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"Bluffing" By Gail Helgason

This is for ELA 90. Unit 1 for short stories.

on 3 October 2014

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Transcript of "Bluffing" By Gail Helgason

By Gail Helgason

By Katie P
The Tittle
gerund or present participle: bluffing

1. try to deceive someone as to one's abilities or intentions.

Relevance to the Story
The title suggest that at some point during this story the characters will bluff or deceive each other. While the story was not exactly as I originally thought it would be, I still found that the title of the story was very fitting to the plot. During many sections of the plot I found that the characters had to bluff, even if it was in unconventional way. This story showed me that bluffing doesn't always mean an outright lie, in fact the characters sometimes had to bluff to save their own lives or protect someone else’s feelings.
Intrigue in the Tittle
I found that this tittle was intriguing because I wanted to know how the characters deceived each other. I think that because bluffing is generally used in a way that is shady and sneaky, this tittle made readers curious, as well as made them think about the different types of lies people can tell while they were reading the story.
Example 1
The first example of how bluffing was used in this story, is how Liam tricked the other hikers to turn around. He and Gabriella wanted to have the lake to themselves, so he told the other hikers that he had spotted a fresh kill by a grizzly up ahead. The hikers turned around and left Liam and Gabriella alone.

Section 55-65
Example 3
The third example is when Liam pretends that he ran away from the bear to lure him away from Gabriella. She pretends that she believes him and smiles at him.
-"“I meant the bear to come after me instead of you,” he says"
-"She knows in her bones that she can manage this way, for the rest of the
afternoon, at least. She still has that much bluffing left in her."

Section 165 & 170

Example 2
The second example is when Gabriella runs into the clearing where the bear is. She plans to bluff her way out of the situation by convincing the bear she is not a threat.
""Try backing off slowly," She said, "Bluff, him remember?""

-Section 135
Main Character
In the first paragraph(s) of this story we learn many details about Gabriella herself. We are able to predict that Gabriella is the main character.
We learn that she is a grade 10 teacher and that she is near 25 years old. You can infer that she is an active person because "Vibram" soles are normally found in active outdoor shoes. you know that she is very worried about something or someone and can infer that there is something or someone she cares very much about.
Point Of View
You can tell the point of view based on the dictation used in the story. In this story the point of view is Limited Omniscient. This means that we know all of the thoughts, opinions, and feelings about one character. We learn about the other characters through dialogue, their actions, and the thoughts and feelings of the main character. In this story the main character is Gabriella.
In the first paragraph of this story we learn that the setting is in Jasper Canada. However this story occurs in two different time zones. The first is in the present time. Here Gabriella is in at her home and in a hospital. The second time zone is a flashback to three weeks prior. Here she is hiking in the mountains in or near Jasper. You can assume it is near winter because of the double-faced jacket that Gabriella is wearing, and how she slips on the ice running into the hospital.
Nature of the Conflict
From the beginning of a short story you can normally tell the nature of the conflict that will occur. in this story you can infer two types of potential conflict.
-The first is Person VS Self. Gabriella seems very emotional and confused within herself.
-The second would be Person VS Environment/Person. You can infer there is a physical conflict because she is waiting in a hospital. She thinks about an accident that occurred three weeks before. You don't know whether this was an environmental conflict or a person conflict.
Opening Paragraph
An opening paragraph should tell the reader the essentials of what they need to know about the short story. This includes the main character, the point of view, the setting and the nature of the conflict. A reader should be able to infer some predictions based on the first paragraph.
How Was This Opening Successful?
I thought that this was a very successful opening because it smoothly introduced readers into the plot line. The beginning sentences were intriguing and encouraged the reader to continue with the story. Many aspects of the story were revealed right at the beginning of the introduction, allowing the reader to look for details.
The Conflict
In most short stories there is many different types of conflicts. In this particular short story I found three different types. Every conflict should have an initiator and a resolution. These may be internal, meaning within a character, or external, meaning initiated outside of a character.
External or Internal?
I thought that this conflict was internal. The battle was with Gabriella and herself. None of the other characters were aware or a part of this conflict.
There is no definite end to this conflict but we can assume that it is over when Gabriella is with Liam in his hospital room. She seems to come to terms with the war of emotions and gain control over herself.
"When the last bandage is removed, she pulls her chair closer to the bed and stretches her lips into a smile. She knows in her bones that she can manage this way, for the rest of the afternoon, at least. She still has that much bluffing left in her."
-Section 170

Conflict #1
Person VS Self
The first type of conflict in this story is Person VS Self. this conflict is between Gabriella and herself. This conflict lasts the whole story and is a constant battle wagged between emotions and logic. There are many different inciters in this conflict, including Liam, being at the hospital and the accident.
External or Internal?
I think that this conflict is external. There are many character who play a part in the conflict, making it a shared event. This was the part of the story with the most physical contact.
I felt like this conflict was resolved when the nurse took Liam's bandages off. You can see the physical damage done to Liam by the bear. By creating this scene the author tied up the conflict by creating an end where not only the conflict gone but the result of the conflict is visible.
"Liam’s forehead emerges, what is left of his eyebrows, just shadowy lines really, then his cheeks and chin. Beneath the bandages, the skin is all puffed up, mottled, with ridges of shiny, rubbery scar tissue crisscrossing like tributaries on a map."

-Section 165-170

Conflict #2
Person VS Environment
The second type of conflict in this story is Person VS Enviroment. This conflict is between Gabriella and Liam VS the Bear in the woods. This conflict occurs in the middle of the story, and is the part with the highest emotional response from the readers. The inciter of this conflict would be the bear, however Liam could also be considered at fault for this event.
External or Internal?
I think that this conflict could be considered both external and internal. On one hand, it is between two characters who are trying to voice their opinions to each other. On the other hand, it is also a battle of wills, with Gabriella on one side and Liam on the other. Depending on which way you view the conflict you can see it as both.
I think that this conflict was resolved after the bear attack. They both learned how much they have to lose with each other. Maybe this incident will make Liam take commitment more seriously. However it is difficult to say for sure because the story ends before we learn of their future life together.
Conflict #3
Person VS Person
The final type of conflict in this story is Person VS Person. This conflict is between Gabriella and Liam. Gabriella wants to get a home together and make plans for the future, whereas Liam struggles with commitment and staying with a plan. The incitor of this conflict would be Liam because he kept leaving Gabriella to chase adventure.
Main Characters
Physical Characteristics
What is told directly to us

Thick black hair
Big blue eyes
Section 20
Section 20
Rocky Mountain tour guide
Section 40
Walks Quickly
Physical Characteristics
What is told directly to us
-Grade 10 biology teacher
- 25 years old

What we can infer
-Beaten down by the weather from her passion for hiking
Section 20
-Prefers natural colors, such as green
Section 5

Psychological Characteristics
Characteristics told to us

Wants to be endorsed and in magazines for hiking gear
Wasn't always willing to learn from people who might know more than he did but he was also curious
Had an ability to surprise
Likes a challenge

Characteristics that are assumed

Loves Gabriella
Very passionate about expeditions
Potrays Confidence
Psychological Characteristics
Knows a lot about Liam and seems very in love
Wants to lease a house with Liam
Likes when Liam surprises her
Wants to spend a lot of time with Liam and worries about him

Seems hesitant and not trusting
doesn't really know whether Liam left the bear to attack her or ran so the bear would chase him
Easily heart broken
Seems hesitant and not trusting
Main Character and Protagionist
Less developed main character.
Flat character, not as dynamic

Minor Characters
Just because minor characters don't always have a big part in a story, doesn't mean that they are completely irrelevant. Many minor characters help influence the plot and shape the major characters of the story.
The Nurse
She speaks to Gabriella in the waiting room, and tells Gabriella that Liam wishes to see her very much. She also gives Gabriella the advice to keep her reaction neutral
and positive when she shes Liam because he will be counting on her reaction to him. The nurse is also the one who helps Liam take the bandages off of his mangled face
The Hikers
Gabriella and Liam run into a group of hikers on their way up to the lake. Liam bluffs that they ran across a deer carcass all cut up by a grizzly bear and that they were heading back down now. He scares the hikers away and he and Gabriella continue up to the lake.

Clive is a Rocky Mountain tour guide like Liam. They often compete over expeditions. Liam has had a rivalry with Clive ever since he almost backed out of a climb and Clive made fun of him for it. Liam has plans to go down south for the winter with Clive and leave Gabriella alone.
What I Think The Theme Is
I think that the the theme of this story is that you can't fake commitment. You can make it seem as though your committed but your actions will speak louder than any words you might use. Liams instinct is to leave Gabriella even when she wants him to stay. Gabriella cares deeply to Liam but she is tired of being left all the time, she wants him to be as committed as she is.
Evidence of the Theme
Liam's instinct was to leave Gabriella
".....he’d gone off to Leavenworth with Clive for two weeks’ climbing that turned into six weeks."
He was always running away and leaving her
"Liam wasn’t just stepping back. He was running away as fast as he could."
Gabriella also bluffs her commitment to liam when she pretends to believe him
"....she pulls her chair closer to the bed and stretches her lips into a smile."
It seems like she's faking her smile
Changes in the Characters

In the beginning of the story Gabriella seems like she has been through a lot with Liam. She never put her foot down on his crazy adventures and just let herself be left in the dust when he went on one. In the end, she starts to stand up for herself and stops letting Liam mess up all her plans.

In the beginning of the story Liam seems very self centered. He is completely oblivious to what Gabriella wants, and instead just goes ahead with his own plans. He leaves Gabriella more than he stays and doesn't think of how his adventures might mess with her plans. In the end however, the change in Liam is very hard to see. He may have run away to save his own life and leave Gabriella to the bear or he could have really been trying to get the bear to follow him. His character could have changed a lot or not at all depending on his real motives.
Thank You For Watching!!
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