The Structure Of Ice Break By Astrid Blodgett

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No family is picture perfect and everyone has their problems, whether they are big or small. But when a tragic accident occurs, it makes light of these problems and they do not matter anymore. Your problems are set in perspective and you get at clear sight of what is important. Astrid Blodgett’s short story “Ice Break” from 2012 tells the story of a dysfunctional family affected by a dreadful accident. The characters eyes are opened and they realise that everything the neglected was the most precious to them.
The story is told through a first person narrator, who is also our main character. Her name is Dawn and it is only from her point of view the story is told. We only know her thoughts and feelings and it thereby makes her a non-omniscient
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The unique structure deceives us. The reader believes that the event in the car is actually the present and it is only in the end of the story we figure out that it too was a flashback.
This peculiar structure affects how we read this story, and it is meant to confuse the reader, as we do not know exactly what is going on. This builds up suspense as we are constantly interrupted by a gloomy insertion: “In the truck, Dad hit my left shoulder hard, it doesn’t feel hard, not now anyway. He hits me again…”. It feels like something fishy is going on and the confusing structure maintains the readers attention. We are drawn and compelled to read further to unravel the mystery.
The flashback to the Saturday afternoon is where the characters unfold and it quickly becomes clear that we are dealing with a dysfunctional family. As mentioned earlier, Dawn and her father have an awkward relationship. They do not know how to talk to each other and they do not seem to enjoy each other’s company. But they are not the only one’s having problems. The relationship between the parents seems to be on a freeze: “Earlier, Dad had asked Mom to come. Mom said no, She always said no. […] Sometimes they did that, one parent, one child.”. It is not explained explicitly that the parents are having marriage problems, but there is small sudden hints that even the children detect. They hardly do
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The family has neglected their love for each other, especially the parents. They hardly talk or do anything together and they have divided the time they spent with their children between them. Likewise are Dawn and her father’s relationship awkward. They do not know how to talk to each other and they therefore avoid spending too much time together. But this does not mean they do not love each other. They only realise it once the tragic accident occurs and the father and Janie are killed. “I looked at their chests for the longest time, waiting for them to move up and

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