Plot Elements in The Bass, the River and Sheila Mant - Essay Example

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Plot Elements in “The Bass, the River and Sheila Mant” 1. Basic Situation: The basic situation in the story is the 14 year old protagonist’s momentary infatuation with Sheila Mant, a 17 year old girl from a family which has recently come to the neighborhood…
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Download file to see previous pages 2. Complications: The complication or conflicts in the story involves two stages. The first stage is when the protagonist struggles with a dilemma of how to ask the girl for a date and grapples with the “agonized indecision over what to say” (Wetherell). This conflict seems appropriately strong when one considers the age and psychological framework of the boy, who cherishes the girl as precious company of a class apart. The second conflict occurs when the girl says that she considers fishing as a “dumb” activity (Wetherell). For a boy for whom fishing is not just an exciting escapade, but a deep passion, this reaction from a date constitutes a reasonable conflict. Thus, the author strengthens the plot with multiple complications to ensure the reader’s active involvement with the narrative. 3. Climax: The climax of the story occurs when a large bass bites the protagonist’s bait and is hooked. However, he is not able to haul in what would have been a prize catch of his life because he does not want to offend his date. From the bent of the rod into a tight arc, the protagonist understands that the bass is of a huge size and he knows he will never again be able to catch one that big again in his life. But, discouraged by the fear that the girl might think of him as “dumb,” he finally cuts the line in half, and veers his canoe ashore. This is an appealing climax to the story as the protagonist is shown as quitting a passion for a momentary fascination, which ultimately paves the way for his coming of age later. 4. Resolution: Subsequently, the protagonist takes the girl to the fair, where she comments that he is a “funny kid” (Wetherell). Later, he muses that “before the month was over, the spell she cast over me was gone,” but he will never forget the secret tugging on that night. This is an appropriate resolution as the protagonist recognizes his mistake and the story ends on an upbeat note. Setting in “The First Seven Years” 1. Putting us there:         Although “The First Seven Years” is one of the many stories by Bernard Malamud that features Jewish immigrants living in New York, the story hardly offers any details that help the audience to locate in a specific place. This gives the story an aura of timelessness akin to folklores. 2. Contributing to Emotional Effect:         The absence of a clearly defined or complex external setting: The author offers scant details to the reader, like the month being February and it has been snowing. It appears that by restricting the details of the setting the author rather wants emphasize the internal drama of the characters who remain caught up in a swirl of powerful emotions that are universal in their application. The internal drama centers primarily on Feld, who is strangled by “great personal challenges and desperate remembrance of the snowy Polish village where he had wasted his youth” (Malamud). 3. Revealing Character:         Malamud’s lonely shoemakers, despondent graduate students are all brilliantly individualized. The details that the author provides in the settings reveal to the readers a clear idea about how poor Sobel is, which renders him an undesirable match for Miriam in the eyes of her father. “The room was a small, poor one, with a single window facing the street” (Malamud). The author brings to light the depth of sacrifice Sobel’s makes due to his love for Miriam. “It contained a narrow cot, a low table, and several stacks ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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