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The Secret Lost in the Water

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Sharuna Jegathasan

on 7 March 2017

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Transcript of The Secret Lost in the Water

Character and Character Development
Plot Graph
Point of View and Tone
Literary Devices
The Secret Lost in the Water
By: Sharuna, Sebastian, Cameron, Ben and Brandon
The story is about a young boy who has an interest in spelling and learning, however, his father does not appreciate this and tries to teach his son the traditional gift of dowsing which is finding water underground using an alder branch. Unfortunately, his son was not interested in what his father had to offer him and doesn't attain that gift. Years later, he's brought into a situation where his father's gift is needed, however, due to his ignorance, he is unable to perform the gift since he has forgotten it. This makes the boy regret his past decisions and carry guilt towards his dead father.
The story takes place in a rural, agricultural community in North America where everyone knows one another. The 2 main characters of the story are introduced which are the young boy and his father who are not given a name in the story and we are introduced to their conflict. The story begins in the the boy's past. The time period is predicted to be in the early 1940's. The physical setting would be the the outdoors like the farm and forest.
Initial Conflict
The initial conflict in the story is that the father does not like the fact that his son is going to school and not paying attention to the traditional ways. It is said in the story that, " After I started going to school my father scarcely talked anymore", This tells us that the fact that the son is going to school causes an obstruction between their relationship since the father thinks that his son gives more importance to his education than being interested in his father's interests and preferences.
Rising Action
The rising action of the story occurs when one day the father decides that it is time to teach his son the traditional way of dowsing using an alder branch to find clean water underground. The father emphasizes in this part of the story how important the gift of dowsing is to his son saying, " A man can get along without writing and arithmetic, but he can never get along without water." However, the son decides to not use the gift his father gave him and decides to further his education to become a writer.
After many years, the son returns to his village to help shoot a film. There he meets a farmer who knew the son's father well. The farmer recounts his experience with his father telling him how his father helped find water for him when others could not and showing him the alder branch his father used. The farmer's words about his father moves the son and he takes the alder branch and tries to use the gift but realizes that he has lost it.
Falling Action
When the son realizes he has lost the gift, he finally understands why his father wanted him to have the gift and also understands why it was so important for him. The sons feels bad saying, " Somewhere along the roads I'd taken since the village of my childhood I had forgotten my father's knowledge."
The son ultimately realizes that he has lost his father's gift along with his father and understands his mistake of assimilating into modern technology and forgetting his father's traditional ways. The farmer also states at the end, "nowadays fathers can't pass on anything to the next generation', telling us directly what the conflict is.
Point of View
The point of view in this story is first person who is the son. Through his perspective, we are able understand the son's emotional and personal experiences throughout the story. This point of view allows us as the reader to experience the story and each plot element with the son. As a reader, we get to relive the story and feel another dimension through the character's eyes. Most importantly, we are able to understand the story in a whole new way through first person. For example, if the son didn't explain the incident at the beginning of the story through his perspective, then it would not have given us as big of an effect when the son tried dowsing the second time and it ended up not being successful.
Significance of the Title
"The Secret Lost in the Water", has many meanings to it. Firstly, the title explains the significance of water in the story and how its a foundation of all the events that happen in the story. The Secret Lost in the Water can mean that the "secret" can be the gift that the son lost from his father and the gift is within his father who is gone. Also, in the story, water is not found on its own, it has to be dug up in order to be seen or used like the "secret". This "secret" is something the father trusted with the son and like a secret, its very hard to retrieve again.
Character Vs Self
This is one of the most important conflicts in the story. The character has a battle with his conscience and feelings regarding the fact that he has lost the precious gift that his father had given him and he can no longer perform the art of dowsing. This conflict never comes to an end since the boy has lost his gift forever along with his father.
Character vs Character
This conflict is between the father and the son. The conflict is when the son favored modern technology and tries to merge into modern society and leaves behind his father's traditional ways which creates an obstruction between their relationship . This conflict also cannot be fixed since the father died, not allowing the son to fix his mistakes and mend his relationship with his father.
Important Quotation
The son is a round and dynamic character. This young boy looks up to his father yet follows the path of his mother. He is book smart and loves to learn and educates himself although his father does not appreciate this. He is round since we know his difficult relationship with his father, the reader knows that he likes learning and has gone to many schools and we know that he isn't interested in his father's traditions at first. He is a dynamic character since he goes through a significant change through the course of the story from following his father's footsteps to getting lost into modern technology to regretting his mistake of forgetting his father's gift.
The father is a round and static character. He is round since as a reader we know his difficult relationship with his son, he takes the gift of traditional dowsing very seriously and we know that he does not appreciate modern technology as he feels that it separates his son from his traditions. The father can be described as a traditionalist, wise and nature-loving. He despises that his son treats education more importantly than his traditions and regrets his son's decision. The father seems like a farmer as well as a dowser. The father is static because he does not change through the course of the story. He continues to believe in the old ways of life and dislike the new upcoming technology.
The farmer is a flat and static character. This character is flat since we only know a limited amount of information about him such as he is a farmer who regrets the decision that his children made on not inheriting his farm and that he knew the son's father well. The farmer is a social and straightforward character and we as a reader can interpret he is a hoarder since he does not throw anything away like the alder branch. He is static since he does not drastically change throughout the story or goes through a significant revelation. However, this character does affect the son in the story.
Character vs Nature
The son struggles to cooperate with nature like his father once did. The son feels guilt and regret when he is unable to form a connection to nature and feels like he let down his father.
Alder Branch
The alder branch is a symbol of his father's most prized tradition which is the gift of dowsing. The alder branch represents the father's love of the gift. Also, the y-shaped alder branch can also represent the two paths the two paths that the boy can take, education like his mother or dowsing like his father.
"The alder stayed motionless and the water beneath the earth refused to sing"
The literary device that is represented above is personification. This literary device is present in the story when the son is unable to perform the gift of dowsing. The personification is important since it emphasizes the fact that the son has lost the ability of dowsing giving it a greater effect for the reader to experience.
"I was stunned as though he'd awakened me from a dream"
The literary device that is highlighted above is a simile. This literary device is present in the story when the son experienced the gift from his Father. The literary device above is a comparison from the incredible shock his father had showed him to waking up from a dream. This means that the son couldn't believe what he experienced was real.
"Beneath my clenched fingers, the alder was wriggling like a small frightened snake"
The literary device highlighted above is a simile. This literary device is present in the story when the father teaches his son the art of dowsing and the son describes the alder branch in his hand like the movement of a snake. This literary device is important since it helps prove that dowsing is actually real and as a reader allows us to engage in the situation and feel what the character feels.
"Don’t feel sorry,’ said the man, thinking no doubt of his farm and his childhood; ‘nowadays fathers can’t pass on anything to the next generation.’ And he took the alder branch from my hands".
The speaker of this quotation is the farmer in "The Secret Lost in the Water" by Roch Carrier. The farmer is speaking to the son after the son feels guilty of what he did to his father.

The elements of dramatic significance that are explained here are theme, plot and special dramatic effects.

The theme of valuing or being grateful for what you've got before its gone is highlighted in this quote as it talks about how the son feel guilt and regret for losing his father's precious gift and realizes that he should have valued the gift instead of ignoring it. The son also feels bad for losing his father's gift since his father couldn't give the gift to the next generation.

The part of the plot this quote is from is the conclusion. This is important since it tells us as a reader that the conflict has not ended and gives us an insight that it might never end since the son may feel guilt towards his father forever.

The special dramatic effect that is highlighted in this quote is a literary device which is the alder branch which acts as a symbol of tradition but in this case like a representation of the father. When the farmer takes the alder branch away, it can mean that the father is taken away from the son forever.
The way the author expresses themselves throughout the story is in a negative tone. The author seems to describe elements in the story in a negative tone especially when the son makes his mistake. For example, during the end of the story when the boy was unable to perform the gift, the farmer takes the alder branch from him. The author describes this in a disappointing tone saying "nowadays fathers can't pass on anything to the next generations."
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