May 12, 2011

"Third Bank Of the River"

The title was the first thing to perplex me from the Third Bank. A river only has two banks, I suppose the implication here is that her father becomes the third bank of the river during his term spent on it. I also began thinking of the boat, the vessel, that contains the father’s body. I feel like this is symbolic for not crossing over...as in stuck between banks, becoming the third bank. Through the writing, I feel the abandonment of the speaker, but I also feel the strong undercurrent of his obvious love and confusion at the behavior of his father. The oddest part for me is when their father won’t come to the shore of the presentation of the granddaughter. Then everyone really gives up on the father and moreover, they move on with their lives expect for the speaker who cannot. Even in rereads I haven’t the faintest thought of why or what is the compelling reason for this father to leave his family, the river means something other than how I’m reading it. The ending made me recall “The Storyteller” in that he offers to take up the mission of his father and stay on the boat and how the Storyteller took up the telling of the stories.

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