Wood Grouse on a High Promontory Overlooking Canada
Memories can be either good or bad and they often follow you through your entire life. We all have memories which we would rather forget, but you just have to live with the bad memories as well as with the good ones. In Wood Grouse on a High Promontory Overlooking Canada, we meet Gary who is deeply affected by his memories from the Vietnam War. The story is about the two brothers Bud and Gary, and it takes place at the border between the U.S.A. and Canada in an idyllic landscape. We get the idea that it’s summer because they are wearing sunglasses in “the cloudless sunlight (line 18)”. Bud is telling the story while looking back on what happened during their journey. Gary’s younger brother Bud is looking back; narrating the story in which he was fifteen years old. We don’t get any information why Bud is travelling with his brother, but it sounds like he just naturally came along. Bud is a very natural storyteller, and he doesn’t show that many emotions throughout the story compared to his brother. When bud hits the wood grouse with a stone so it has to be killed by Gary, Bud doesn’t show a reaction and he doesn’t really know why he did it as described: “ “Jesus,” Gary said. “What did you do that for?” - I had no good answer. I said, “I didn’t think I was going to hit one, Gary” (line 58-60)”. Bud doesn’t seem have any empathy for Gary, he doesn’t quite understand that Gary has been traumatized during the Vietnam war, and Bud hitting the wood grouse with a stone putting it into incredible pain and suffering, making it necessary for Gary to end its misery, would make Gary remember the terrible thing he had seen in Vietnam. At this point in the story Bud still haven’t shown any emotion at all, and he doesn’t really do that until the very last part of the story “I couldn’t fall asleep that night; I felt ashamed of myself. (line 119-120)”. By waiting to reveal any feelings Bud might have until the end of the...
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