At first, after reading Saturday Climbing, I found it just to be a simple plain story. A story about Barry climbing a cliff and having flashed back about his daughter. But when I went over the story a several more times, I notice the cliff is actually representing the relationship between Barry and his daughter, Moira. It was a story that shows a single father perspective towards his daughter.
W.D. Valgardson uses much symbolism in his story, Saturday Climbing, to help reader gain a greater understanding of his message. He uses symbolism in two important areas: objects that have symbolic value, and setting, which relates the relation between father and daughter. Many object in Saturday Climbing have important symbolic value. For example, the "chock nut, the wire loop, the carabiner, the rope", represents the relation between Barry and Moira. "¡Kfragile as they looked, would hold ten times his weight." Like a rope although their relation seems fragile, but it's stronger then it seems.
The cliff itself is another important symbol. It shows their relation, as time pass by. "Then, unexpectedly, the surfaces smoothed; the places where he could get a secure hold were spread farther and farther apart." This quotation reflects the difficulty Barry encounters in his role as a working, single-parent of a teenager. Barry's secure hold on the rocks, symbolise his monitoring of his daughter. As Moira becomes more independent, it is harder and harder for Barry to keep watching her and make sure she's safe. Moira is going out late to parties and on dates. Barry can't be with her all day, and therefore can't maintain her security. The secure holds can also symbolise the direction the relationship between Barry and Moira is heading. It seems that they are distancing themselves from each other. Barry has trouble keeping track of what Moira does, and Moira is willing to let Barry into her world by telling him what's going on.
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