Stephen Fair

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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Stephen Fair Response Journal 2 The story takes place in British Columbia. Stephen lives with his mother, Brenda, and little sister, Toni. They live in the 'Ark' which was built by Doug, Stephen's father, who has left the family. Stephen is fifteen when he starts having nightmares like the ones that drove his older brother, Marcus, away from home. Brenda is concerned about her son's dreams so she calls in a woman who practices applied kinesiology. The woman believes the problem lies in Brenda not her son. Stephen becomes friends with the beautiful Virginia Skye. Afer many dreams, hunches, and arguments with his mother, Stephen starts on the path to find out what his dreams mean. After a revealing visit to his grandma, Stephen comes home and finds out the truth. Doug and Brenda stole him away from his neglectful birth parents when Stephen was a baby at Tinkerpaw.

Stephen pieces it all together and figures out what the dreams are.

Tim Wynne-Jones creates some wonderful scenes as the pieces of this novel come together in the last few chapters of the book. Each scene is carefully and subtly foreshadowed in the first part of the book. Wynne-Jones style is very interesting and complex. To understand his story you are forced to read between the lines and make connections to symbols. I think in "Stephen Fair" the water, the Ark, and the pond symbolize problems in Stephen's life. As problems at home increase, the water in the pond rises and floods. The Ark acts as a shelter for Stephen and Brenda. In the end the family weathers the storm and Stephen offers his mother understanding(an olive branch).

It quits raining and the pond goes down, the family is now at peace and back on dry ground.

"Stephen Fair" really connected with me personally. The story reminded me of a friend of mine that was adopted in Toronto. For many years James was totally unaware that he was adopted. Eventually when James' 'parents' felt he was mature enough to understand his adoption they told him. James was caught off guard and very surprised.

He had dozens of questions for his 'parents'. The way he looked at his life totally changed. What if he hadn't been adopted? Where would he be living? Did he have siblings? He was living a fake life he thought. His whole life hadn't been what it was suppose to be. He now felt cheated and uncertain about his life. His 'parents' explained that his real parents were very poor and couldn't look after him properly. James and his 'parents' settled their dispute and James decided his life was not a mistake, rather a correction.