Professor Matthew McCabe
Effective Writing, EN 110
March 25, 2011
Mutually interdependant on his family for their survival, if living alone you would die- creates a strong bond amongst family members brought him closer to his family. Weren’t around other people- isolated, had to rely on family alot more- isolation and harshness of environment = close knit family
Character is a crucial part of a person that influences things like actions, decisions, values and beliefs but it’s how character is developed over time that consistently makes life a journey. In Rudy Wiebe’s short story “Now”, place is shown to contribute to the formation of character. This is seen through the harsh physical surroundings that contributed to his upbringing, his continuing trust in God, and the expectancy of his future. These three points are reflective of the position that he tells the story from and reflects on the journey that he has embarked on, to become the man that he is.
This story begins with a memory of the main characters childhood. His mother foreshadows of the great adventure they are about to embark on by saying the words “Now it is time” (Weibe 1). This line poses great significance to the story as the word “Now” is continually repeated throughout the story. I believe there is great meaning behind what this word represents to the main character. It is a word that as he looks back and reflects, it reminds him how he has accomplished life and has persevered through these harsh times and pain staking events that he has had to endure. There is a sense of urgency behind the word “now”. It is spoken in such a way that it’s as if he were waiting for something, or expecting something to happen in his life that could alter the course of his life, but he would not know what it is until it happens. At the beginning of the story when “Now it is time” (Weibe 1) is spoken by his mother, it is said to imply that they are leaving on a great journey into the wilderness. He describes in great detail his surroundings and fond memories of his this time. In a sense he grounds himself in these memories, causing us as readers to infer that these are the chosen memories of his past that have moulded him into the man that he is 70 years later. These reflections appear to be clear as day to this man. Perhaps they may have seemed miniscule and insignificant in his earlier years but for some reason he has held tight to where he came from and how the adventure he has embarked on throughout his life has brought him to where he is, and who he is today. The harshness of the main characters upbringing, contributed to the formation of his character. This process of coming into adulthood was largely affected by the physical conditions he lived in and the ways he as a person had to adapt to survive and to live life to the fullest despite this harshness. While the physical took a major toll on him as a person, an underlying contribution to his walk in life was also found in his faith in God. At the end of the short story the man reflects on just how his journey of faith was really what gave him strength in times of weakness and when the world around him seemed unbearable, He grew in faith just as mush or even more than he grew to adapt to these harsh surroundings because without Gods refuge in the generations of his life and the generations before him, life would seem unbearable and he would never be where he is today. Looking back he sees himself as a man who has conquered the in hospitable conditions of the earth and has found peace from misery, but also peace under the shadow of God’s wrath (Wiebe 4). The main character in the short story describes the actions of his father and mother and the specific roles they played in his life, there is a moment where he vividly describes the physical environment of their journey to really explain the parallel journey with God that he is on in his life. “We are travelling between winter