The Lonely Goatherd

848 Words4 Pages
In Lisa Moore’s “The Lonely Goatherd” and Michael Crummey’s “Heartburn” there’s a continuous breakdown of the couples’ relationships. Repressed feelings, infidelity and the symbolism of Signal Hill and drowning, help strengthen the theme of a lack of communication between Sandy and Georgie from “Heartburn” and Carl and Anita in “The Lonely Goatherd”. Sandy struggles to express his thoughts and feelings with his wife Georgie. Carl is constantly cheating on Anita and neglecting their marriage. This communication problem causes their relationships to deteriorate which results in great strife for the ones involved. Sandy struggles to express his thoughts and feelings with his wife Georgie. He has a reoccurring dream where he’s re-living the time…show more content…
Crummey uses this symbol for Sandy and Georgie to describe their emotional state. Sandy’s reoccurring dream is of himself drowning as a teenager. “It sometimes seems to Sandy as if he’s lived all his days on that ice field” (268) because he constantly lives in a state of anxiety and fear about looking emotional and weak. This results in a communication breakdown and Georgie is contemplating leaving her husband and “how numb she had become, as if she had spent a decade submerged in frigid water”(p.266). Crummey uses the symbol of drowning to emphasize Georgies emotional distance. She ultimately stays with Sandy and the marriage remains stagnant; unlike Carl and Anitas marriage, which is left in a perpetual downward spiral. Signal Hill is a key symbol in “The Lonely Goatherd” due to its history. It’s the site of the first transatlantic wireless message which makes it a strong symbol of communication. Carl remembers when his relationship with Anita wasn’t so mundane. It was “the night they walked to Signal Hill...Anita was drinking pop… She tasted like summer, childhood...They made love on the grass, watching out for broken beer bottles” (184). Moore uses this to show a time when their relationship was new and exciting to him. Signal Hill is a symbol that represents how essential communication is for a successful
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