The Arena Essay

The father is the narrator and it is a first person point Of view. This limits the reader to know Only his thoughts, but you get the feeling that his thoughts are the most important ones as well when reading. He tells the story the way he experiences it, which makes the story seem muddled a times, e. G. When the flashback are interrupted by the action and vice versa, e. G. “This was the sweetest victory in any arena, Willie in my arms, that slight but significant heft of his flesh on my shoulder. “Why didn’t you turn at Chestnut? My son asks, fear cracking his voice,” (II. 5-76). The fact that it is a first person point of view makes the short story seem autobiographical, which also makes good sense when thinking about that it is the narrator’s story that is being told. Since it is subjective, the reader gets a sense of how the father is, and gets a deeper understanding of him as a character. The father is married to his second wife, with whom he has a boy. The boy is of his own blood contrary to his first child, Willie, who he had adopted with another woman. What happened to Willie remains untold, but the reader gets omen hints, e. . “… And another fresh, promising day. Yet anxiety churns inside me, brought on by the ambulance memory, a memory so ingrained it felt like a dream,” (II. 29-30), and “You’re driving down a road and the next second your life explodes, fixing you on that spot forever, to be relived for the rest of your life,” (II. 100-101). When Willie died, his life changed radically, and his whole life collapsed. Willie was the foundation of the relationship to his first wife, and the fundamental basis left when Willie was gone, “But we’d only “make love”. Does that make sense?

Talking felt like “talking”, hugging felt like “hugging”. It had to do with the loss of boundaries” (II. 129-130). The loss of Willie is haunting him, and everything he does somehow reminds him of Willie. It is clear that he has a difficult time moving on, even though he has good friends, a new wife and a new son. He is haunted. He truly wants life to be as before the accident, but knows that it will never happen (II. 49-51 There is a contrast between the two lives. There is a lack of happiness in his “second life”, and he has a difficult time finding meaning in his life. He dwells in his past.

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The place where the story takes place could be any larger city, since it is not described in details. The description of the city is under big influence of his state of mind, and seems cold, grey and sad. The story takes place in the early hours of the day, which of course contributes to the picture of a deserted city. The setting is described as being postmodern, where the individual creates his own view on everything based on his circumstances and break-ups characterize the social life. The loneliness he has felt after the loss of his reflect, first life affects the way he describes his surroundings, e. . ‘The early weekend hour, the stillness we alone are here to break… ” (I. 22). The father clearly evolves mentally through the story. In the beginning he is afraid of what eventually will happen to his child if he s not there to watch every step he takes, but mind the ending, he realizes and accepts that it is not possible to be there for him every single minute of his life. The last two sentences say, “l stay another minute, worrying over every inch around him, every moment that will come to him. Then I turn away. It’s time to go home,” (II. 157-158).