Crow Lake Essays Free

Crow Lake

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Crow Lake Essay

In Crow Lake, Mary Lawson portrays a family who experience a great tragedy when Mr. and Mrs. Morrison are killed in a car accident. This tragedy changes the lifestyles of the seven years old protagonist Kate Morrison and her siblings Matt, Luke and Bo. The settings are very important in this novel. Though there are limited numbers of settings, the settings used are highly effective. Without effective use of themes in this novel, the reader would not have been able to connect with the characters and be sympathetic. Lawson uses an exceptionally high degree of literary devices to develop each character in this novel.
The element of setting is used to create a definite atmosphere, and therefore, helping to create a desired mood .In Kate’s childhood, she and Matt visited the ponds regularly. They used to go “through the woods with their luxuriant growth of poison ivy, along the tracks, past the dusty boxcars lines up receive their loads of sugar beets, down the steep sandy path to the ponds themselves” (Lawson 4). Lawson has used powerful imagery to further describe the ponds. The settings of the ponds are a central part of the story. The ponds are a symbol of the tight relationship between Matt and Kate. They had spent “hundreds of hours there” (Lawson 15). Ponds were like a home to her. In the prologue, Kate stated that “there is no image of my childhood that I carry with me more clearly than that” (Lawson 4). The ponds also symbolizes Kate’s childhood. Matt and Kate were able to overcome the tragedy of their parent’s death by visiting the ponds, but however, they did not survive Matt’s “disloyalty”. The ponds later developed into the scene of the crime. Kate mentions in the book “By the following September the ponds themselves would have been desecrated twice over, as far as I was concerned, and for some years after that I did not visit them at all” (Lawson ). Therefore, the ponds are of great significance in Crow Lake. The setting has developed from a warm, sweet, memorable place to a scene of crime in crow Lake.
The theme of isolation is established and developed through the setting of Crow Lake. Located against the deserted territory of Northern Ontario, Crow Lake is a diffident farming settlement that is “ linked to the outside world by one dusty road and the railroad tracks” (Lawson 9).

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By contrasting the land to the moon, the author expresses the idea of attractiveness by using metaphors and adds a forlorn yet spiritual sensation to the land. As a result, Lawson brings out the commendable side of isolation: "beautiful and desolate and remote as the moon" (Lawson 93). Along with the theme of isolation, the theme of the loss of the loved ones has also developed throughout the book. Seven year old Kate Morrison is deeply affected by the death of her parents and experiences the rather unstable childhood because of it. Kate believes that she “was protected from the reality by disbelief.”(Lawson 31). She carries this method throughout her life into her adulthood. Lawson uses foreshadowing to farther develop this theme. “People I love and need have a habit of disappearing from my life” (Lawson 89). Kate experiences the loss of the loved ones twice in her childhood. Firstly, the death of her parents and secondly experiencing diminish of the brother she believes in. The book successfully shows themes helping the characters and the plot to develop throughout the novel. This is true for the protagonist Kate and for her brother Luke as well.

Luke, now the oldest member of the Morrison family, must learn to face the challenges faster. Luke’s character started to develop faster after the death of his parents. At first, Luke was lazy and irresponsible and did not care much about his family. After the accident, he realizes he has to change himself and become the responsible one. Luke wants to put his siblings first, and seems to develop a very close attachment with Bo. Kate experiences that change when she sees him always taking care of Bo. “Did he really carry her for every waking moment of those first days” (Lawson 28). Lawson has used personification with “waking moment” because the word has been given the human trait of being able to wake up. This indirectly says that Luke has become more responsible and religiously carries Bo every single day. Kate is also expressing this by using hyperbole to emphasize the change in Luke. Luke’s character starts to change again when he becomes the kind of guy who waits for things to happen on their own. Luke does not like to worry about situations like Matt and repeatedly says “Something Will Turn Up” (Lawson ) throughout the novel. The technique of repetition and foreshadowing used with this quote is very effective in Crow Lake. It helps create suspense throughout. The use of upper case letters in that specific quote gives the reader hints that what Luke has been saying for the past couple of months is actually true. In Crow Lake it is the loss of their loved ones that develop the characters, their morals and emotions throughout the entire plot.
In conclusion, using literary devices in a novel can further help the story to develop. The setting of the story has become a symbol in Matt and Kate’s lives. It represents many things to them. The themes used in Crow Lake act as a “backbone” in this novel. Without the themes, the readers would not have been able to feel sympathetic to the characters. Readers get to experience the changes each character has to go through in their lives from childhood to adulthood. Therefore, Crow Lake is an excellent example of using literary devices to develop theme, setting and character.











Success is life giving you a chance at something great, and you take that chance and work for it. Failure is something one would avoid but it just happens. These failures can affect peoples’ lives more than one would think. In the novel Crow Lake by Mary Lawson, Kate’s family plays a major role in her success and failures in life. Her family was given choices to make throughout the novel, and the choices made by them led to her success and failure.   Some of the success’ that Kate had in her life happened because of Luke’s sacrifice to keep the family together, Matt’s mistake that led him to give up school and give Kate that chance, the bond the children had with the pond which gave her, her passion and Daniels push that led Kate to realize that some of her failures were because of herself.   The failures in Kate’s life were caused by family, but not on purpose.   Her obsession with Matt kept her from truly loving Daniel Crane which was her boyfriend for over a year, the “House Rule” which kept Kate from opening up and keeping the bond between her and her family strong, and Matt’s dream, which she succeeded but and the guilt kept her from enjoying it.
Kate Morrison’s family plays a large role in her life’s success. Throughout Kate’s life, she is faced with challenges that would change anyone’s life and some of these changes led to success in her life. In the novel, Crow Lake, Kate’s family led her to her success.   Luke Morrison’s sacrifice to give up school so that the family could stay together,   Matt Morrison’s mistake of when he got Mary Pye pregnant and had to give up school for her,   their bond with the pond which led to Kate’s passion, and Daniel’s push to have her open up.   Luke’s sacrifice played one of the largest roles in Kate’s success. When the Morrison parents died, the Morrison kids were going to be split apart so that the kids would be taken care of by different family and so that Luke could go to school and get an education. While Luke would be in

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