Hello! Last week we were given the incredible opportunity to go to the Bamfield Marine Biology Centre. During our 6 day stay here, we were given the task of reading 2 writing pieces and analyzing them. The First was "The Sea Devil", which is a short story written by Arthur Gordon, the second of which was the first 2 chapters of Whale Story by Cheryl Tardif.
Analysis of "The Sea Devil":
In reading "The Sea Devil" the first thing I noticed was the author's choice to establish the main character's (for lack of better term) character very quickly and very strongly. The impressions I got from the unnamed protagonist was that he is unhappy with his life and is given a characteristic of masculinity. Being a teenage girl, I found it very hard to identify with this character as he had obviously had many experiences I have not, and talked in a manner I could not empathize with. I could not reciprocate his emotional standpoints at the beginning, but as he struggled I could see a glimmer of myself, as I think most people can, in his willpower and spirit to prevail.
Considering I read this story at Bamfield where there is a plethora of profound life and wonderful marine creatures, and I have been to Florida, I could visualize the setting of the story (off the Florida coast) pretty well. "The man" was never given an actual idenitity, which led me to infer that it is possible symbolism for the human race- how the fire within us drives us towards survival and prosperity. After I finished reading this short story, my take on the theme was that of self discovery & discovery of the human spirit. Overall, "The Sea Devil" was a foreign read- not something I would have picked out for myself- but was interesting as I got to experience a new perspective of the world.
Analysis of Whale Story:
When beginning to read The Whale Story, I found that-unlike the previous writing piece we were asked to analyze- I could identity with the protagonist very well. An 11 year old girl full of ambition and a hunger for knowledge and exploration, Sarah reminded me of myself at that age. Having been through some of the things the novel was focusing on, I could totally understand all of her emotional reactions and actions throughout the 2 chapters. The developing theme seems to be one slightly similar to "The Sea Devil", that of self discovery and overcoming fears.
There is some foreshadowing shown to us at the beginning of the book about possible occurrences that will happen further into the book. The foreshadowing included a story of a 14 year old boy who attempted to swim out to a island off the coast of Bamfield, yet supposedly drowned due to his over-confidence. Since this story was set in Bamfield, I did not have any issues visualizing the brilliant views described in the novel. After all, as conveyed through The Whale Story, I too was overcome with captivation and interest of the hidden yet apparent beauty of the place.