Alice Munro. The Found Boat. At the end of Bell Street, McKay Street, o Street, there was the Flood. It was the Wawanash River, which every spring. OF ALICE MUNRO'S "THE FOUND BOAT" AS THE FLOODING TEXT. Jane Sellwood. At the end of Bell Street, McKay Street, o Street, there was the Flood. Trevor. According to Robert Thacker's Alice Munro: Writing Her Lives, a Biography, “The Found Boat” (along with a few other stories in.
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"The Found Boat" is about a group of schoolchildren—two girls and three boys— who find a dilapidated boat in a river near their homes. The boys start out by. The short story "The Found Boat" by Alice Munro is an allegory of female sexuality. The Flood, which is capitalized throughout, is symbolic of both the female. The short story, “The Found Boat” by Alice Munro, is about a group of children living in a small town, the story takes the children on a sort of.
There can be stories within stories within stories, some left unchronicled, like an unfinished sentence And she is the one of course that I am trying to get; it is to reach her that this whole journey has been undertaken. With what purpose? To mark her off, to describe, to illumine, to celebrate, to get rid, of her; and it did not work, for she looms too close, just as she always did.
She is heavy as always, she weighs everything down, and yet she is indistinct, her edges melt and flow. She writes as if she were taking life in her stride, never withdrawing into a cold shell of cynicism even when its crueller aspects are more pronounced.
She knows well that people stumble across fulfillment sometimes, but not in the form they expect. One can pass all their days trying to disclose a guarded secret but, in the end, never managing to.
Something you may have been meaning to tell him, but never did. In the water, Eva and Clayton confront one another, neither hiding their nakedness. What does Clayton do? They crept in to shore. I really do. But, and I realize I may be missing something, it seems this is still not asking the reader to do much, and, as I said above, Munro has and will explore this ground in much more interesting, nuanced, thrilling, terrible ways.
What is most different about the two stories is the tone. The tone of the kids is the same in both stories: the boys and girls taunt each other in both stories, and in both, there is a sudden communication.
Munro had now been writing for twenty years. There is no rosy glow in this story; social stratifications are more fixed; the setting is more alien; and the sexual experimentation is explicit. The boys and girls drift down the river together and end up in an abandoned building whose floor is covered in broken glass. This is no annunciation into artistic life; this is annunciation into life of the flesh.
Not for the faint of heart. I feel so at sea. I feel stupid. That woman intended me to feel stupid, of course. Why should she?
Alice Munro’s Narrative Art
Just hold on. In a year this will all be ancient history. A fat pitying smile had stretched her closed lips as she shook her head. During the next year, Juliet got phone calls, now and then, from people who had been friendly with Penelope.
Her reply to their inquiries was always the same.
Penelope had decided to take a year off from university. She was travelling. Her agenda was by no means fixed, and Juliet had no way of contacting her, nor any address she could supply.
She did not hear from anybody who had been a close friend. This might mean that people who had been close to Penelope knew quite well where she was. Or it might mean that they, too, were off on trips to foreign countries, had found jobs in other provinces, or had embarked on new lives, too crowded or chancy still to allow them to wonder about old friends. Old friends, at that stage in life, meaning somebody they had not seen for half a year.
Whenever Juliet came home, the first thing she did was look for the flashing light on her answering machine. Each time, she tried some silly trick—to do with how many steps she took to the phone, how she picked it up, how she breathed.
Let it be her. Nothing worked. After a while, the world seemed emptied of the people that Penelope had known—the boyfriends she had dropped and the ones who had dropped her, the girls she had gossiped with and probably confided in.
Because she had gone to Torrance House, rather than to a public high school, most of her longtime friends had come from out of town. Alaska or Prince George or Peru. There was no message at Christmas. But in June another card, very much in the style of the first.
Not a word written inside. Juliet had a drink of wine before she opened it, then threw it away at once. She had spurts of weeping, once in a while of uncontrollable shaking, but she emerged from these in quick fits of fury, walking around the house and slapping her fist into her palm.
The fury was directed at Mother Shipton, but the image of that woman had faded, and finally Juliet had to recognize that she was really only a convenient target. The door of her bedroom was shut and in time could be passed without disturbance. Juliet gave a great deal of thought to leaving this apartment, giving herself the benefit of new surroundings.
But, as she told Christa, she could not do it, because this was the only address that Penelope had, and mail would not be forwarded for more than three months.
After that, there would be no place where her daughter could find her. Run by a guru who sleeps with all the women and sends them out to beg on the streets.
Alice Munro: A Bibliography
I should have done it. I should have. It would have been like an inoculation. I neglected her spirituality. As Mother Shipton said. Juliet was in favor of this trip.
Penelope had been at Torrance House for only one year, and it pleased Juliet that she had already made so firm a friend and been readily accepted by her family.
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Also that she was going camping—something that regular children did and that Juliet, as a child, had never had the chance to do. Eric was apprehensive about the whole idea. He thought that Penelope was too young. And now that she went to boarding school they saw too little of her as it was—so why should that time be shortened? Juliet had another reason: she wanted Penelope out of the way for a couple of weeks, so that she could clear the air between herself and Eric.
She wanted things resolved, and they were not resolved. She did not want to have to pretend that all was well, for the sake of the child. Eric, on the other hand, would have liked nothing better than to see their trouble smoothed over, tucked out of the way. As he saw it, civility would restore good feeling, and the semblance of love would be enough to get by on until love itself could be rediscovered.
And if there was never anything more than semblance—well, that would have to do. He could manage with that. Having Penelope at home, forcing them to behave well—forcing Juliet to behave well, since she was the one, in his opinion, who had stirred up all the rancor—that would suit Eric very well.
Or so Juliet claimed, and created a new source of bitterness and blame, because he missed Penelope badly. The reason for their quarrel was an old and ordinary one.
In the spring, through some trivial disclosure—and the frankness or possibly the malice of their longtime neighbor Ailo, who had always had some reservations about Juliet—Juliet had discovered that Eric had slept with Christa again. She could not reasonably object to what had happened in the time before she and Eric were together. She did not. What she did object to—what she said had broken her heart—had happened after that.
Though still a long time ago, Eric pointed out. It had happened when Penelope was a year old and Juliet had taken her back to Ontario to visit her parents. To visit—as she emphasized now—her dying mother. While she was away, and loving and missing Eric with every shred of her being she now believed this , Eric had simply returned to his old habits.
At first he confessed to once drunk , but with further prodding, and some drinking in the here and now, he said that possibly it had been more than that.
He could not remember? So many times he could not remember? He could remember. Christa came to see Juliet, to assure her that it had been nothing serious. Juliet told her to go away and never come back. Christa decided that now would be a good time to visit her sister in California. And her outrage at Eric was so fierce and irrepressible as to leave little room for blame of anybody else. Her contentions were that he did not love her, had never loved her, had mocked her, with Christa, behind her back.
He had made her a laughingstock in front of people like Ailo who, Juliet said, had always hated her. He had treated her—and the love she felt or had felt for him—with contempt.
He had lived a lie with her. Sex meant nothing to him, or, at any rate, it did not mean what it meant had meant to her—he would have it off with whoever was handy. Only the last of these contentions had the smallest germ of truth in it, and in her quieter states she knew that. But even that little truth was enough to pull everything down around her. And Eric was not able—in all honesty he was not able—to see why. Sometimes he believed that she was shamming, making too much of it, and at other times he was full of real grief that he had made her suffer.
Their grief aroused them, and they made love magnificently. And each time he thought that that would be the end of it, that their miseries were over. Each time he was mistaken.
In bed, Juliet told him lightheartedly about Samuel and Mrs. Pepys, inflamed with passion under similar circumstances. Since she had more or less given up on her classical studies, she was reading widely, and nowadays everything she read seemed to have to do with adultery. Never so often and never so hot, Pepys had said, though he also recorded that his wife thought of murdering him in his sleep.
There was more than rain.
The water was hardly choppy when Eric went out, but later in the afternoon a wind came up suddenly, from the southeast, and tore up the waters of Desolation Sound and Malaspina Strait. By then, a sailboat from Campbell River was missing, with three adults and two children aboard. Also two fish boats, one with two men aboard and the other with only one man—Eric. The next morning was calm and sunny—the mountains, the waters, the shores, all sleek and sparkling.
It was possible, of course, that none of these people were lost, that they had found shelter and spent the night in any of the multitude of little bays along the coast. That was more likely to be true of the fishermen than of the family in the sailboat, who were not locals but vacationers from Seattle.
Boats went out at once, that morning, to search the mainland and island shores and the water.
The drowned children were found first, in their life jackets, and by the end of the day the bodies of their parents were located as well. A grandfather who had accompanied them was not found until the following day. The bodies of the men who had been fishing together were lost, though the remnants of their boat washed up near Refuge Cove. Juliet was not allowed to see it. Something had got at him, she was told meaning some animal , after the body was washed ashore.
It was perhaps because of this—because there was no question of viewing the body and no need for an undertaker—that the idea caught hold among his old friends and fellow-fishermen of burning Eric on the beach. Juliet did not object to this. A death certificate had to be made out, so the doctor who came to Whale Bay once a week was telephoned at his office in Powell River, and he gave Ailo, who was a registered nurse and his weekly assistant, the authority to do it.
There was plenty of driftwood around, plenty of the sea-salted bark that makes a superior fire. In a couple of hours, all was ready.
List of short stories by Alice Munro
News had spread—somehow, even at such short notice, women began arriving with food. It was Ailo who took charge of this half-pagan ceremony—her Scandinavian blood, her upright carriage and flowing white hair made her a natural for the role of Widow of the Sea.
Children ran about on the logs, and were shooed away from the growing pyre, the shrouded, surprisingly meagre bundle that was Eric. A coffee urn was supplied by one of the churches, and cartons of beer, bottles of alcohol of all sorts were left discreetly, for the time being, in the trunks of cars and the cabs of trucks. The question arose of who would speak and who would light the pyre.
The men who headed the preparations asked Juliet if she would do it. And Juliet, brittle and busy, handing out mugs of coffee, told them that they had it wrong—as the widow, she was supposed to throw herself into the flames. She actually laughed as she said this, and those who had asked her backed off, afraid that she was getting hysterical.
It occurred to some that he would not have been a good choice anyway, since his wife was an evangelical Anglican, and he might have felt obliged to say things that would have distressed Eric, if he had been able to hear them. He was a little man who had been disfigured by a fire on a boat, years ago, a bitter socialist and atheist, and in his talk he rather lost track of Eric, except to claim him as a Brother in the Battle.
He went on at surprising length, and this was ascribed, afterward, to the life that he led under the rule of Ailo. There was some restlessness in the crowd before he finally stopped speaking, some feeling that the event was not as splendid, or solemn, or heartrending, as had been expected.
A good many of the children were hauled away by their mothers—some willingly, some to their dismay. And the final act of the fire became a mostly male ceremony. Slightly scandalous, though not in any way illegal.She is also angelically pretty—blond like my mother but not so frail. Everybody believed she had been calculating and clever, and she was so far from clever, in that way, that she really did not mind if they believed it.
It seemed to Rose that she saw four or five girls of the same stooped and matronly type as the girl who was beside her, and several bright-eyed, self-satisfied, babyish-looking boys.
All wore ordinary clothes, not yellow robes or anything of that sort. But he was also full of cruel judgments, he was full of conceit. Energy, laziness, vanity, discontent, ambition?
Penelope is a dear fine girl, but she came to us here in great hunger.