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The Bass, The River, and Sheila Mant, by W.D. Wetherell
Transcript of The Bass, The River, and Sheila Mant, by W.D. Wetherell
The Main Characters in "The Bass, The River, and Shelia Mant, are the narrator, Shelia Mant, and the bass.
The Bass, The River, and Sheila Mant
This is the story of young boy living in New Hampshire, who has a huge crush on his 17 year-old neighbor and a love for fishing. It takes place in a small town-type setting where canoes are just another form of transportation. The author has one several awards for his writing and lived in New Hampshire. The reader can infer from this that this story is probably based of some of his real life experiences. Like the boy in the story, Wetherell once caught a huge bass, and loved to canoe on the Hanover River. Wetherell has never revealed that he is the young boy in the story, but many speculate that it is based on his own similar experiences.
By W.D. Wetherell
The overall mood that the diction of this story gives is reflective and sarcastically dramatic. The narrator describes his feelings and thoughts as a boy in a way that expresses how foolish he was, and how he has grown. The mindset he was in as a 14-year old, when his biggest problem was a bass on his line and overwhelming crush, is what leads to the plot of the story and allows the author to show how he has matured and how he now understands that something you are passionate about is more important than infatuation.
Wetherell's purpose in this story is to express the idea that as we grow, our mindset changes and we discover what is truly important. He shows this idea through the plot and theme of his story.
This story is a narrative about a man who tells of when he was a 14-year old boy with a huge crush on his older, gorgeous, and elusive neighbor, Sheila Mant. He asks her on a date, to a concert in Dixford, a fictional town. The bulk of the story takes place on the Hanover River where the narrator steers the canoe to the concert. While on their way Sheila expresses that she thinks fishing, one of the narrators favorite pastimes, is dumb. Not wanting to appear stupid to his date, he pushes his fishing gear out of sight, but accidentally catches the biggest bass he has ever hooked. The boy must choose between impressing the girl or getting the Bass. He chooses the girl and cuts the line of his fishing rod. Unfortunately, the girl doesn't choose him, and after the concert she announces that she will be leaving with another boy. The narrator reflects that he would come to forget Shelia Mant, but he would never forget the Bass that he lost.
The theme of this story is that the decisions we make when we are young and infatuated are often stupid decisions. As grow and mature our view of life will change and we'll have different priorities than those we had when we were young and carefree. The narrator gives up his amazing catch because he believes he is in love with Shelia Mant, but at the end of the story he reflects that she was just another crush, and the bass he caught was a once-in-a-lifetime catch.
. The Narrator - the narrator is the protagonist of this story. He is a grown man reflecting on the time when he was a naive 14 year-old boy. He tells the story of his overwhelming crush and reflects how he has changed.
. Shelia Mant - Shelia Mant is the narrators beautiful neighbor. She is 17 years old and has many suitors. The narrator remembers her as queenly and barely approachable.
.The Bass - the bass is not an actual character, but rather the fish the narrator catches. It is a symbol of what the narrator is willing to give up for the attention of Shelia Mant.
. The River in this story represents the boys journey to adulthood. Most of the story takes place on the river and is shows the journey that the narrator takes to decide between his catch and Shelia Mant.
. The Bass in this story represents what will get the boy to adulthood. It is the thing that he really wants, the thing that he reflects was really worth his time
. Shelia Mant represents what is holding back the narrator. His infatuation with her causes him to give up his bass. But this is not a smart trade and the narrator reflects that, despite what he felt as a boy, the thing that he would truly never forget was not the girl, but the bass.
Throughout the story the author uses a reflective, at times almost sarcastic tone. The narrator dramatizes the problems he had as boy to better emphasize how he has matured into a man.
Figures of Speech
The narrator sometimes uses figures of speech to express what a scared young boy he used to be.
The narrator uses imagery to paint a picture of how he viewed the world as a boy; he was awestruck by simple things, his small problems were the biggest struggle in the world to him.
"It was late August by the time I got the nerve to ask her out. The tortured will-I's, wont-I's, the agonized indecision over what to say"
" I remember emerging from the woods as bashful and frightened as a unicorn.
" I would... stare enchanted at the candlelit swirl of of white dresses and bright paisley skirts.