Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 670
The oil industry is discussed. Once Newfoundland relied on the fishing industry, but that is mostly just history now. An oil deposit has been discovered off the shores of Newfoundland, and the newspaper staff discusses the potential the discovery holds for the people of Newfoundland. Billy Pretty, Tert Card, Nutbeem, and Quoyle are having breakfast at a local diner. They are discussing the oil deposit, which is called The McGonigle. Tert Card believes the oil is going to bring the Golden Days back for Newfoundlanders.
Billy Pretty is not as optimistic. Even if the oil does come in, Pretty says, most of the jobs are going to go to those on Canada’s mainland. He cannot imagine why these jobs would be given to the islanders. Most of the profits, Pretty believes, will go to the international oil companies. What Newfoundland will receive in return, Pretty adds, are problems with alcoholism and crime. Pretty renews his premise that in the old days, people stuck together and took care of their own. Nowadays, Pretty complains, each man acts for himself.
Tert Card, on the other hand, is so convinced that the oil industry is going to take over that he shouts out that he hopes the fishing business completely collapses. Others at the table remind him to keep his voice down because there are still many people on the island who depend on fishing.
Back at the office, Quoyle hands in his story for the day for his column “Shipping News.” It reflects his own opinions about the oil industry. The title of this particular column is “Nobody Hangs a Picture of an Oil Tanker.” Quoyle’s story is about the beauty of fishing ships from the past. The ships were graceful and nice to look at. Pictures of the huge, old sailboats hang everywhere around town. In contrast, oil tankers are ugly. Quoyle also points out that the oil tankers are old and rusted out. He quotes one of the locals, who predicts huge oil spills will destroy the ocean completely.
When Tert Card, Quoyle’s editor, reads the column, he curses. Then he tells Quoyle he is going to edit it. When Quoyle sees his column in the paper the next day, he is very angry. Tert Card comes in and hangs up a picture of an oil tanker in his office. Tert rewrote Quoyle’s column to make Quoyle look as if he supports the oil tankers and the oil industry. The...
(The entire section contains 670 words.)
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