“Theboat” by AlistairMacLeod
TheBoatis a story about a boy who dearly loves his father but doesn’t seemto appreciate his way of life. The author has portrayed thenarrator’s father as a man who is unkempt, disorderly and distantfrom his own family. In addition, the father sometimes has anuncontrolled temper towards the narrator`s mother. The narrator’smother ideologies towards his father’s attitude towards the sea,education and books differed. In most of the father’s life, he hadspent doing things that he never loved as he lacked opportunities ofindulging in education, books of the sea. He was instead a fishermanwho was not happy with the dangers that came with fishing. He keptwishing that he had an education that would have guaranteed hisfamily as well as him a better lifestyle. Despite the fact thenarrator loves the sea just as his father he instead immerseshimself in the family’s business.
Thetheme of respect has been depicted by the relationship between thefather and son. The narrator respected the father, and he decided tofollow his father’s advice to strive for a better education. Lateron in his life as a university professor, he read a lot of bookswhile smoking a lot of cigarettes. However, the irony is that he wasnot feeling completely fulfilled as he felt unhappy with his lifejust as his father had. Irony is one theme that has been successfullydepicted in the boat story. This is because of the fact that thenarrator failed to appreciate the kind of lifestyle that his fatherdemonstrated as a result of desperation or despair. As the storyunfolds, he turns to be like his own father as he ended up notappreciating the life that he was leading.
Thetheme of despair and misery has been symbolized by the boat thatchains the father in the activity of fishing. It is important tounderstand that the father lacked educational opportunities thatwould have bailed him from that line of work. Therefore, he wasdeeply imprisoned in the boat as he could not have a chance of goingout and doing the things that he loved or desired in his life. Theboat here was used by the author to bring a deeper sense to thereader. It was obvious that the narrator’s father was doing fishingand living a life that pleased his wife but made him miserable. Thisis instead of loving himself first and doing all the things that madehim happy first.