Crow Lake

by Mary Lawson

Start Free Trial

How does the past affect the Morrison siblings' adulthood in Crow Lake?

Quick answer:

It is evident, based on the experiences of the Morrison siblings, that the past can have a profound effect on whom people become as adults, whether through changed circumstances or broken relationships.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Crow Lake tells the poignant story of what happens to the Morrison siblings in the years following the untimely death of their parents in a car accident. At the time of the accident, Luke Morrison is eighteen, Matt is seventeen, Kate (our narrator) is seven, and Bo is just a toddler. Based on their stories, I would argue that the past has a remarkable impact on who people become as adults. The Morrison children are a great example of the fact that circumstances from the past can dictate who we become in the future.

For starters, Luke abandons his plans to go to college so that he can keep his family together. Had this tragedy not befallen the Morrisons, it seems likely that he would have followed his plans to attend teachers' college and later become a teacher. The past therefore affects who he becomes as an adult by adjusting the trajectory that his life and career take.

Through different circumstances, Matt also winds up not pursuing a tertiary education, and it could be argued that if his parents had still been around, the relationship between him and Marie may not have developed the way it did, which would have meant that Matt got to go to university. Similarly, if the Pye family's past had been different, and if Calvin Pye had not been an abuser and a murderer, things would have been different for Matt and Marie. The past therefore affected whom Matt became as an adult.

Katie, who does wind up with a tertiary education and an academic career, struggles with feelings of guilt when she gets to experience the academic successes that her brothers were denied. This is exacerbated by the fact that her love of learning was inspired by Matt. She winds up staying away from Crow Lake for many years and feels awkward about returning.

Matt, on the other hand, has been deeply affected by the distance between himself and Kate, feeling that she never forgave him for choosing not to go to university. The person Katie became as an adult was therefore significantly impacted by events of the past and the resulting fractured relationships.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial