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Saturday Climbing

ENG3U - Module 9
by

Charlotte Crosland

on 17 April 2013

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Transcript of Saturday Climbing

Saturday Climbing Summary: Plot: Exposition Characters: Barry is the protagonist of Saturday Climbing. He cares about his daughter, but often this is expressed as worrying. He has a hard time seeing that Moira isn't a little kid anymore and that she can make her own decisions in life. The author also portrays him as a desperate and controlling father. He signed them up for rock climbing without acknowledging Moira's opinion on the matter, "He had registered them and paid their fees. Then he informed her", and after she finds out, is angered by his controlling nature. However, this desperation and acts of control stem from good intentions. He longs to have a more solid connection with his daughter and wants to make sure she doesn't get hurt. He is afraid that if he lets her go, she won't want to come back or won't be alright on her own. Barry's character arc happens when he begins to let go of this worry and trust his daughter's choices, which allows him to let her take on the challenge of leading their climb. Saturday Climbing is about a father trying to mend the bond between him and his only daughter. Barry, the disheartened father of 16 year old Moira is constantly looking for a new activity to strengthen the failing bond between him and his daughter. The story beings with Barry scaling the side of a large cliff. Halfway up he encounters an obstacle and suddenly starts remembering all the reasons why he is doing this climb: his daughter's distance, her desire to go to a college on the other side of the country, and her excessive partying habits. He recalls that in his ever growing desperation to become closer with his daughter, he chose to sign both if them up for a rock climbing course. He makes it to a ledge and his daughter begins climbs up after him, reaching an obstacle he cannot help her with. They sit and talk for a while about her going away to college and Barry realizes he needs to let her go her own way. Moira asks to climb the next bit of cliff first and Barry allows her to, while keeping a watchful eye on her as she plots out the climbing route. Conflicts Point of View Significance of Title Echo: Themes: Saturday Climbing is a very significant title for the story because it clearly states the setting and theme of the story. It tells the reader that the story is most likely going to be about rock climbing, and thus implying there will be some sort of struggle and difficulties in the plot. It is also highly indicative that there will be some difficult choices to be made, as well as a good upward progression of story, which can be related to the act of climbing. Barry Vs. Moira Barry vs. Barry Barry Vs. Cliff Trust Letting Go The Convergence One of the themes in this story is the concept of letting go. It is explored a fair bit throughout the story in several difference examples. Barry learns, and is also convinced, to let go of the protective hold he has over his daughter and allow her to live her own life. This is expressed through the metaphor of rock climbing. When Moira asks to progress the next level of cliff before her father does, he worries but eventually lets her go and find her own path up the cliff face. Trust is another major theme in the story. The setting of a rock climbing venture is a good example of this. Rock climbing requires a lot of trust in your partner. You trust them to watch your back, make suggestions, and hold your security line for you. After taking the course, Barry can trust Moira enough to be his rock climbing partner when they are out on their own without a supervisor. Later on, when his daughter wants to climb ahead, he trusts her judgement to find a clear path on her own. This is also a metaphor to show that he has decided he trusts her enough to allow her to go out and experience life on her own. Throughout the story, both themes tie into each other. When Barry starts to let go of the fact that his daughter isn't a little girl anymore, he begins to trust her maturity and decision making. Ultimately, this new found trust in his daughter leads to his acceptance that he must let her go and make her own choices in life. Both the themes blend into each other nicely and give the story many layers. The father-daughter conflict between Barry and Moira is apparent from near the beginning of the story. Our understanding of it grows steadily as the story progresses. Barry recalls several moments during his climb when he and Moira had arguments over her decision to leave home and go to a college far away. Moira wants to get away from her dad, but her father wants them to be close like they were when she was younger. He has a hard time dealing with the fact that his daughter isn't an innocent child anymore. Moira also doesn't want to rekindle the bond with her father, which makes Barry even more determined to find a way to bring them closer together. During his climb, Barry has an internal discussion with himself. As he flicks through his memories, he takes into account everything that has happened and who he asked talked with about his daughter distancing herself from him. One of his students at the university he works at told him that "A caged bird proves nothing but the power of it's captor", implying that the only thing he will be doing by keeping Moira at home is limiting her chances of success and making him seem like a controlling and cruel man. He debates the thought of letting her go and keeping her at home, and in the end decides on giving her the room she needs while also supplying the support. Barry has a lot of struggle and difficulty on the cliff as he is climbing. He encounters parts of the cliff that are smooth where it is hard to find foot and hand holds. There become fewer places to put protection the higher up he goes as well. Barry has to work much harder in his climb, both to make due with the small footholds he has to work with, and to be more tactful in placing his protection. When he finally reaches a larger ledge where he can sit, he is filled with a great relief and accomplishment. Barry and his daughter Moira are climbing a cliff. Barry is frightened while he climbs and faces a few obstacles. Rising Action During the rising action, we learn that Barry is worried about the choices his daughter is making in life. He has also desperately taken up different activities to try and strengthen the bond between him and Moira. He recalls many arguments about her decision to go to college. Climax Barry reaches a ledge on the cliff and his daughter climbs up to sit with him. They start talking about her going away to college and Moira tells Barry that she isn't an innocent kid anymore. He begins to understand her desire to live life her own way without him controlling her. Falling Action Moira asks her father if she can lead the next bit of climbing. She points out a clear route to him that he hadn't noticed before. After some protesting and consideration, Barry finally agrees and lets her climb. Resolution As Moira begins to climb up the cliff, Barry watches her, keeping his eye on her but allowing her enough rope to find her own path. The story is told in third person limited, which means a narrator is describing what is happening in the story. However, the narrator only describes what Barry can see and what is going on inside his head, so in a way, the story is written indirectly from Barry's point of view. The narrator walks through Barry's memories and thoughts, describing past events and decisions. The narrator also describes the way Barry felt during those moments: worried, desperate, afraid . Through Barry's eyes, we get a one sided view of all the situations. We only see his opinion on arguments, he views Moira's decision to go to college and stay out late partying as reckless and immature decisions. He is hurt that his daughter doesn't respect his opinions and that she is trying to leave home at such a young age. If the narrator was speaking about Moira's thoughts and point of view, they may have said that she was excited or thrilled to be going away to college and that she was upset and hurt that her father did not approve. Barry's reactions are felt strongly by the reader because he embodies the struggles and emotional range that one can experience in many situations in life. Hem - The Part Where You Let Go I chose this song as an echo because it has a similar theme as the story. They lyrics of the song talk about not knowing if it is time to let go yet, which is how Barry feels towards his daughter. In the chorus, the musician also wrote "Is this the part where you find out I'm there for you?" which is part of what Barry wants Moira to know: that he is there for her when she needs support. The song also mentions this line near the end, "As your hand's breaking free, I am holding on...as you've held onto me", which signifies a parent - child relationship and the way they seem to switch roles. Moira grew up and now wants to leave home, but Barry remember her being a small and innocent child, and he holds onto that image, hoping that she still need him. The song's overall meaning is that eventually you have to give your child freedom and let them go, which Barry understand by the end of the story
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