The Splinter

I denne study guide kan du få hjælp til at analysere novellen “The Splinter” af Ron Carlson, som indgik i skriftlig eksamen i Engelsk B på HF den 3. december 2019. Udover analysehjælpen kan du finde et summary af novellen samt idéer til at fortolke teksten og diskutere emnet. 

Præsentation af teksten

Titel: “The Splinter” (2018)
Forfatter: Ron Carlson
Genre: Short story

Ron Carlson (f. 1947) er en amerikansk forfatter, der har skrevet romaner, lyrik og noveller. Flere af hans noveller er blevet trykt i amerikanske magasiner som The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine og Esquire. Første udgave af novellen “The Splinter” blev trykt i Mississippi Review i 2014.

Uddrag

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Title

The title of Ron Carlson’s short story “The Splinter” refers to two things. First, it refers to a real splinter that one of the characters, Rick, has in his foot (ll. 87-88). Second, the splinter is used to explore the relationship between Rick and his father, following the death of Rick’s mother, Amelia. The splinter therefore becomes a symbol of the challenges and responsibilities adults should live up to in dealing with children - especially in a time of crisis. 

At first, the boy does not let the narrator look at his foot. It is only during the trip when things get worse that he first lets Damon and then the narrator look at it, eventually allowing the narrator to take the splinter out, even though he knows it will hurt. The narrator describes the moment Rick allows him to look at his foot as “a gift” (l. 115). This is symbolic of how Rick begins to trust the narrator more and accepts his help, suggesting that the father and son are getting closer. 

The splinter is also a symbol of the importance of facing one's grief. As the narrator hides his emotions and keeps Rick busy with various activities, the two are unable to confront their loss. Like the splinter, ignoring grief and keeping it inside can have negative effects. 

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The Splinter

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