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Horses Of The Night

English Project

Tyler Duncan

on 8 November 2012

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Transcript of Horses Of The Night

Vanessa's role as a character foil. Horses Of The Night Vanessa Age 6 Vanessa Age 9 Vanessa Age 11 Vannessa's College Years Age 13 At the age of six Chris has just arrived in Manawaka to live with Vanessa's grandparents so he can attend high school. Chris comes from a small town, Shallow Creek, and a family with a limited amount income. His main struggle is to overcome this family legacy of being poor and to carry on to become successful in life. When asked where he is going to go he says, "Winnipeg, to college." (p.288) This plan of Chris's to go to Winnipeg after high school is to pursue his dream of becoming a civil engineer. Vanessa doesn't truly understand the struggles Chris must face in his life. She comes from a family that has a nice home and she has a father but Chris is on the opposite side of this. Because of the way Chris makes her feel she believes and is fascinated by all that he tells her such as the way he describes his home and his horses, "Made out of trees? Gee. Really?" (p.287). This prevents her from realizing the full extent of what he has to deal with, due to her only being six. When Chris returns to Manawaka again, he is a travelling salesman trying to sell all sorts of vacuum cleaners, magazines, and socks that he knits himself. His struggle at this point in the story is to make money to afford his schooling, and also to have money saved for himself and his family back home. Chris had a firm belief that, "But a guy could work at it for a year or so, and save - right?" (292) He was determined that there was success in selling all his products. The way Vanessa see's Chris' struggle is, "so when my mother told me one day that Chris couldn't find any work at all because there were no jobs so he had gone back to Shallow Creek to stay, it made scarcely any impression on me." (294) Vanessa is saying that Chris being unemployed and having to move back home barely had an impression on her, and shows that she doesn't understand what it would be like to support a family as a teenager. This opposes the fact that Vanessa was distantly attatched to Chris emotionally, and how when Chris first returned to Vanessa's home, she said she felt she had betrayed him because she didn't even think about him while he was gone. Vanessa has traveled to Shallow Creek to visit Chris, who is now 21. Chris has now taken the role his father used to hold and runs the farm. At such a young age it is hard for Chris to support his large family as he is forced to do. This struggle for him is tough and because his family is so reliant on his abilities, hard work and dedication that he has no way out. Chris ends up doing his best to cope with the situation by drowning out his families bickering through his imagination and thoughts, "He closed himself off from squabbling voices..." (295) Chris has an amazing imagination, he ponders thoughts of the stars and what could exist among them, he questions the existence of god and explores the thought of war. With all of his thinking it appears that Chris doesn't live in reality at all, but only in his imagination. It is hard for Vanessa to understand what is happening with Chris to the extent she would like, "I could only feel how foolish i must sound...I felt i failed myself utterly." (298) With Chris's mind running off in many different directions Vanessa is unable to satisfy herself because of her lack of understanding. At the time, the only trait she has in common with Chris is the loss of their father. Vanessa however reflects back upon her visit to Shallow Creek, "For the first time i recognized, at least a little, the dimensions of his need to talk that night. He must have understood perfectly how impossible it would be, with a thirteen-year-old. But there was no one else." (299) Although at the time she could not understand the extent of the conversation that night at the time, Vanessa finally realizes what it meant to Chris. During Vannessa's college years, she completely understands Chris's mental issues. It becomes apparent that Chris has always created alternate realities to help him cope with his life situation. Chris is finally pushed beyond what his mind can handle when he is exposed to the horrors of battle. "They could force his body to march and even to kill but what they didn't know is that he'd fooled them. He didn't live inside it anymore." (pg.300) Vannessa admits to previously having suspicions of Chris's instability, but she had never expected Chris to become violent. "Violent, I could not associate the word with Chris." (pg.299) She has matured to a point where she completely understands Chris's insanity and how it developed, but she still has a problem coping with what he has become. By: Mark, Brady, Josh, Jarred, Matt and Tyler At the age of nine, Chris is just about eighteen while leaving Manawaka to follow his belief in being a traveller and following through with what he believes is traveling off to Winnipeg with out anyone knowing. Chris's struggle at this point in the story is that he has very little money but is still willing to go out into the world by himself and sacrifice what he has to in order to follow his dream. "anybody can do anthing at all, anything , if they really set their minds to it." (290) Chris explains to Vanessa that if you are determined enough and put all your time and energy towards something. You can do anything if you put your mind to it. Vanassa tries understanding the reason why Chris wouldn't tell anyone where he was going after he leaves. " I was not thinking of anything. But when at last I cryed, " (291) Because of her age it's difficult for her to understand why Chris would take a plunge like that with no real reason at all. Other than committing his self fully in order to succeed. Until she matures and realizes that he did this in order to get away from all people that could change his mind and force him to lose focus of what he truly wants to do. Chris's method of leaving in ordeto pursue his dreams shows that he needs to leave his life back home, in order to figure out who he is as a person. The only way he can do so is if he makes his own mistakes and explores who he is and what he wants.
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