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saturday climbing

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Nicole Hamather

on 26 February 2013

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Transcript of saturday climbing

Climbing" Responses 1.a) Who do you think is the protagonist of "Saturday Climbing"? Explain. b) "Saturday Climbing" tells the story of a parent teenager relationship from the perspective of the parent. As a teenager, what is your reaction? Do you think W.D. Valgardson does a good job of capturing some of the challenges that parents and teenagers face? Is Moira's perspective fairly represented? Give reasons for your opinions. c) What does the ending of the story suggest about the changes that are occurring in the relationship between the father and the daughter? Use specific details to explain your answer. 2. A short story often contains more than one plot. In a small group, identify the different plots in "Saturday Climbing" and show the parallels among them. Why do you think the author chose to tell this story using multiple plots? The protagonist of this story is Barry. I know this because the plot is based on his perspective of his broken relationship with his daughter and events that have happened to him in his past. He is desperately trying to reconnect with her, as he is a struggling single parent. The story portrays the difficulties he has letting her grow apart from him as she gets older. Yes I do think W.D Valgardson does a good job of capturing some of the challenges parents and teenagers face. All teenagers go through phases where they think they can do whatever they want. If they don't get their way it does cause relationship struggles. Parents and teenagers don't see eye to eye on most situations, which is the main reason why they have disagreements. Parents have a difficult time letting their children grow up and eventually having to let them go, where teenagers want more freedom. The author definitely portrays all of these conflicts in the text.
Yes Moira's perspective is represented. The reader can easily tell her mood and that she is a teenager trying to grow up and move on with her life. "I'd be home for Christmas,' she said in a rush, 'and classes are out in April. It's not as if it was such a long time to be away." (Valgardson 56). This quote shows her trying to reason with her father. "Good fathers,' she shot back, 'don't think the worst of their daughters." (Valgardson 56). Moira isn't afraid to tell her father how she feels and this quote shows her talking back to him, which is something majority of teenagers would do. At the end of the story it is very clear their relationship has shifted and they are becoming more equal. Barry is slowly coming to terms with the fact that his daughter is growing up and she isn't the young innocent girl she used to be. He now understands he is eventually going to have to let her go, so she can spread her own wings. Although, he still realizes he must support her and be there when she needs him. "His daughter, easily, with the supreme confidence of youth, grasped a handhold and pulled herself onto a flake. ... 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," (Valgardson 59). This quote shows how their positions shifted and she is now leading the climb. It represents the changes of understanding now in their relationship. The main plot of this story is how the single father and his daughter rock climb to strengthen and repair their relationship. Three other side plots were also identified. The first side plot is about Barry while he is teaching and the relationship he has with his students, particularly the student who told him, "The caged bird proves nothing but the power of the captor." (Valgardson 54). The second side plot identified was teenage life, and how differently teenagers act and think. "Vic Hi's a big school. You hear a lot. Everybody's on the Pill. The dope's there if you want it. There's lots of opportunity." (Valgardson 57). This quote comes from Moira, and how she sees teenagers lives at her school. Lastly, the dangers of rock climbing is the third side plot. Ron, one of the leading climbers improperly placed his safety, so when he fell there was nothing that could save him. He went in and out of consciousness while people tried to save his life. I think the author chose to tell this story using multiple plots to make it more interesting to the reader, and too add more emotions and entertainment. The multiple plots also makes it very clear that relationships can be difficult. 3. In "Saturday Climbing," Valgardson uses setting in a symbolic way; rock climbing becomes a metaphor for a parent-teenager relationship. Create a poster that also uses rock climbing imagery to express one of the themes or messages in the story. Risk Taking In "Saturday Climbing" risk taking is a present theme. On the surface rock climbing in itself is a huge risk. If your gear is not well taken care of, you don't follow proper procedure or you don't trust your fellow climbers, you could very easily fall and seriously injure or kill yourself. In the story Ron, one of the climbers did fall for not listening to instructions. "Then, one of the climbers who was leading had ignored instructions and over confident, had put in only one piece of protection." (Valgardson 58). Barry also took a serious risk signing Moira up for rock-climbing without asking her. This could have been the final straw that drove the two of them completely away from each other. Although, it turns out to be what saves their relationship. Personal Struggle Barry goes through a lot of personal struggle in this story. He struggles with the reality that his wife is gone and he has to raise his daughter all by himself. He struggles with the strained relationship between Moira and himself, and tries to do whatever he can to fix the tension between them. Part of the struggle in their relationship is that he is having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that she is not a little girl anymore. He knows that someday in the near future she will leave him and he is going to have to let her go. However, it will leave him all alone. This text can relate to "Love Must Not Be Forgotten," because the mother has to deal with the personal struggle that she can never be with her desired loved one. She has to come to terms with this fact and continue her life, just like Barry has to come to terms that one day his daughter is going to leave. One's Conscience In the story, Barry's conscience tells him he needs to spend more time with Moira and try to reconnect. It is good that he feels this way because being a single parent, Moira is going to need him for support. However, Barry needs to let go of his conscience telling him that she is still just his little girl. In the story he thinks, "It is as if you lost your first tooth only last year. As if I took you to kindergarten six months ago." (Valgardson 57). He needs to allow himself to accept that she is growing up and that whenever she is ready, he needs to let her go be independent. In the story, "Mirror Image" Jenny's conscience tells her that since Alice's surgery she is no longer her sister. "Sometimes ... I don't know ...Sometimes I think my sister is dead' (Coakley 17). Like Barry, Jenny also needs to let go of this conscience and let Alice back into her life.
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