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"Bluffing" by Gail Helgason

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on 27 October 2014

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Transcript of "Bluffing" by Gail Helgason

The story appears to take place in Canada.
Pg.73.2, "...in the hospital corridor and looks up from a Canadian Living Magazine..."
Short Story Literature

"Bluffing" by Gail Helgason
Literary Devices
Plot Structure
Commitments shall not be "bluffed" because they'll hunt you down forcing you to stick with them.
-Liam's intention has always been to leave Gabriella
p.74.1 "...he'd gone off to Leavenworth with Clive for two weeks' climbing that turned into six weeks."
p.75.4 "Liam wasn't just stepping back. He was running away...."
-In the end, Gabriella is the one who ends up "bluffing" her commitment to Liamn. She realizes that Liam tried to run away and then lied to her about it so she fakes her smile when Liam gave an execuse for his reaction
p.76.6 "...she pulls her chair closer to the bed and stretches her lips into a smile."
p.71.4 "One last outing before the snow comes."
When Liam tells the other two hikers to turn back
Lies about the grizzly bear
p.73.2 "We're turning back ourselves. Came across an elk carcass..."
p.73.2 "The grey jays had stopped shrieking"
This detail stands out
Foreshadowing starts to become more literal
p.74.3 "A cow moose, holding her head high, ears up instead of out..."
All leading up to the bear attack
Gabriella and Liam vs. Bear (Character vs. nature)
Not the main conflict in the story but occurs at the climax
Gabriella vs. Gabriella (Character vs. self)
Main conflict, running throughout the story
p.75.4 "In that instant, every cell..."
p.76.2 "Gabriella had to bite down on her fist to keep from screaming"
Conflicted over Liam
Isn't sure how committed Liam is to her
p.74.5 "He never lost the ability to surprise her..."
p.75.1 "...she didn't want to think about what might happen..."
Gabriella vs. Liam (Character vs. Character)
Most of the struggle is occurring in Gabriella's mind
Liam isn't purposely trying to hurt Gabriella
Two Settings:

The house, and the hospital, both are in the present form.

Setting then changes to the hospital.
Pg. 71.2, "Inside the hospital, equilibrium returns. The titled floor..."
The mood was more of an anxiety/suspense mood.
Pg.71.2, "...Won't you have a seat?...", a sign that she was nervous.
Pg.71.4, "...a light frost had silvered the club-moss along the trail.."
Mood: Kind of romantic at first.
Very rocky and sandy, Pg.75.2 "The sandy shore of the lake ended..."
The mood later on has a drastic change with the grizzly bear scenery coming in.
Pg.75.3, "The grizzly sow stood twenty paces ahead....".
The suspensful mood increased throughout the scene, because of Gabriella's mixed emotions.
Pg.75.4, " In that instant, every cell in Gabriella's body yearned to tuen and flee. "
Setting starts off with the house
Pg. 71.1, "She reaches for her double-faced pile jacket in the hallway, opens the front door, and runs down..."
Mood: restless, with rushed and anxious feeling
In ,Pg.71.2, the hospital wa
described as "The
ed floor feels cold, even through her vibram soles...".
The hospital wasn't what Gabriella would've wanted.
Pg.71.2," She would have preferred vomit green...".
Mood: spiritless.
Primary Character
Secondary Character

At the beginning of the story she seems in love with Liam

But at the end, she seems hesitant and not sure about her relation with Liam

grade 10 biology teacher
pg 71.1, 72.3, (specifies biology on 74.2)
25 years old
pg 71.2

Mental Characteristics

Physical Characteristics

Loves Gabriella
Very passionate about expeditions
Portrays confidence

Has thick black hair (71.3)
He is a climber (71.3)
As well as a rocky mountain tour guide (72.4)
He walks quickly (72.3)
Importance of Title
"Bluffing" repeats throughout the story
Liam lies about the bear attack to the two other hikers
Gabriella trying to "bluff" the bear to avoid being attacked
p.75.4 ""Try backing off slowly," she said. "Bluff him, remember...""
Liam is pretending that he ran away from the bear to lure it away from Gabriella
Gabriella pretending that she believes him
Standing in between the bear and her cub
Gabriella and Liam are both standing in the ways of each other's plans.
The lease
Gabriella's want for Liam's commitment in their relationship and their future together.

Rising Action
Climax I
Falling Action
Climax II
Gabriella recollecting memories of the trip with Liam in the forest 3 weeks before
Used in the story switching in between the present settings in the hospital and the past settings in the forest
Clive Nurse Two Hikers
Mental Characteristics

Physical Characteristics

P.74.6 "The words hit Gabriella like small, sharp rocks"
When Liam her that he will leave her for the winter and will go with his friend for a long climbing trip.
P.75.3 "She knew that if she retreated too quickly, the bear could be on her like a cat on a wounded bumblebee"

Full transcript