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Old 03-04-2014, 09:23 AM View Post #12 (Link)
Spacepirate (Offline)
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For people who might forget what scene we're talking about, the scene by the river in a town called Fortune. Grace gets out of the car and walks over to the river:
Some dust had settled on her, with all the stopping and starting of her driving lesson. She got out and washed her hands and her face as well as she could, at an outdoor tap. Then, favoring her cut foot, she walked slowly to the edge of the river, saw how shallow it was, with reeds breaking the surface. A sign there warned that profanity, obscenity, or vulgar language was forbidden in this place and would be punished.

She tried the swings, which faced west. Pumping herself high, she looked into the clear sky—faint green, fading gold, a fierce pink rim at the horizon. Already the air was getting cold.

She had thought that it was touch. Mouths, tongues, skin, bodies, banging bone on bone. Inflammation. Passion. But that wasn’t what she’d been working toward at all. She had seen deeper, deeper into him than she could ever have managed if they’d gone that way.

What she saw was final. As if she were at the edge of a flat dark body of water that stretched on and on. Cold, level water. Looking out at such dark, cold, level water, and knowing that it was all there was.

It wasn’t the drinking that was responsible. Drinking, needing to drink—that was just some sort of distraction, like everything else, from the thing that was waiting, no matter what, all the time.
Heh, I could totally be wrong about the importance of this scene - but to me it marks the focal point of how Grace comes to understand the things around her. She starts to realise what drives people, and how they work; she redefines the notions of 'passion' and 'sex', and so her own gender role, in what you describe as a 'deeper connection'. And at the same time even the way she narrates become broken, frantic, impassioned. And it's here that I think she gets a sense that life is rotten, that it is not the fairytale that Maury (and other men in her life) have perpetuated, but rather life can be more sinister, dangerous.

It's interesting that she isn't actually by the river - though we call it the 'lake/river scene - and that she imagines up this great expanse of water. There's something pessimistic, meaningless?, in the water that is so absorbing; it represents her life? All the emotions, the passion, the urge to destruction and drink, comes from this lake that was 'waiting' and I guess that to me seemed very nihilistic. I think it's this scene that makes Grace able to drive the car back home.


Also, if you type in 'Alice Munro Passion' into google, we're on Page 3 of the results (!) Much excitement.
						Last edited by Spacepirate; 03-04-2014 at 09:27 AM.
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