Monday, September 27, 2010

"The Ledge"-Lawrence Sargent Hall

"The Ledge" written by Lawrence Sargent Hall is about a father, his son, and his nephew.  The story takes place on Christmas day and for their celebration, they have decided to go duck hunting.  The wife of the father isn't ecstatic about them going, seems how it is Christmas, but allows it anyways.  The boys had both gotten brand new guns for their Christmas presents and are ready to use them!  The guys, and the family dog,
 head out early to go to their duck hunting spot, which is an island.  Once arrived to their destination, the guys are race ready to start shooting some ducks.  The first round of duck hunting goes really well.  They shot many, many ducks and were ready for the next round.  Things started off well, but then things turn terrible.  A storm comes to the island and bring lots of water with it.  The guys would have scooted off in their boat, but a problem had occurred with it.  By the end of the story, the father has been rescued, but the two younger boys and their dog had all died.  The only one to survive was the father.

The author of this story, Hall, had worked and operated a boat Marena on the coast of Maine until 1993.  His story, "The Ledge" is about a man and his boat.  Hall liked to write about things that were in his interest, and boats were definitely one of them.  Hall also writes with concern with the behavior under pressure.  He writes about how human beings handle tense situations.  This is all very true for his story "The Ledge."  The father is put into a tense situation when everything starts to turn horribly wrong.  The father handles this tense situation by trying to do everything in his will to save his son.  With the storm coming in heavier and heavier, his main concern is to save his son.  By doing so, he puts his son on top of his shoulders so he will not have to withstand the freezing cold water that keeps coming in.  Hall also makes his characters mostly uncommunicative.  They are usually gruff men who are skilled at their professions but unskilled at interpersonal relationships.  This is very true for the father.  He is a very gruff man, who is definitely skilled at what he does.  He knows how to hunt very well, and is hoping to teach the boys.  The only problem is that he lacks interpersonal relationships.  He is a good father, but he does not know how to communicate very well with his son and nephew.  A lot of the times, he is yelling at them or disapproving in some way.  If he were to have the interpersonal communication skills that most people have, there might not have been as much frustration in the story.

Lastly, Hall's themes of his stories are those that usually revolve around manhood.  His characters usually test themselves, mostly at sea.  This hits the theme right on the dot.  The father is the one who is trying to protect his manhood.  He wants to show the boys how much of a man he is.  He wants to be the big man on campus.  The character of the father definitely tests himself at the sea.  He gets them all there to their shooting destination, but once everything starts to go wrong, the tests start.       

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