Short Stories - Literary Devises

Title: A Mountain Journey

Point of View: Omniscient and Third person

Protagonist: Dave Conroy

What type of character is the Protagonist? Round, dynamic

Antagonist: Nature, Himself

Describe the setting:
Northern Alberta, February, cold, desolate, excluded form the outside world, a snowy mountain, close to dusk, calm/confident feeling at beginning and end of story, but mostly a worried/rushed atmosphere

Type of Conflict: Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Himself

Describe the main conflict:
The main conflict is man vs. himself because he makes all the decisions to keep going even though he knows he should stop to warm his hands and to rest in a safe place. Instead he makes a bad decision to keep going so his bad decisions kill him.

Describe the Climax of the Story:
The climax is when Dave Conroy falls asleep in the snow. He is completely and physically spent and decides to take a short break. This eventually kills him.

How does the Protagonist change over the course of the story?
He becomes more desperate to find a place to sleep and so his decisions become worse and worse. I think the changes he make are that he thinks less carefully of what he should do and becomes very desperate or careless. He goes from being overly confident to desperate.

Describe the relationship between the title and the theme.
I think the theme of the story relates to the title because both describe a struggle or an adventure in which everything has to do with making the right decision. The name "A Mountain Journey" describes a struggle because Mountain is a great metaphor for an uphill struggle a person can make. Also the word Journey relates to the path it takes someone to get to a certain point in their life.

How does the main conflict help to illustrate the theme?
The main conflict in the story is Man vs. Himself. This relates to theme because Dave Conroy is having a struggle within himself to make the right decision and take the right path.

How does the climax help to illustrate the theme?
Once again the climax illustrates the theme (decision making)
because it shows how a bad decision (like falling asleep in the snow) can result in death.

Give examples of each of the following literary terms in the story (use quotes):

Simile: “…smooth and thin, like the tracing of a pen upon the snow.”

Metaphor: “…cold was an old man’s fingers feeling craftily through his clothes.”

Personification: “…that tree like a strong and lonely woman.”

Symbol: “Across the valley he saw a cottage he had never seen before – a white cottage, low roofed, with green trees beside it and an open door.”

Foreshadowing (give both elements):
“A man when he was alone would travel to far. He would travel till he could travel no more, for the mere sake of traveling…”
“He had been a fool. He should have made a fire when he fell through the ice, should have spent the night three miles up the river…”

“…he remembered Duncan Macdonald… who had walked thirty miles to the railroad on frozen feet to have them amputated… Macdonald had opened a cobbler’s shop in jasper to make boots he could no longer wear himself.”

“Mist, like the shadow of universal darkness on the treeless summit, moved about him, searched every crevice of the mountain land, roamed in great billows, formed in the blindness and suffering of eternal homelessness.”

Describe the relationships between the class theme and the story.

Everything Dave Conroy does in this story is a mystery to the reader. It's a mystery to us why he makes all the decisions he makes and why he decided to keep going even when he knew he should stop.

1. Dave Conroy had just finished trapping in the mountains, and was skiing back so he could sell his furs.

2. The point the reader knows Conroy won't reach MacMoran's cabin is when he lies down in the snow and falls asleep.

3. The 3 critical mistakes Dave Conroy made were:
a) Going to sell his furs early in the season, because he could have waited a couple weeks for the weather to warm up.
b) Not stopping to warm his hands when he fell in the river.
c) Falling asleep in the snow.
Some things he could have done to prevent his hands from freezing are:
a) Stopped right away and light a fire after he feel in the river.
b) He could have brought an extra pair of outer layer mittens.

4. The setting greatly effects the story because one of the conflicts which takes is Man vs. Nature. For example, if the weather was warm and sunny Conroy's fingers and feet wouldn't have froze when he fell in the river and when he fell asleep he wouldn't have frozen to death. It effects the theme because the bad decisions he made wouldn't have been so bad in the warm weather.