Discuss how the writer explores conflict in Ernest Hemingway’s “The End of Something” and Graham Swift’s “Chemistry”
The definition of conflict is: A disagreement or argument or where there is conflicts of ideas or interests, people have a different idea or interest which cannot al be satisfied. The relationship in “The End of Something” and “Chemistry” are quite different. The relationship in Ernest Hemingway’s “The End of Something”, is that between two people; supposedly in love with each other. The relationships in Graham Swift’s “Chemistry” are between three generations, father and daughter, mother and son and grandfather and grandson.
The woman starts a new relationship and her son thinks that Ralph’; his mothers new partner; is trying to take the place of his father. The woman is living with her son and her father. Her father says that she doesn’t need work and she will not be expected to pay for anything. She begins to take advantage of his good nature. She begins to take more interest in her new boyfriend than her kind natured father. The family was close family before Ralph met his mother. They had a stable relationship even though there was an underlying current. Both “Chemistry” and “The End of Something” are centred on the theme of water.
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The story of “Chemistry” is centred on a pond, where the young boy and his grandfather sail their toy boat. They both share the same interests and it is obvious that there is no animosity between the two. The way the young boy talks about his grandfathers is enough to show that he thinks a lot of him and respects him for who he is. The setting of the pond is also relevant because the young boy’s father died when his plane crashed into the sea, again a reference to water. The shape of the pond and how it is described, “… was circular, exposed… ” This quote could have a hidden meaning.
The shape of the pond is a circle. Strong relationships are classed as circles are they go on forever and are strong. This could signify the woman’s relationship with her son. The exposed pond could suggest that the relationship between the woman and her father is open and that the ties are frayed. There is clearly some hostility between the woman and her father. When the three of them are in the park the young boy senses a connection, “an actual existing line between Grandfather, myself and mother”. The woman on one side and the grandfather on the other with the one they love in the middle.
I think that something has gone on between he mother and the grandfather and that the little boy I the only one that keeps the family together. This suggests underlying tension between the two. In “Chemistry” the more you read of the story the more the significance of the water is understood by the reader. The water signifies the loss of the boy’s father. Just like “Chemistry”, “The End of Something” is centred around the theme of water. Both stories have the same major setting of water. When you read more of the story you learn that there is deeper meaning to the water than first expected.
In “The end of Something” the water is the link between Nick and Marjorie’s past in the mill. The big to fish can she starts to think about what life was like at the mill. I think that fishing is Nick’s passion and because Marjorie wants to be with him, she takes an active part in his hobby. The fact that Ralph has now come into his life suggest that there will be conflict between the young boy, his grandfather and Ralph. The grandfather of the young boy can see what Ralph is like and doesn’t want his daughter to get hurt. The young boy doesn’t want Ralph to take the place of his father either.
The woman cannot see that she is not thinking about her father and this makes him angry. “She would cook the things that Ralph liked (rich, thick stews, but not curry)… ” She is trying to hard to impress Ralph that she is hurting her father and this is causing the conflict them all. Through “Chemistry”, the narrator; being the little boy at time and his grandfather showed a lot of loyalty. They stuck together no matter what and the reader perceives them as indestructible. On the other hand, the mother shows more commitment to here new boyfriend rather than her own family.
This shows the choice of the mother’s loyalty. I think that the narrator being the little boy in the scenario knows that his mother is being disloyal and I think that the reader sides with the narrator. The woman is turning her back on her child and father for someone she knows vaguely; therefore the woman receives no sympathy from the reader. I think that the woman’s relationship with Ralph is what sparks the conflict in this story. Before Ralph, the can be pictured as a quiet, happy and peaceful family and know Ralph has made his way into their family unit, there is conflict.
In, “The End of Something” I think that because Nick is so wrapped up in trying to decide what he wants from life, he pushes Marjorie out. She tries to make the effort but he doesn’t listen. I think that the main source of conflict in Ernest Hemingway’s “The End of Something” is how Nick seems to thinks that men are superior to women. Later in the story it seems to go the other way. She says that she loved to go fishing with Nick, not that she liked fishing just the time she spent with Nick. Later he says that he has taught Marjorie everything she knows as if she is equal to him. By the end of the story he seems confused.
I think at the end of the story, when Bill appears has deeper meaning. Maybe they Nick and Bill are having a relationship and this has spared the conflict that has arisen between Marjorie and Nick. Both writers use the idea of past and present to spark conflict. In “The End of Something” Nick and Marjorie seemed happy but when Nick had a change of attitude and confessed that love wasn’t fun anymore this turned into a silent argument. In “Chemistry” there was no conflict before Ralph arrived, they lived as a happy family, “For about a year we lived quietly, calmly, even contentedly… , when the young boy’s mother begins her relationship with Raplh everything changes and there is a lot of hate towards him. Another idea of how both the writer explores conflict is between the attitudes of people. In “The End of Something” the conflict is because of the attitudes of Nick and Marjorie; they both want different things but are scared to say it in case they upset the other person. This is the same in “Chemistry” between the young boy and his mother; the little boy doesn’t like Ralph but doesn’t want to upset his mother.