The Raft

The short story ?The Raft? is written in the point of view of an unnamed thirteen year old boy, whose grandfather once was a captain on a ship in the South Pacific during the Second World War. We see the events through his eyes, a consequence of this could be that we get a subjective view on the characters and the story.

In the story we get to know the grandfather through the eyes of the thirteen year old. He thinks his grandfather is slightly intimidating, a real military ?toughie?. He is telling a story he has told many times before about the war, but can?t remember he has due to short-term memory loss. Towards the end of the story the grandfather drags the boy into a closet to tell the rest of the story. This setting is different from the other times he has told the story and the boy experiences it as though he is in a confession chamber, where his grandfather is confessing a great sin.

I find it ironic that the grandfather who was once a great, well liked, dangerous sea captain has turned into an old man filled with regret and memory loss. He is still quite terrifying at times, like when he says things like: "Just because I'm smiling, don't assume I couldn't kill you right now. Know that about a man.".

The climax in the story is defiantly when the grandfather scribbles the three simple words on a notepad: ?BLEW IT UP?. This sums the grandfather?s personality, as well as crating suspense as to what will happen next. This is when the grandson gets dragged into the closet. The themes in this story could be growing up (in the grandsons? case, hearing about horrible events like this forces one to grow up more quickly). Another major theme could be regret, because the grandfather obviously regrets the decision he made, hence the tears and the boy feeling the closet was like a confession chamber.

Illustration by Ralph Giguere

4 kommentarer

Ann S. Michaelsen

20.09.2013 kl.11:00

Great observations, I agree with you, growing up and regret, most certainly are themes in this short story.


24.09.2013 kl.11:06

I really enjoy reading this blogpost, mainly because your writing is so good. You discuss many interesting issues, and I liked that you included a quote from the story. All in all, a well written review !


24.09.2013 kl.12:41

I also think this grandfather was a little scary though, he said a lot of creey things.

Good post!


03.10.2013 kl.23:24

Nice and interesting story. I too am intersted in world history.


17.10.2013 kl.17:01

THis is a very good summary of the book! what did you think of the book?

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