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Crossing - Mark Slouka

In: English and Literature

Submitted By minonino
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Crossing - Mark Slouka
We all make mistakes in our lives. We lose the people we love and we break bonds of trust we otherwise thought were unbreakable. The tragic thing is that no matter how much we want to make things right, there will always be the great risk of making yet another error. In Mark Slouka’s Crossing a divorced man takes his young son out on a camping trip, seeking to rebuild their relationship by conquering the river Quinault. But few circumstances can be controlled when you’re dealing with nature and the risk of making a fatal mistake whilst crossing the thin line of trust and the river might be too big. In this essay the characters and the relationships between them, the narrative technique and the setting will be examined in order to understand the core of the story.
The protagonist of the story is a divorced man who has arranged a camping trip with his young son. It is clear from the start that the relationship between the two of them and his ex-wife/girlfriend is damaged. When he comes to pick up his son from the mother, he enters the house ‘’…ducking his head like a visitor…(line 16)’’ and is very cautious of how the mother observes the interaction between him and the boy. During this scene it also becomes clear that he has a desire to make things right between the three of them, thus arranging the camping adventure. As the father and son drive into the woods it is revealed that it isn’t just any random trip; it’s the same trip that the father used to take with his own father every year when he was young. This puts a further emphasis on the bonding that is supposed to happen on the trip and also it subconsciously puts an added amount of pressure on the father to do everything right. He responds to this by constantly making sure that his boy is alright, which is also a sign of his genuine wish to make it all right again and regain the boy’s...

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