In this essay I’m going to look at some of the important elements in the short-story Wood Grouse on a High Promontory Overlooking Canada. The ones I am going to look at are: The setting of the short-story, a characterization of the two characters in the story, the theme(s), and the ending of the story. The story takes place on a high promontory, the two brothers Gary and Bud are fishing in the lake, but the fish don’t seem to bite. The promontory overlooks Canada on one side and the United States of America on the other. The scenery is peaceful and almost perfect, though in a realistic way.
Bud is the younger of the two, being only 15 years old and seemingly an average active teenager.
He seems carefree and happy. We are told that
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And he’s not crying for the bird, he’s crying for all the people ha has killed or seen being killed. It shows something about the brothers’ different regard for life, because for Gary life has become something almost sacred where Bud takes it for granted. Gary doesn’t seem like he’s really spoken about what happened in Vietnam, not in any great detail at least as he keeps trying to speak about it, but can’t really bring himself to do it. In the end for instance; Gary says to Bud after a pause: “Crazy, Bud. Insane.”(l. 94) And I believe that that is the war he’s speaking about. The last two lines are also very important for the story in my opinion, for, probably without even knowing it, Bud invites Gary to speak to him about that war when he says that at least they’ve got someone to talk to. I think this is one of the things Author is trying to say with this story; that war and gruesome experiences can change you and hurt, but if you speak about it you can find solace and be healed.
The mayor theme in this story is life, and what the worth of a life is. Another theme is war, and I think the fact that they are jumping between the USA and Canada is a ‘funny’ detail, as moving to
Canada was the way to avoid going to war and jumping between those two is just a nice small thing