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How does the quote below relate to events or feelings in real life?  "Hold still,my...

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ak58305 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted October 20, 2010 at 8:24 AM via web

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How does the quote below relate to events or feelings in real life?

 

"Hold still,my father would say, while I held the ship in the bottle and he burned away the strings he'd raised the mast with and set the clipper ship free on its blue putty sea. And I would wait for him, recognizing the tension of that moment when the world in the bottle depended, solely, on me"

I do not want to know how this quote relates to the book i want to know how it realtes to real life.

 

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lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted October 20, 2010 at 10:44 PM (Answer #1)

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Susie often helped her father with his hobby of building ships in a bottle. When she dies, he destroys them. In this quote, Susie is remembering how they worked together on the shipbuilding. The quote illustrates Susie's connection with her father. This activity was something they did together, and while they did it, he taught her things. I believe that the cutting of the strings could be symbolic of the father cutting the strings of life and letting his daughter go off on her own, but because Susie dies, the cutting of the strings in this particular bottle also symbolize the break in the father-daughter relationship that occurs because Susie is killed. When Susie refers to the "tension of that moment" this could be referring to the fact that parents raise up their children, but then it is up to them to make their own choices in life. The tension is the realization that Susie would one day have to make these choices, and it is scary to a child. This quote also foreshadows what is to come, because Susie's father lives on edge after her death, and there is a constant tension in his soul to figure out what happened to his daughter. He feels responsible. He feels guilty because he failed to protect her, and this was his job, he believes, as her Dad. The fact that Susie's death has affected her Dad in a most profound way, in retrospect, goes back to the tension of this moment.

There is a lot in this little quote, huh? You can apply the points above to life in general. Parents raise children to go off and live on their own someday. When a child dies before a parent, something is wrong, the order of things is upset, creating a tension that never goes away. Susie's dad, like all dads, wanted her to grow her own wings and sail away on the blue ocean of life, so he carefully worked with her, teaching her life's lessons, just like all fathers. Children must realize at some point, however, that ultimately it is up to them but hopefully their fathers have raised them so that they have the skills to make good decisions in life.

That's my view. What do you think?

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