Engelska 5 - The Ravine by Graham Salisbury – An analysis

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                      The Ravine by Graham Salisbury – An analysis

This thrilling short story is about four teenagers swimming in a pond. Two weeks and a day before the story takes place a boy jumped and never came back up. Four divers searched for him in two days straight and they did not find a trace. The main character Vinny did not want to be there at all but he fell for peer pressure. The stakes got higher when everybody jumped from a fifty feet high cliff. Now everybody is looking at him.


The whole story is influenced of Vinny's insecurity. The author is using this to bring more excitement to the story. We get access to Vinny's thoughts which makes the whole story more emotional and personal.


First I want to tell you about the characters in this story. Firstly we have the main character Vinny who is fifteen years old and he is kind of the groups punching bag. The other guys is teasing him frequently and pushes him to do things he does not want to do. “Vinny winced. He didn’t want to be here. It was too soon, way too soon. Two weeks and one day” (P.42)

He is afraid of heights. “It made him wobble to look down” (P.48)


Believe it or not but Vinny is the bravest in this group because he dares to face his greatest fear, to say no to his friends. At the same time he find himself and as a result of this he finds a peace inside. “They hadn’t said a word since he’d come down off the trail. He knew what they were thinking.” (P.51) “In that place where the peace was, it didn’t matter what they thought.”(P.51)


Then we have Vinny's so called best friend Joe-Boy. He is not a good friend at all because he is teasing Vinny all the time. “‘Hey,’ Joe-Boy went on, ‘maybe you going be the one to find his body’” This makes me so angry since I was in Vinny's shoes when I was younger. Joe-Boy is a bully and a big jerk.


The third is Joe-Boy's girlfriend Starlene who is the group leader. We can see this since she is the one to do everything first. For instance she is the first one into the water and first to jump from the ledges. We see this most clearly when she pushes Vinny to jump when he does not want to. “‘Are you going to jump, or is Joe-Boy right?”’


Mo is the last one of the group. He is a person who comes along and does anything to fit in but hardly speak at all. “Mo, who hardly ever said a word and would do anything anyone ever challenge him to do”.


There is one very important character that is just mentioned, his name is Butchie. The boy who disappeared and probably died in the ravine two weeks earlier. “The dead boy had jumped and had never come back up” (P.42) We do not get more information about him than this which is a bit strange. Without him the story would not be so exciting and mysterious as it is.


The next thing I like to bring up is the conflict. The conflict is obviously about peer pressure. Vinny is giving in for peer pressure and comes along despite he does not want to. “Vinny mashed his lips. He was so weak. Couldn´t even say no. But if he’d said, ‘I can’t go, my mother won’t like it,’ they would have laughed him right off the island. No he had to go. No choice.” (P.45)


There is also a conflict within Vinny about which fear he would choose to face. “Something inside him, a tiny voice pleading, Don’t do it. Walk away. Just turn and go and walk back down. ‘... I can’t,’ Vinny whispered.” (P.50)

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Gabriel van der Eerden [2018-09-13]   Engelska 5 - The Ravine by Graham Salisbury – An analysis
Mimers Brunn [Online]. https://mimersbrunn.se/article?id=60393 [2024-07-22]

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