BCC 158 October 16, 2013 In the story The Bass, The river, and Sheila Mant by W. D. Wetherell the narrator, an awkward fourteen year old boy whose love for both fishing and the girl next door will both be tested. On land he is a typical teen with a crush on a beauty out of his league, when it comes to being in the water the boy has more confidence than the average male model. Although he is comfortable in the water, it is in the canoe where he makes his biggest mistake.
In the start of the story, the narrator begins with explaining his daily routine that revolves around the river. Day by day he goes on by rying to show off in front of Sheila, who he has a crush on. “And to win her attention would do endless laps between my house and the Vermont shore, hoping she would notice the beauty of my flutter kick, the power of my crawl. ” With this fixation on Sheila the boy finally decides to ask her out on a date. They took a canoe down the river into the city in order to listen to a folk band at the fair.
On their way to the fair the narrator comes across a huge bass in the river that catches hold of his line. Here is where we see the drastic change in the boys feelings toward Sheila, and to where e comes to the conclusion of the importance in catching this bass. One of the major elements of this story is the river. The narrator is in the river every day in order to catch Shelia’s eye. He studies her constantly so that he knows her emotions Just by the way she is positioned. The only time she is approachable is when she is hugging her knees sitting on the raft.
The boy swims up and down the river, but he is not the only one that is trying to impress Shelia. Older boys that are part of the crew team also try to get her attention but she remains aloof. The reader hen realizes the importance of the river in the story. The entire story is centered on river. When the narrator decided to ask Sheila out, he walks to her house and watches her nervously. On land he is nervous and anxiously prepares his canoe so that he will impress Shelia.
Taking her out on the river, the boy discovers that Sheila’s mind set is nothing to what he is looking for. She is not interested in him or what he likes to do. She is vain and only concerned with herself. Shelia would rather be skiing, at a frat party, or with older people like crew member number four rather than in the oat with the boy heading down the river. It is at this point the boy becomes enlightened about Shelia. This is a drastic change. Like fate, the boy throws his fishing gear into the canoe just by force of habit and heads for Sheila.
Gliding down the streams a sudden pull grabs a hold of the pole and unlike any other bass this one is majestic, strong, and knows his ways around the water. “Four things occurred to me at once. One, that it was a bass. Two, that it was a big bass. Three, that it was the biggest bass I have ever hooked. Four, that Shelia Mant must not know. ” The fish would have let go if he anted to but he remained on the line through the shallow waters. Taking this as a sign our narrator comes to the conclusion maybe it isn’t worth his shot with Sheila. omething that he forever regrets. At first he was thinking of ways in which he could catch the fish without Shelia knowing “l think fishings dumb… I mean, it’s boring and all. Definitely dumb. ” He thought that he could sneak the fish quietly into the boat, and he weighs whether he should get the fish which he wants badly or ignore the fish and follow what Shelia wants in order to impress her. After he weighs this in his ind he decided to cut the line in order to win favor with Shelia. This action will lead him to his biggest regret.
By cutting the line he was not remaining true to himself, to who he is. He tries to become someone else in order to impress a girl. What he does is not new to the human race. There are many times that people try to become someone else in order to impress someone. For example, it is more important to remain true to myself and do what I enjoy instead of stopping what I do best at in order to remain in my friend’s good graces. I cheered for many years, even though it ot in the way of my social life and annoyed many of my friends I would never quit.
Eventually I was so torn that I stopped my cheer days and Just like our narrator I will forever regret that. In this short story, the narrator makes a mistake which results in something that will forever be in the back of his head. However, this mistake is a learning experience for both the narrator and the reader. The reader learns that you should always follow the path that you know and love rather being something or someone completely different. This is a very important lesson about being true to yourself, and who you are.