A Secret Lost in the Water By: Roch Carrier
Plot • When you go off to live your life, would you forget all your heritage along with friends and family?
Plot-continued That is exactly what our narrator has done. Initial situation: Father feels left behind when his son goes off to school for writing and arithmetic. Rising action: The father shows his son how to find the whereabouts of water using nature (Y shaped alder branch), the son takes this information and puts it out of his mind. He moves on with his life; getting married , having children and travelling.
Plot-continued #2 Climax: Years past and the son returns when a film is being made of his hometown and its habitants. The son is given the chance to meet the farmer that was successful because of his fathers gift. When offered the branch that his father had used to find the “non-existing” water the son took it. He attempted to use the stick to hear and feel the water like when he was younger. But he couldn’t… Falling action: The son implies that he feels he has let his father down. This occurred by the son leaving and forgetting the gift that his father shared with him. The gift passed on along with his father.
Literary Devices • Simile: “Beneath my clenched fingers the alder was wiggling like a snake” (Carrier 94). This quotation take the alder branch and is comparing how it seems to move to the way a snake would. • Symbol: The stick represents more than just itself. It symbolizes the gift the father wants to leave with him (the narrator). At the end of the story the stick then represents the connection that they (the narrator and the father) once had that is now gone like the boys ability to find water with his fathers sticks.
Literary Devices • Pathos: The writer stirs up feeling of pity and sorrow toward the father because his son goes off to school only caring about writing and arithmetic. Also when showing his son how to find water the father is opening him self up and sharing the most important thing he has. Then when his sons forgets how we, the audience, feel sorry that the fathers gift didn’t get to live on like he had hoped
Characters and their conflicts. • The narrator- inner conflict: Guilt for not listening to and learning what his father had to teach him as a child. • Farmer- Person vs. Nature: Being told he won’t be able to have water on his land. It was resolved because the father found lots of flowing water on his land, enough to have the most successful farm in town.
Themes • When Growing up, don’t take lessons you learn for granted. You most likely will regret not taking time when you had the chance. We hear this in the short story when the farmer tell the narrator, “now a days a father can’t pass on anything to the next generation”(Carrier 96). • Take time for family and to learn you past and heritage.