Sharks, and Living Undersea with Ocean Experts, by E. Prager.…

    • 565 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Symbolism In The Swimmer

    • 1857 Words
    • 8 Pages

    The Swimmer is based on a man not being able to deal with the present. He is mostly in denial through every part of the story and every character he meets expresses how much he is in denial, and shows he has an alcohol problem which he is covering up the depressed state he is in, and cant face the fact his entire family is gone.…

    • 1857 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    How to Breathe Underwater and The Things They Carried are books that are told through letters and mini stories. Tim O’Brien’s short story is told through letters from his comrades from his time in the Vietnam War. The letters express love, grief and remorse. On the other hand, Orringer’s stories are told through the point of young woman or girls who are struggling with decisions like religion, love, sexuality, and beauty. Both stories are neither light or uplifting, they ponder very serious emotional issues that the characters in the stories must overcome. Orringer and O’Brien worlds are very different, but they both underline the issues that humans must struggle with when life takes us on different journeys throughout our lifetime. The stories…

    • 508 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    The story of her mother’s presence frightened Lily since all she wanted is to sense her mother’s closeness to the house. Before coming clean with August a few chapters behind, Lily has a difficult time figuring out whether to tell her. “And I was struck all at once how life was out there going through its regular courses, and I was suspended, waiting, caught in a terrible crevice between living my life and not living it. I couldn’t go on biding like there was no end to it….I would have to come clean,” (Kidd 176). Lily is faced with living her life or letting everything yield its own course. Lily makes a hard decision; bide her time until the last moment or finish it, but she decides on the latter. When May dies it is a tragic event for everyone in the Boatwright household, not just the sisters. “Mostly, though, I saw the blaze of love and anguish that had come so often into her face. In the end it had burned her up,” (Kidd 199). This was how Lily saw May’s emotional outbursts. Lily points out that disaster overwhelms everything eventually which is a foreshadow of events to come. Since May experienced the loss of others, it buried her and she could no longer handle it. Pages later, Lily undergoes the loss of her mother and the true story of what happened when she died. After an extended amount of time, she overcame the depression with the help of August and Rosaleen. “I worked with heaviness inside, with my spirit emptied out….There was Rosaleen’s heart so full toward me it broke through into her sweating face,” (Kidd 265). Lily familiarizes herself with hardships and the truth which alters it in an emotional way. It demonstrates that she has to take charge of her own life or it will crumble and fall apart unless a suitable person is there to…

    • 1322 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Breathing Under Water

    • 1144 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Summary: Breathing Underwater is about an teenage boy at the age of 16 who is in love with his girlfriend, but does not really know how to treat her right. He claimed to have loved his girlfriend a lot and often did not listen to what he has to say about things and disagrees with her which causes him to get angry. One day he had gotten very angry and had slapped her, not knowing what had got into him he apologized for his behaviour and said never to do it again. But the day of the talent show he had told her not to sing because people would laugh at her and he did not want her to display herself up on stage singing to everyone. After the show had finished, anger and jealousy filled up inside of him causing to not know what he was doing, next thing he knew he was calling her names and throwing a fist at her and beating her to the floor. Caitlin was than taken away from a few friends, including Nick's best friend. Caitlin and her parents than procured a restraining order to keep Nick away from her, and the judge had also sentenced him to Mario Ortega's family violence class, where he sat around with other men who beat their wives or girlfriends because they are unable to keep their hands to themselves. Another sentence the court gave Nick was to write journals about his relationship with Caitlin, before the incident and what caused him to do what he had done to her. From the journals he wrote the story drifts back and froth from present to past of their relationship. It allows the reader to follow along with Nick (main character), it shows the struggles of losing all his friendships, popularity and respect he had among the school, being known as a abuser, and also the girl he loved did not no longer love him back for the actions he had done. Towards the end of the novel he realizes all the stuff he had put Caitlin from through the beginning of their relationship and how badly he had treated her feeling…

    • 1144 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    1. I think that going under the water ultimately killed the Underhills. If they had not been in water and loss conscience and or had heart attack etc. they may have regained conscience instead they were in water and therefore drowned.…

    • 602 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Breathing UnderwaterBreathing Underwater by Alex Flinn is written as a series of journal entries. The journal is written by Nick as an assignment from the judge who also sends him to anger management after the girlfriend he beat up finally presses charges. The book was published in 2001, before the recent increase in dating violence novels, and it tells a story often overlooked, that of the abuser instead of the abused.…

    • 778 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    At Any One Moment

    • 760 Words
    • 4 Pages

    “At any one moment” uses context to give meaning to the story and and allow the reader to have a clear image of the events in their mind. The story was written in 2005 so the context it was written in was after the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004. Through the readers understanding and experience of this event the author is able to build images in the reader’s mind and allow them to fully understand the gravity of the situation occurring. Had the story been written in a time where a Tsunami had not occurred for many years it would be a lot harder to imagine and put into perspective the enormity of the tragedy occurring in the story. Judy Allen builds on this idea through the specific language and metaphors used to set the scene and further build on the context. “It rose up like a mountain, either hiding or engulfing the distant boats”. Through using real locations in the text the reader can see and believe the story. The reader’s context is also used to build dramatic tension. As the water is drawn out before the Tsunami approaches the reader is mostly likely aware of what is occurring due to their context compared to Sherif, his brother and the villagers who were obliviouxs to the disaster about to occur. “ His brother started to laugh- it was all so extraordinary, a trick played by the ocean”. This situation creates dramatic irony and positions the reader to want to warn the characters in the story to get out of the water.…

    • 760 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays