Lit Anal Shipping News Essay

1361 Words Jun 12th, 2015 6 Pages
Caniel Snowball


The Shipping News is a story about letting go of the past, the pursuit of happiness and a bunch of knots. Annie Proulx’s clever use of symbolism and interesting array of characters cohesively make an impactful tale and string the storyline together. A theme of having a troubled past becomes clear as it tactfully explained throughout the story to project potential for the growth. Quoyle is the story’s main protagonist who has a mid-life crisis at 36 when his cheating wife dies in a car accident and his parents commit suicide. Proulx describes Quoyle’s past as one with many shortcomings paired with his awkward looking chin and size that encapsulate him in a shell of low self-confidence. His newly found Aunt
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The pursuit of happiness is a central idea in the shipping news as evidenced by Quoyle’s misery in the story and his pursuit of a woman who he grew to love and marry and Agnis who named her dog after her dead lover and not telling anybody that he she was gay and then telling Quoyle she was moving in with Mavis. The knots at the beginning of the chapters foreshadow in some instances and also symbolize the different forms situations like can become. The google definition of a knot is “a fastening made by tying a piece of rope, string or something similar” this definition can be used when describing how people in the story’s lives are tied up in certain positions. In the first chapter where it describes a Quoyle as a spiral coil of rope “of one layer only…that it may be walked on” (Proulx 1) it foreshadows the Quoyle introduction and symbolizes his dilemma of letting people figuratively walk on top of him. Also in the beginning, there is no knot and just a rope or string, which is the beginning of every knot. Different knots are used to allude to different situations and at the end of the book, Proulx uses a quote from The Ashley Book of Knots that explains that as long as there are new reasons to make knots then more knots will be invented (324). Knots are symbolic of the constant changing path of life and that even though situations can get frayed and

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