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Compass and Torch Essay

  • Submitted by: anonymous
  • on April 3, 2014
  • Category: English
  • Length: 793 words

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Below is an essay on "Compass and Torch" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

assCompass And Torch
Compass and torch is a short story about a boy and his father who are going camping on a mountain. The story is contemporary and takes place in England. It is written in omniscient third person narrative.

In the story we meet four characters. There is Jim, the boy’s mom’s boyfriend, who is trying to be a role model for the boy but he is not successful. This may be the reason why he is the only one without a title and is mentioned by name. There is also the mother of the boy who is not fond of the dad and is very reluctant to let him see his son. The father is anxious about losing his son and this causes him to be distant so that he wont get too close to the boy. He is showing this in this passage: “Great!” cries the man. He isn’t looking at the torch. He is looking away, seared by the glitter of anxiety in the little boy’s eyes.”

The little boy has been greatly affected by the divorce of his parents. He is doing what a lot of divorce kids do: blame themselves that their parents split up. Therefore he is constantly seeking his dad’s approval: “Yes”, said the boy forcing himself to acknowledge Jim’s kindness and affirmation. But Jim is not his dad.” Here it is obvious that it’s only the dad’s approval and confirmation that he is good enough for his dad. He is general a weak minded boy and is easily influenced by others i.e. when he is finally leaving for the trip he doesn’t really want to go because his mother has repeatedly expressed how bad an idea the trip is and so forth.

The boy and the father’s relationship is quite self-conflicting as both parties are scared of loosing each other but they are also scared of committing to each other. The dad wants to get a close relationship with his son but he is also scared of the emotions involved. He is afraid to hurt the boy. This insecurity is transferred to the boy as he sees his dad as the only role model. He on the other hand also wants to be close with his hero but he is too scared of...

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