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The Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant
Transcript of The Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant
1. Quote: "There was a summer in my life when the only creature that seemed lovelier to me than a large mouth bass was Sheila Mant." ( Wetherell, 245)
Meaning: Here, Shelia appears to be the black goddess, yet not completely evil. She tempts the narrator away from fishing which belongs to nature and is the narrator's love.
Proves the thesis: The narrator falls in love with Shelia and tries to impress her, only to be let down.
1. Quote: "I was on the swim team at school, and to win her attention would do endless laps between my house and the Vermont shore, hoping she would notice the beauty of my flutter kick, the power of my crawl. " (Wetherell 245)
Meaning: Here, Ryan expresses his obsession with Sheila Mant.
Proves the Thesis: Falling in love may lead people to take actions that do not truly reflect their heart. Here the narrator is only swimming to impress a girl rather than follow his own interests.
1. What causes Ryan to let the bass go?
a. He wants to get to the dance on time.
b. He knows Sheila does not approve of fishing.
c. He thinks the bass will pull them onto a sandbar.
The short story "The Bass, The River, And Sheila Mant", W. D. Wetherell reflects the idea that falling in love can be as painful as losing an opportunity. The story implies that people should follow what they truly care about and not worry about what others think.
By W. D. Wetherell
3. At the end of the story, Sheila:
a. Decides to date Ryan.
b. Swims home.
c. Leaves the dance with Eric Caswell.
2. What affect does letting the bass go have on Ryan?
a. He is filled with regret.
b. He becomes closer to Sheila.
c. He decides to give up fishing.
5. Perhaps it was easier for Ryan to forget Sheila. It was harder for him to forget the bass because he:
a. He loves fishing more than anything.
b. Realized he chose something over his true self and feelings.
c. Both A and B apply.
d. None of above.
7. The climax of the story is :
a. Ryan leaves the dance alone.
b. He cuts the line and releases the bass.
c. The narrator finds the bass and they go for swim.
6. The conflict of this story occurs when:
a. Ryan must decide to take the canoe or the Corvette to Dixford.
b. Ryan hooks the bass and secretly struggles between staying with Sheila or landing the fish.
c. Ryan gets in an argument with Eric Caswell and wrestles the entire Dartmouth rowing team.
4. When was W. D. Wetherell's story written?
2. Quote: "She shuddered, quickly drew her feet back into the canoe." (Wetherell 248)
Meaning: Sheila hates fishing. This contrasts the narrator's interests.
Proves the Thesis: Ryan forfeits his interest in fishing to go out with Sheila. Falling in love may cause a person to focus less upon themselves and more upon another.
2. Quote: "One, that it was a bass. Two, that it was a big bass. Three, that it was the biggest bass I had ever hooked. Four, that Sheila Mant must not know." (Wetherell, 247)
Meaning: The big bass represents nature. This demonstrates Ryan's desire to hook the big bass. The narrator considers the fish as a great opportunity, but he misses it to go on a date. Ironically, Sheila feels the exact opposite about fishing.
Prove the thesis: This highlights the author's point that nature and opportunities are more important than a person who does not share your values.
3. Quote: "I reached down for the rod, hesitated, looked up to where Sheila was stretching herself lazily toward the sky, her small breasts rising beneath the soft fabric of her dress, and the tug was too much for me, and quicker than it takes to write down, I pulled a penknife from my pocket and cut the line in half." ( Wetherell, 249)
Meaning: This situation shows Ryan's fall. The narrator chooses the girl over the fish, even though he loves fishing. However, he thinks hooking the bass is a mistake, as he is on a date.
Prove the thesis: As humans, we sacrifice things we enjoy for love. However, this behavior may cause the loss of opportunities. The story was written in the 1980s, but the ideal reflects issues of dating today and throughout history.
3. Quote: "Twenty yards ahead of us was the road, and once I pulled the canoe up on shore, the bass would be gone, irretrievably gone." (Wetherell 249)
Meaning: Once the canoe is on shore Ryan and Sheila get out and he would lose the bass forever.
Proves the Thesis: By going on the date Ryan not only risks his ego by asking her out but he also loses the opportunity to catch the largest bass he had ever seen.
Large Mouth Bass in a River.