Summary Of Alistair Macleod's The Boat

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Dreams are astounding concepts that make our heads spin, and while some get turned into a reality, some remain a dream, lost forever in our minds. Lost dreams is a theme that presents itself in Alistair MacLeod’s The Boat and when reading this story, the quote, “I thought it was very much braver to spend a life doing what you really do not want rather than selfishly following forever your own dreams and inclinations” (190) stood out to me, making me wonder if this is true. To an extent, I disagree with this statement. I do not believe that it is braver to spend a life doing something you don't want to do instead of trying to pursue your own passions. By living your life in someone else's shoes, it shows the unwillingness to take risks. In the…show more content…
In the text, he tells his son that he “always wanted to go to university” (189) which furthers demonstrates how much he loves literature. Not only was he mentally not prepared, he was also physically not made for this job,“the salt water irritated his skin… and his arms, especially his left, which broke out into oozing salt water boils” (189), but he made the decision to give up a life full of literature for a fishing career. He chose to stick this monotonous, lifeless career because he was frightened by the fact that it may cause his family financial difficulties, causing them to fall into a hole too deep for them to climb back out. For that reason, he committed to a life of misery where his only source of happiness came from reading books. Although I acknowledge the father’s choices and the selfless sacrifices he made for his family, he could have taken a risk if it meant so much to him. This situation parallels to many immigrant families who fled their home countries to move a completely foreign country to try to create a better life for their families, like my…show more content…
As a result, they had to work long, tiresome hours to ensure a secure financial foundation. Although there were days where the money got the best of them, they kept their heads up high and persevered. It took them years to build up their empire here in Canada, but they would not have accomplished anything if they did not take a daring, fearless risk of leaving their home country. If they were too cautious, they would still be in China living in a run down home in the countryside of China, struggling. If the narrator’s father took a risk, he may be an English professor today living better days, financially and mentally. Both characters had an aspiration, but only one was able to attain it. One was afraid while one sacrificed the little of what they had. Just trying and willing to take a risk is much braver than anyone who plays within their comfort zone because it shows that even though your success rate is not one hundred percent, you are willing to challenge yourself and to step into the unknown, which to me, demonstrates more courage than anyone who lives a life in someone else’s

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