The Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant

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“The Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant” In the late 1940s, Mr. Bernard M. Baruch - the US former presidential advisor through the two World Wars- has a famous quote “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Forty years later, in 1985, the validity of this quote is once again depicted in the short story “The Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant”. The story “The Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant” by W. D. Wetherell takes place in the Connecticut River in the summer early 1960s. The main character, also the narrator, is a fourteen-year-old boy who is attracted by two things at that time of his life: the bass and Sheila Mant. Sheila Mant is a seventeen-year-old girl who stays at the cottage next to the boy’s house by the river. The main character pays a lot attention on Sheila. He learns her moods through her sunbathing positions. He swims endlessly to win her attention, but she is never watching. One day on August, the boy asks Sheila out for a concert in Dixford by canoeing. After she agrees, he spends huge efforts for careful preparations for this first dates. Since it is a habit which he gets used to through his summer time, the boy also automatically sticks the rod with reel in the stern without thinking. The dating time comes; the main character comes and picks Sheila up. During the way to Dixford, Sheila keeps talking about herself and the styles. While she is talking, coincidentally a big bass is hooked by the boy’s rod. However previously Sheila says that “Fishing is dumb”, the boy decides to cut the line freeing the bass. Finally, they approach the fair. But at the end, Sheila leaves the boy for going home in Eric Caswell’s Corvette after saying “You’re a funny kid, you know that?” (line 252). After that the boy has lost interest in Sheila, but the memory of the lost bass haunts him forever since

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