Sturday Climbing

Essay by sparco April 2002

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Saturday Climbing at first was another plain story, but after going over the story several more times, I notice the cliff is actually representing the relationship between Barry and his daughter, Moira. It was a story that shows a single father perspective towards his daughter. W.D. Valgardson uses many symbols in his story, to help the reader gain a greater understanding of his message. He uses symbolism in two important areas: objects that have symbolic value, and setting, which relates the relation between father and daughter. Many object in Saturday Climbing have important symbolic value. For example, the "chock nut, the wire loop, the carabiner, the rope", represents the relation between Barry and Moira. "Fragile as they looked, would hold ten times his weight." Like a rope although their relation seems fragile, but it's stronger then it seems. The cliff itself is another important symbol. It shows their relation, as time pass by.

Barry still views Moira as being his little girl. She appears small and innocent. She seems too young to be out in the cruel and harsh world. This view of her may never change, but Barry's level of acceptance of Moira's independence will. In the end, Barry reaches the realization all parents must come to, in time. He realizes that it is time for him to let his daughter go. He will remain there next to her supporting, but his job is limited. When there is a need he is ready to step in and resume his role as a caregiver. Until that time comes, he will give Moira "all the slack she needs while, at the same time, keeping his hands tensed, ready to lock shut, ready to absorb the shock of any fall".

The characters in the story are very realistic. Saturday Climbing talks about...