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Conflict in the Boat

Conflict in “The Boat” In our daily life, we always try to avoid conflict with others in order to make a good relationship to benefit each other. However, in a story, it needs to do opposite thing since conflict is the engine to start and drive the story progress. In “The Boat” by Alistair Macleod, the conflict between the mother and father effectively reflects the clear theme that people’s feeling is complicated exposing the impact of change that resulted from the conflict between tradition and modernization in Eastern Canada. ” 1.
The conflict between the mother and father reflects people’s different attitudes toward the change of life style. The mother loves traditional life; the father favors new life. The mother tries to keep the tradition alive, whereas the father looks forward to the changes. The mother does not want any tourists in her town and does not want her family to go out and spend time with the people who do not come from the village. The father was encouraging the change to happen, and he was kind enough to take the tourists out for a ride on his boat. The mother despised the room and all it stood for.
Her room’s door always opens and its contents visible to all. The father knew that change is inevitable. The father’s room symbolizes the change occurring within the household, and the father was the one who first accepted the change and allowed it to start taking place. Compared to the rest of the house, the father’s room went against all of the traditions that were taught to the children within the kitchen. The father also knew the value of books and how important reading is because of all the knowledge that he could learn from the books whereas his wife said that reading was absolutely pointless because there was always work to do. . The conflict between tradition and modernization also deeply causes people’s interior conflict through father and the narrator’s inner mind contradiction. The narrator remembers that his father had little interest or passion for the work he performed. “And I saw then, that summer, many things that I had seen all my life as if for the first time and I thought that perhaps my father had never been intended for a fisherman either physically or mentally” In the father’s inner mind, he is always struggling between doing the traditional work that he did not like and looking forward to his own life.

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Maybe the father realized that it was too late for him to make the change because he was too old and had spent his entire life with the boat and the sea, so he left it up to his children to go out and make the changes, to leave behind the family traditions and choose their own paths in life. The father, a fisherman who clearly would have preferred to get an education, but he does not realize her dream since it is too late when he is clear sense of it. The narrator also encounters an interior conflict. He loves study and want to go back school. However, his father’s example let him feel he is liable to assist his father fishing. 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” With this realization he decides to give up his “silly shallow selfish dream” of completing high school to enter into tradition and fish. Both conflicts link to the impact result from the conflict between tradition and modernity. The fact that the kitchen’s contents were always visible to all shows that the father has some shame in the fact that his room is different from the rest of the house.
Although he has accepted the changes that are going to occur he is still ashamed to be leaving everything that he has grown up with and is why it does not mention anything about the father’s room door being opened or closed. With the death of his father, however, he abandons fishing for a life of education and books. As the narrator’s story attests, the conflict between his mother’s desires, and his father’s wishes, as well as his own uncertainty, has remained for many years after this period of his life. The continuing grief that the narrator feels in relation to the loss of his father is in large part due to these unresolved conflicts.

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