Comparing Three Books
- Hook: There are similarities in the novels The Highest Tide and Ralph Waldo Emerson's Nature: Addresses and Lectures, the poems of Holly J. Hughes and the movie Never Cry Wolf.
- Transition: These similarities include the protagonist feeling more at home in nature than with other people, dealing with something in their life breaking apart and their ability to endure far more than they thought they ever could.
- Thesis statement: The highest tide, Never Cry Wolf, Poems by Holly J Hughes, and Nature Addresses and Lectures by Ralph Waldo Emerson are connected through three themes. The protagonist feels more at home out in nature. In all of the writings circumstances start coming apart at the seams and begin to break apart. Living with these challenges the characters in the story have more ability to endure then they thought.
I. Topic sentence thematic connection 1: The protagonist feels more comfortable and at peace out in nature.
In the novel The Highest Tide the main character Miles spends many hours alone in the bay near his home. Although Miles has few friends and very little family support when he is on the beach or on his boat he is completely confident in his ability to handle any situation.
- Miles said in the novel “The other part was it was hard for me to feel fear or sadness at dawn on the Bay, especially when I knew the sun wouldn't set for another 15 hours and 32 minutes, and the water was so clear I could see coon- stripe shrimp in the eelgrass near the tavern and the bottomless bed of white clam shells pooled across the sunken tip of Penrose Point,” page 45.
- This quote reveals a great deal about Miles and his life. He talks about the solitude and quiet of the water being so different from the shrill yelling of his mother and the great escape he found in the ocean. Miles loved being alone in the water with nature.
In the poem Captive by Holly J Hughes the action takes place on a boat at sea. A woman is being held against her will.
- In the poem Captive the heroine says “my eyes from drifting out to the color I loved best: blue sea holding captive all the land.”
- The heroine of the poem sees the beauty and power of the beautiful ocean around landmasses and feels that although she is held captive so are the landmasses by the water and it makes her feel less alone in her predicament.
The novel Nature: Addresses and Lectures by Ralph Waldo Emerson is filled with the authors love of the simplest nature inspired events. Emerson could write an entire chapter about a dew droplet seen first thing in the morning.
- In chapter 1 from Nature the author says “I am not solitary whilst I read and write, though nobody is with me. But if the man would be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and what he touches.”
- This quote portrays a man content in his solitary predicament. The quote talks about never being alone when you have so much beauty in nature surrounding you, even at night.
In the movie Never Cry Wolf the main character goes off to live by himself and finds peace surrounded by wolves.
- In the movie Marley says “I can't really be sad, because it's here that I've began to feel wonder again.”
- Marley only feels at home in nature, he cannot seem to feel any joy in his life if he is not outside with his wolves. These walls are more then his friends, they are his whole world.
II topic sentence connection 2: In all of the nature inspired material the hero are here when finds themselves in a situation where something in the characters lives begins to break apart.
a. The Highest tide
- In The Highest Tide Miles and his mother have a strained relationship. Miles mother is unsatisfied with her life. She is talking about divorcing Miles father and has become increasingly distant towards Miles. Miles is angry at his mother for not coming to an important event. In this quote Miles and his mother have an illuminating conversation.” After a pause, she whispered, “tell me what happened, but softly. I'm right here.” I listed off as much as I could remember. It must have taken 5 min. And I didn't quiet down or apologize for anything. Every sentence rang like a pounded nail,” page 224.
- This interaction between Miles and his mother reveals a great deal about the relationship and how it will never be the same again. For the first time in the book Miles attempts to explain to his mother how her indifferent behavior affects him deeply. Miles realizes that he needs to grow up quickly because he cannot count on his mother anymore. The relationship between Miles and his mother is breaking apart.
Boxing the Compass by Holly J Hughes
- In the poem Steering by Monarchs the author writes “Fog thick enough to lick, horizon a blanket, pearl gleam of sun. Sure the sea trips the mind, conjures creatures but what's this dusty heartbeat of wing?”
- This quote is about a white out and how it affects the captain attempting to steer a boat with her life literally on the line and death surrounding her. The fog is attempting to separate her from her boat by making her crash. The author of this poem writes about a less literal relationship breaking apart. The captain of the ship depends on their boat and on mother nature working together but when either side loses their interest in continuing a civil relationship people can literally die.
Nature Addresses and Lectures by Ralph Waldo Emerson
- A quote from chapter 1 from Nature highlights Emerson’s ability to bring you straight into the action with little notice of his intent. After speaking of a beautiful day Emerson hits the reader with “Then, there is a kind of contempt of the landscape felt by him who has just lost by death a dear friend. This sky is less grand as it shuts down over less worth in the population.”
- The entire mood of the novel changes and the serene beauty of nature becomes dangerous. The relationship between man and nature is so fragile and this quote is also about something breaking apart in this relationship. In this quote the sky itself seems less blue to those who do not appreciate its beauty. The people who are not hard-working and do not appreciate nature will only see a gray sky while a hard-working man will see that it is blue. The sky itself breaks apart and only reveals its beauty to those who can appreciate it.
Never Cry Wolf
- In the movie Never Cry Wolf Marley's character resigns himself to never leaving nature again even if he dies. This quote is from the middle of the movie, Marley says “warm days bring a kind of peace and stillness if there was any remaining fears they stem only from recognition of my own staggering insignificance.”
- This quote is in the middle of the movie after Marley survives by eating mice. Marley has great hunger and loneliness out in the wild but still he prefers it to anything else. Nature is trying to break Marley’s spirit with starvation but he gets through it by eating mice. Marley's relationship with nature was more easy-going in the beginning that now things are getting harder for him and for the first time he may be questioning whether or not this was a good idea.
III topic sentence connection 3: The characters have more ability to endure then they would have thought.
a. The Highest Tide
- In the novel The Highest Tide Miles discovers his dear friend Florence's dead body and says “ so I continued stacking books and listening to the tide splash beneath me until it hissed through the boards near the fridge, and I finally noticed the blue pills next to her chair. I stuff them into my raincoat. I don't know if Florence wanted me to do that, but I did it” page 234.
- In this chapter Miles shows incredible maturity while dealing with the unthinkable, the death of his best friend Florence. Miles does not want people to remember Florence as an old lady who could not take care of herself so he tidied up her house and hid the pills that she took to kill herself so no one would know that she committed suicide.
- Boxing the Compass by Holly J Hughes
- In this poem the author says “I'd box my heart, compass my way, steer unwavering -not let it out- not let those Sirens hold sway not even a dram of doubt.”
- This quote talks about enduring through difficult times by not allowing yourself to be afraid, by compartmentalizing your fears into a little box to deal with later when you are out of danger because if you allow yourself to be afraid you may not get out of the situation intact.
Nature: Addresses and Lectures by Ralph Waldo Emerson
- In chapter 1 from Nature Emerson writes “there I feel that nothing can before me and life,-no disgrace, no calamity,(leaving me my eyes,) which nature cannot repair.”
- In this quote you can feel his conviction that nothing bad can befall him because he is so close to God out in nature. Emerson writes about nature and an almost awe-inspiring godlike way. He truly believes that living in nature brings you closer to God himself. He is saying in this quote that there is nothing that can happen to you that nature cannot help you get through.
Never Cry Wolf
- “ In the end there was no simple answers. No heros, no villains, only silence.”
- This quote happened near the end of the movie after the wolves were killed by John Clay. Marley must endure and go on after the incredible loss of his wolves. He endured because he believed they were going to a better place to live with God and he continued on his path because he had no other option but to go on. I'm sure if you asked Marley at the beginning of his story if he could survive without them he would say it would be impossible but somehow he found the strength.
all of the writings are very similar in some ways. In all of the writings the protagonists felt more complete out in nature, something broke apart in their lives and they somehow managed to endure pain and grief far greater than they ever could have imagined and went on. One would think that writings and a movie written by separate people over many years would have very few things in common but you would be wrong. Themes of endurance and perseverance are timeless.