In the short story "Earthquake" by Jack Hodgins, what is the theme that he is trying to express to his audience?What role do the adults thinking that they caused the quake have to do with the theme?

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kimfuji eNotes educator| Certified Educator


In the short story, “Earthquake” by Jack Hodgins, he is trying to recall and deal with the devastating affects of the Vancouver Island earthquake in 1946. The short story's narrator is just a seven year old boy. He reminisces about the events after the earthquake, as if he is talking to other "survivors". This narrative technique is really immediate and brings the details up close, in terms of the psychological impact the earthquake had. The long term affect it had on him personally is profound: he had thought the earth was a solid, stable mass, but now, he is unsure. His world view was changed entirely by this one, major dramatic event in his life. What was once his home and his town, became nothing. It changed his outlook on the world forever.

The theme is impermanence. Life is in the now. It isn't in the future,or in our goals for the future for our children. He is stressing that life is lived and experienced "in the now".

iamanna | Student
In Jack Hodgins' short story "Earthquake" the natural disaster, the earthquake, reminds us of our own mortality and the role chance plays in our lives. All of our previous feelings of safety and reassurance about life are shattered in that moment when the earth starts to move beneath our feet.