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The Shipping News

Annie Proulx

Key Facts

Main ideas Key Facts

full title · The Shipping News

author ·  E. Annie Proulx

type of work ·  Novel

genre ·  Hero quest, regionalism, novel of social critique

language ·  English

time and place written ·  Early 1990's, Newfoundland and Vermont

date of first publication ·  1994

publisher ·  Simon and Schuster

narrator ·  Omniscient

climax ·  The major climax of the novel occurs at the scene of Jack's wake, when the dead man begins to cough.

protagonist ·  Quoyle

antagonist ·  Guy Quoyle, Tert Card, Nolan Quoyle, Petal Bear, social change

setting (time) ·  Early 1990's

setting (place) ·  Mostly Newfoundland

point of view ·  Omniscient

falling action ·  Dennis and Quoyle follow Jack's ambulance to the hospital, where Dennis hopes to take over his father's lobster license; Wavey and Quoyle get married.

tense ·  Recent Past

foreshadowing ·  The white dog and knotted twine foreshadow the cousin's presence in Newfoundland; Bunny's dream foreshadows the destruction of the family house; Quoyle's kiss foreshadows his marriage with Wavey.

tone ·  Darkly comic

themes ·  Social and economic change, ancestry and familial ties, regional lifestyle

motifs ·  Oral literature, "how-to" genre, knots and tying

symbols ·  Knots and tying, silver, bright colors, family house, white dog