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"Bluffing" by Gail Helgason

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Nicole Lin

on 17 October 2013

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Transcript of "Bluffing" by Gail Helgason

Plot
Conflict
Setting & Mood
Characters
Gabriella
Theme & Symbols

"Bluffing" by Gail Helgason

Analysis
By: Marissa, Nicole, & Babak
Plot Structure
Liam
Exposition
Introduces that there had been an accident and starts to set up the scene and conditions of it
pg.71.4 "On that morning three weeks ago..."
Introduces Gabriella and Liam, the nature of their relationship, and what they are like
p.72.1 "At the lake, she planned to bring up the subject of the lease."
p.72.1 "[The landlord] always speaks to her about these matters, not Liam
Point of View of Narration
third person limited
focusing on Gabriella
allows us to know thoughts and feeling of Gabriella without being limited by a first person narrative.
allows us to still understand the setting and some qualities of other characters
we see more physical qualities in other characters and more psychological qualities in Gabriella
physical characteristics
grade 10 biology teacher
pg 71.1, 72.3, (specifies biology on 74.2)
25 years old
pg 71.2
physical characteristics
has thick black hair (71.3)
climber (71.3)
and rocky mountain tour guide (72.4)
walks quickly (72.3)
Main character and protagonist.
Less developed main character.
flat character, not dynamic


seems very in love
knows a lot about Liam
Wants to propose that she and Liam lease a house together
Likes when Liam surprises her
Wants to spend a lot of time with Liam
worries about him

Seems hesitant and not trusting
Doesn't think Liam could ever be big
doesn't know if liam left the bear to attack her or ran so it would attack him

Easily heartbroken
Psychological characteristics
Rising Action
Occurs when Gabriella and Liam meet the two other hikers
Foreshadowing occurs
p.73.2 "Some grizzly had himself a dandy breakfast."
Also begins to become more literal
p.74.3 "Means she [the moose] senses danger."
Starts to alternate between flashbacks quicker, creating suspense
Learn more about the accident and Gabriella's reaction to it, making the reader wonder what exactly happened
p.73.6 "In the end, Gabriella felt she'd fooled them all..."
Climax I
Climax here is defined as the point in the story with the most conflict
Begins when Gabriella walks away from Liam
The reader gets put right at the scene of the bear attack
p.75.3 "She knew that if she retreated too quickly, the bear would be on her..."
Moment with the most physical conflict
Falling Action
Shifts suddenly to the present
Contrast between the bear attack and waiting in the hospital
p.75.5 "It was giving full chase" to "The nurse is back. She bends down to Gabriella"
You know the result of the bear attack
p.76.1 "Bandages wind round his scalp..."
Resolution
Climax II
Begins when the bandages are removed from Liam
When Gabriella meets Liam again
You aren't sure how she is going to react to him
The point in the story with the most internal conflict
p.76.2 "Gabriella had to bite down on her fist to keep from screaming"
Not really a full resolution
The reader is left wondering how Gabriella will deal with Liam's lie in the long term
p.76.7 "She knows in her bones..."
Could lead to another climactic event where she confronts Liam about his lie
Gabriella and Liam vs. Bear (man vs. nature)
Not the main conflict in the story but occurs at the climax
Gabriella vs. Gabriella (man vs. self)
Main conflict, running throughout the story
p.75.4 "In that instant, every cell..."
p.76.2 "Gabriella had to bite down on her fist to keep from screaming"
Conflicted over Liam
Isn't sure how committed Liam is to her
p.74.5 "He never lost the ability to surprise her..."
p.75.1 "...she didn't want to think about what might happen..."
Gabriella vs. Liam (man vs. man)
Most of the struggle is occuring in Gabriella's mind
Liam isn't purposely trying to hurt Gabriella
Significance of Title
Foreshadowing
p.71.4 "One last outing before the snow comes."
When Liam tells the other two hikers to turn back
Lies about the grizzly bear
p.73.2 "We're turning back ourselves. Came across an elk carcass..."
p.73.2 "The grey jays had stopped shrieking"
This detail stands out
Foreshadowing starts to become more literal
p.74.3 "A cow moose, holding her head high, ears up instead of out..."
All leading up to the bear attack
"Bluffing" repeats throughout the story
Liam lies about the bear attack to the two other hikers
Gabriella trying to "bluff" the bear to avoid being attacked
p.75.4 ""Try backing off slowly," she said. "Bluff him, remember...""
Liam is pretending that he ran away from the bear to lure it away from Gabriella
Gabriella pretending that she believes him
You can't fake commitment
Liam's instinct has always been to leave Gabriella
p.75.4 "Liam wasn't just stepping back. He was running away...."
Instinctual reaction was to run away and leave Gabriella
p.74.1 "...he'd gone off to Leavenworth with Clive for two weeks' climbing that turned into six weeks."
In the end, Gabriella is the one who ends up "bluffing" her commitment to Liam
She realizes that Liam tried to run away and then lied to her about it
p.76.6 "...she pulls her chair closer to the bed and stretches her lips into a smile."
Seems to be faking her smile
Figurative Language
Metaphors
p.73.4 "her feet still feel icy"
Like she is getting cold feet about staying with Liam
p.74.2 "...the problem was that he was trying to focus on a single object..."
Liam is kind of oblivious to the situation his relationship is in
Similes
p.75.3 "She knew that if she retreated too quickly, the bear could be on her like a cat on a wounded bumblebee"
p.74.6 "The words hit Gabriella like small, sharp rocks"
Liam has decided to go on a long climbing trip with his friend instead of move in with Gabriella
Use imagery to show how Gabriella is feeling
Characteristics that were directly told to us
Wants to be endorsed and be in magazines for hiking gear(72.4)

Organized, coded, identifiable but ultimately unknowable (74.4)

Wasn’t always willing to learn from people who might know more than he did 74.2 also Curious(74.1)(74.3)

Had an ability to surprise 74.3

Likes a challenge (72.3)

Psychological characteristics
Characteristics that can be assumed
Loves Gabriella
Very passionate about expeditions
Portrays confidence
Naive/clueless
Who is the Antagonist?
Possible Antagonist #1
Bear

Possible Antagonist #2
Liam
Possible Antagonist #3
Gabriella
'her yearning to be with liam'
One clear conflict: the bear attack
Initiated conflict
All would have been well without the bear


Could be blamed for innitiating bear attack
Second conflict: Liam's lack of commitment.




Could be blamed for initiating both conflicts

Setting changes into a hospital.
Pg. 71.2, "Inside the hospital, equilibrium returns. The titled floor..."
The mood i ngeneral for this particular time since the beginning of when she was leaving her house was more of an anxiety/suspense mood.
Mood remains to be restless/anxiety/suspense because of the rush she was into and anxiety she's going through.
Pg.71.2, "...Won't you have a seat?...", gives a sign that she is nervous.
Sad also combined because of the deep thinking she is going through and the way she is carrying herself.
Other main setting of the story takes place in the forest.
Pg.71.4, "...a light frost had silvered the club-moss along the trail.."
The mood being conveyed along the setting is more of a fanciful and romantic kind at first.
Pg.72.2"She sensed a special energy to the day. They’d be able to firm ...".
After the trail, leads to the anticipated talked about between the two, the lake.
Very rocky and sandy, Pg.75.2 "The sandy shore of the lake ended..."
The mood later on has a drastic mood change with the grizzly bear scenery coming in.
Pg.75.3, "The grizzly sow stood twenty paces ahead....".
Increasing the suspensful mood throughout the scene, because of Gabriella's mixed emotions.
Pg.75.4, " In that instant, every cell in Gabriella's body yearned to tuen and flee.
Theme
Symbols
Standing in between the bear and her cub
Gabriella and Liam are both standing in the ways of eachother's plans.
The lease
Gabriella's want for Liam's commitment in their relationship and their future together.
will they lease the house? Will gabriella keep loving liam?
development
<- beginning
<-ending
- Entire story appears to be in Canada.
-Pg.73.2, "...in the hospital corridor and looks up from a Canadian Living Magazine..."
- Events take place in two certain descriptive locations
- Starts off at the house, and leads to the hospital which both are in the present form
- Gabriella's recollection memories of the trip with Liam takes place in the forest
- 3 weeks prior

What do you think?
Is it fair that Liam vs. Gabriella is a man vs. man type of conflict?
Thank You!
What do you think?
Who or what is the antagonist?
Is there even an antagonist?
The House
Setting starts off with the house
Pg. 71.1, "She reaches for her double-faced pile jacket in the hallway, opens the front door, and runs down..."
Mood conveyed in this setting is restless.
Very rushed and anxious feeling
The Hospital
The hospital wa
s
described as,Pg.71.2, "The
til
ed floor feels cold, even through her vibram soles...".
The hospital wasn't th
e
normal expectations of what Gabriella would've wanted.
Pg.71.2," She would have prefered vomit green...".
Mood conveys as a spiritless, that lacks of a resplendent vibe.
The Forest

Lake & Trail
Full transcript