Obstructions In Dianne Warren's Cool Water

Words: 1597
Pages: 7

Tense Obstructions
The tenses, those that rule a person’s life, are considered, in some cases, obstacles; that is, obstructions that curtail a task or event that may be at hand. The characteristics displayed by the captivating characters in Dianne Warren’s Cool Water engrosses the readers in their vicissitudes of lifestyles but in time realizes, much like those being read about, that these lifestyles are only a result of the pasts, present, and futures that they embrace. Because of this, their minds are always shifting from what is being dealt with at the moment and from truly knowing oneself. Lee Torgeson is an adopted farm hand whose adoption has granted Lee the inability to focus on that around him but rather that of the past. Shiloh, the
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The present the now; it is a time in space in which anything can happen and this is how it seems to Shiloh especially since he is now ‘grown up’ at the young age of twelve. Throughout the novel Shiloh believes he is old enough to understand; understand the lives of those around him as an adult would. However, Warren exhibits Shiloh as just a boy who although believes is old enough to understand things as an adult would, still lacks the knowledge to actually be one. As a proof to Shiloh’s misconceptions of the adult world, Warren illustrates, “He’s twelve years old and he’s worrying about things he can’t understand…” but soon demonstrates Shiloh’s thought process considering himself an adult by writing, “…he’s too old to cry” (47). Shiloh here believes he is old enough to understand the lives of others, specifically his parents, but Warren takes us in the understanding of that which Shiloh possesses and reveals that he does struggle with understanding the lives of whose was mentioned. Shiloh, as a constant happening, goes off into the world of adulthood, worrying of his place in the world of adults and because of this his mind is strewn away from that of his adolescence. That what should be his present and not the present that he wishes or may believe it to …show more content…
Not in the physical sense like a broken limb for an example but in the mental sense where their thoughts on the tenses that have, do, or will affect their lives disrupt what they are doing in their present lives and keep them at focus with their thoughts and misconceptions. However, not only do the tenses disrupt their day-to-day lives and thoughts, it also disrupts who they are. This means that each of their lives are being blocked by their individual thoughts pertaining to the tenses and the knowledge that they can potentially possess of themselves, pertaining to actually knowing their selves, are blocked in the long run. Lee Shoenfeld possesses the potential to grow to be the man and landowner his adoptive father once was and to take charge of his newly acquired land. His constant reminiscing of the past, mainly on that adoptive father, disallows his potential to flow and be that man. Not only this, but whatever he does to do this is stalled because of the past. This is the same for Shiloh Dolson. In order for Shiloh to feel as though he truly is an adult, he develops misconceptions of the adult world and thereafter a false present. This present stops Shiloh from living the adolescent life he should still be living and from developing and thereby knowing himself from it. This too with Willard Shoenfeld, who does not deal with his own future solely on