Saturday Climbing By Valgardson

At first, after reading Saturday Climbing, I found it just to be a simple plain
story. A story about Barry climbing a cliff and having flashed back about his
daughter. But when I went over the story a several more times, I notice the
cliff is actually representing the relationship between Barry and his daughter,

Moira. It was a story that shows a single father perspective towards his
daughter. W.D. Valgardson uses much symbolism in his story, Saturday Climbing,
to help reader gain a greater understanding of his message. He uses symbolism in
two important areas: objects that have symbolic value, and setting, which
relates the relation between father and daughter. Many object in Saturday

Climbing have important symbolic value. For example, the "chock nut, the
wire loop, the carabiner, the rope", represents the relation between Barry
and Moira. "ЎKfragile as they looked, would hold ten times his
weight." Like a rope although their relation seems fragile, but it\'s
stronger then it seems. The cliff itself is another important symbol. It shows
their relation, as time pass by. "Then, unexpectedly, the surfaces
smoothed; the places where he could get a secure hold were spread farther and
farther apart." This quotation reflects the difficulty Barry encounters in
his role as a working, single-parent of a teenager. Barry\'s secure hold on the
rocks, symbolise his monitoring of his daughter. As Moira becomes more
independent, it is harder and harder for Barry to keep watching her and make
sure she\'s safe. Moira is going out late to parties and on dates. Barry can\'t be
with her all day, and therefore can\'t maintain her security. The secure holds
can also symbolise the direction the relationship between Barry and Moira is
heading. It seems that they are distancing themselves from each other. Barry has
trouble keeping track of what Moira does, and Moira is willing to let Barry into
her world by telling him what\'s going on. "At the same time, the numerous
cracks dwindled until there was no place to set any protection." This
refers to the dwindling of the relationship. It is beginning to crack, or break
apart under the stress and pressure. It also symbolises the aspect of growing up
that one becomes more independent. Barry will be able to protect Moira less and
less, as she starts to find her own way. When Barry is stuck half way up the
cliff, it represents that Barry has encountered a problem with Moira. "If
he fall, he would drop twenty-five feet to the piton, then twenty-five feet past
it before his rope came taut and held him. There was, because of the elasticity
of the rope, a chance that he would ground out." This is also
representative of the risks Barry is willing to take for his daughter in order
to salvage their relationship. Barry would go to extremes for his daughter. The
exert also shows that one fall and it could be all over. This is the case in the
climb and it is the same in parenthood. A fall could prove fatal, and would lead
to failure. In each situation, Barry is under enormous pressure to succeed.

Barry," ЎK set his foot on rough patch that would provide the
necessary friction to hold his weight." The relationship between the main
characters is tested throughout. It is often pushed to the edge, on the brink of
disaster. Even though it may seem bleak, the relationship prevails. Just as

Barry seems to be able to get himself out of the predicaments on the climb, the
father-daughter relationship has overcome its own obstacles. "His daughter,
eighty feet below, seemed so small that Barry felt he could lift her into his
arms." Barry still views Moira as being his little girl. She appears small
and innocent. She seems too young to be out in the cruel and harsh world. This
view of her may never change, but Barry\'s level of acceptance of Moira\'s
independence will. "From time to time, she paused to pull loose the chock
nuts and pitons her father had left behind." By pulling out the pitons and
chock nuts, Moira is saying metaphorically, that she doesn\'t require her
father\'s protection. She wants to handle things on her own, and take on
obstacles (such as school) by herself too. "For a moment, he suffered
vertigo, and the cliff seemed to sway as if in an earthquake." This is
symbolic of the fact that Barry is afraid to go on because of the uncertainty
that surrounds the future (especially concerning his daughter). He