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Saturday Climbing by W.D. Valgardson
Transcript of Saturday Climbing by W.D. Valgardson
In the short story
written by W.D. Valgardson you are taken into the life of a single father struggling to connect and understand his teenage daughter. The story introduces Berry(the father) as he and Moira(the daughter) are on a difficult rock climbing adventure. While having a hard time getting over a point in the climb his mind wanders to all that has happened between him and his daughter. Moira was going through a time of growing up and rebellion and Berry was trying to connect with her and protect her. He tried educational movies, traveling, beachcombing, chess, and then rock climbing. Rock climbing was the only one that she responded to, although that could have been due to the large amount of young men. Even though Berry doesn't understand his daughter he begins to connect with her and build a relationship.
Barry, the father in this story demonstrates the love that he has for his daughter in the best way that he can. However, it is very difficult for him and for her because of the disconnects that children and their parents have as they grow older and start to explore and discover the world around them. Barry often strives to connect with her but it usually ends with both of them getting frustrated, placing a mood of struggle in the story. This is a theme throughout it, and it ends with a feeling that he has finally broken through, not that she listens to everything that he says, but that he starts to see her as a young lady, and is willing to give her a chance to prove herself. In the story this is an allegory, as he thinks through the struggles he has had, he is climbing up the rock, facing problems, and over coming challenges.
The protagonist in this story is the father of the troubled child Barry. He is a single dad and a teacher. His wife had left him, and ever since he tried to be the best father he could be, and to lead and guide Moira. He is a father that makes sacrifices for her, and yet struggled with understanding and helping her make good choices.
This stories main conflict is between a father and his daughter, and how they can't seem to see eye to eye about much anymore. You also see a conflict with the father and himself, struggling to understand, let go and protect all at once.
Point of View
Saturday Climbing is written in limited third person, focusing on the fathers thoughts and actions. It is an interesting point of view because you get no insight from the daughter, who is the one in conflict with the father. The narrator talks speaks about the struggle he has in the relationship but you don't get to see the struggle within the daughter. This point of view is very representational of the problem with all relationships; you don't know what the other person is going through or thinking.
Significance of Title:
The title Saturday Climbing speak to how the rock climbing that Barry and Moira did every week brought them together and helped heal some of the damage that had been done to their relationship.