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Saturday Climbing

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Gillian Luzyk

on 12 January 2015

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Transcript of Saturday Climbing

Saturday Climbing
By: W.D Valgardson
Theme Statement
The trust within human relationships can be perceived as simple to develop and maintain, yet in reality the challenges faced cause it to be difficult, creating fragile relationships that require constant effort to sustain trust.
Plot & Conflict
The setting of the story mainly takes place on a rock climbing site. It is at the rock where he and Moira work things out, aside from the fact that present tense of the story takes place at the rock climbing site, Barry's flashbacks took place in different settings, such as their home and schools. Even though the setting is known, the time of the story that took place sometime during the 1970's - 1990's.
Characterization & Character Development
Theme Statement
The trust within human relationships can be perceived as simple to develop and maintain, yet in reality the challenges faced cause it to be difficult, creating fragile relationships that require constant effort to sustain trust.
Narration / Narrative Techniques

• Barry 6 feet up cliff, rock climbing
• Cliff is difficult for him to climb, he is unsure about next move
• Hides his fear from his daughter Moira who is below him

Rising Action:

• Barry has many flashbacks while climbing:
• Student in his class referred to as “frizzy haired girl” (54) says to him “The caged bird proves nothing but the power of the captivator” (54)
• He signs Moira and himself up for rock climbing without her consent
• Mentions having no trust for his daughter “The thought of giving her so much responsibility was like the prick of a thorn” (54). “Good fathers,” she shot back, “don’t think the worst of their daughters” (57).
• He mentions Moira wanting to go away for school but he does not like the idea
• Frizzy haired girl resigns from his class because he had looked at her to intensely


• Ron, a member of the rock climbing group, falls and Barry assists in helping him with his injuries

Falling Action:

• Barry lets his daughter lead the next climb


Barry finally starts gaining trust in his daughter "Below her, her father, ever watchful, full of fear, smoothly payed out the rope, determined to give her all the slack she needed while, at the same time, keeping his hands tensed, ready to lock shut, ready to absorb the shock of any fall" (58)
Conflict: Person vs Self (Barry’s willingness to let his daughter grow up, he questions his own ability to climb the mountain)

Person vs Nature (The mountain causes Ron to fall, Barry is unsure of his next moves up the mountain and is nervous of falling)
• Barry is a divorced professor most-likely in his mid 40’s, originally he was a lawyer.
• He displays an unbalanced relationship along his 16-year old daughter.

• Barry demonstrates a fearful nature through his lack of confidence and inability to trust others with his life. "Never before had he been this close to paralysis" (52)

• He conveys his own pride through his inability to recognize his daughter’s capacities and his own weaknesses. "Unable to go back because of his pride, he had continued on until he found himself dangerously far above his last piton" (52)

• Overall Barry is a round character since he displays a complex character, and a dynamic character since he changes his way of treating Moira.

• Although he is unable to manage Moira’s behaviour he hopes to get closer to her.

• Moira is a rebellious sixteen year old girl who has a strong and self-sufficient attitude.
• Moira displays stubborn behaviour through her desire to always get what she wants. "Although Moira claimed not to remember the chess moves, he had the distinct feeling that he'd been checkmated"

• As a whole, Moira is a flat since the limited perspective only show her rebellious side and her inability to change her ways-making her a static character. "I'm not innocent, you know" (57)

• The story is told in Third Person Limited (TPL). Since it is TPL, we only know what Barry’s thoughts are. We do not know what other people are thinking.
• Barry has an unstable relationship with Moira because he does not trust her and if he does question, she will get defensive; therefore since he wants to keep a good relationship with her, he does not argue but, does not trust her.
• He start to trust her more and by the end of the story, he has developed the confidence to trust and send her off to University alone

• The story is non-linear because Barry has multiple flash backs about Moira.
• The story begins in the present, but throughout the story, he encounters flashbacks about his relationship with his daughter. These flashbacks are being told as memories
• It fluctuates between Present and Past, but the majority of the story is being told as a memory.
• The Narrator conveys the theme of Trust through Barry trusting his daughter. Barry lets Moira lead he climb. Barry gave Moira this responsibility because she proved she could handle it, by quickly pointing out safe routes. “I want to lead this pitch”, says Moira.
“I cant see a clear route up”, says Barry, Moira replies, “There”, she said. “There and there and there.” “But what about protection?” “There. Up there. To the side. Back across. Up about six feet” (57)

Quotes: "Then, unexpectedly, the surfaces smoothed; the places where he could get a secure hold were spread farther and farther apart." (52)
This quotation reflects the difficulty Barry encounters in his role as a working, single-parent of a teenager. Barry's secure hold on the rocks, symbolize his monitoring of his daughter. As Moira becomes more independent, it is harder and harder for Barry to keep watch over her and make sure she's safe. Moira is going out late to parties and on dates. Barry can't be with her 24/7, and therefore can't maintain her security.

"At the same time, the numerous cracks dwindled until there was no place to set any protection."(52)
This quote symbolizes the aspect of growing up that one becomes more independent. Barry will be able to protect Moira less and less, as she starts to find her own way.

"ledge no wider than a dime... nubbin of rock... shallow depression..." (52)
"...the cliff seemed to sway as if in an earthquake. He pressed his forehead to the cool stone and shut his eyes" (54)
"Close to the base there were large handholds, so that at first the climbing was a little more difficult than walking up stairs. Then, unexpectedly the surfaces smoothed; the places where he could get a secure hold were spreading farther and farther apart" (52)
"She studied the cliff face. It rose another hundred feet. There was a crack that ran more than halfway, then a small series of outcrops" (57)
"From every corner of the room came cries of bitter disappointment and resentment" (52)
"...their feet dangling in space" (57)
"The house will be so empty, he wanted to say" (57)
"The caged bird proves nothing but the power of the captivator" (54)
Full transcript