Challenges In The Third Bank Of The River

1437 Words 6 Pages
Thorough out life, many people experience different challenges. In these stories the main characters all go through different types of challenges. The main character in Ray Carver 's "Cathedral" has the challenge of isolation and social awkwardness. The character Robert has the large challenge of being blind. In Jorge Luis Borges ' story, the main character has the challenges of insomnia and loneliness. And finally, the main character in J.G. Rosa 's "The Third Bank of the River" has the challenge of taking his father’s place in the boat on the river. Also, the family faces the task of continuing life with an apathetic father who is there physically but not with them completely or emotionally. We all face challenges, whether it be a physical …show more content…
The first challenge is faced by the entire family. The challenge of living their lives without a father. Once the father leaves on his boat, he is seen; however he does not acknowledge anyone or respond to anyone. The father implicitly made the unilateral decision to take nothing and leave his entire family to their own devices. The family, excluding the main character, successfully live their lives without their father/ husbands total presence. The main character tells us how his family moves on from their father in the following quote: "My sister and her husband moved far away. My brother went to live in a city. . . Mother finally moved too; she was old and went to live with her daughter. I [the main character] remained behind, a leftover. I could never think of remarrying. I just stayed there with the impediments of my life" (298). The rest of his family moved on, but the main character could not. He chose to stay behind and watch over his father. He seems hopeful that his father will return and return to normal again, but that is not the case. The story is most likely symbolism for dementia and the son cannot accept his father’s disease has almost completely taken over. The family successful overcomes their challenge; however the main character does not. He is unable to move on and wastes his entire life dwelling over his father and never gets to experience …show more content…
At the end, the author sees how old and decrepit his father is becoming and calls out to him. He tells his father that he is too old and he needs to come back and that he will take his place in the boat and carry it on. The father finally responds to someone, after years of an almost misanthropic existence. He waved to his son to accept his offer and began to maneuver the boat towards his son. The son then is struck with fear, he describes it as: "In terror, my hair on end, I [the main character] ran. I fled madly. For he seemed to come from another world. And I 'm begging forgiveness, begging, begging" (299). When faced with that almost punitive form of existence, the main character turns tail and runs. He was successful in conquering his challenge. He sees that his father 's life was not something that would be salubrious or fulfilling way to live. He realizes that no one is meant to live like his father did, completely cut off from the

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