Anne Fadiman’s “Under Water”
1. Anne Fadiman narrates the events of “Under Water” in first person. She prepares us by describing the setting and the conditions and intentions of the event. I think Anne wants us to realize that everyone on the trip, including the instructors, are human. Even though they knew there was no chance of saving Gary, or even possibly reaching his unresponsive body, they tried their hardest. 3.
I think she uses statements such as “Class II was not an unreasonable challenge to novice paddlers” to foreshadow events because it is kind or ironic. She has such a positive and fearless attitude in the beginning that she does not possibly see anything going wrong. The reader is likely to be aware of the inevitable outcome when Anne sees the first canoe fall over but didn’t assume anything wrong could happen. That probably gave readers an eerie feeling, as if something wasn’t right; the author was way too optimistic in a situation where she probably should’ve been the opposite. If Anne Fadiman began the story with the drowning, then the mood of the story would start gloomy and probably remain that. Instead by putting that event towards the end, she started the story with a sense of youth, freedom and adventure but also got to turn that around and give readers the feeling of helplessness and fear. She got to use a whole set of emotions instead of just one by not putting the drowning in the beginning. 4. “Under Water” has characters which are Anne Fadiman, Gary, the instructors, and the several other paddlers. The conflict is Gary drowning in the strong current. The motives of all the characters are to save Gary. The plot is Anne and the group going canoeing but a horrible mishap occurs, and they try their best fixing it but they fall short. The setting of this story is June of 1972 in western Wyoming on the Green River. This story is told in first person and there is no dialogue. We know “Under Water” is not fiction because it is a...
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