Water Names Short Story

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Teaching through Time
In the story Water Names by Lan Samantha Chang, we see a grandmother tell her granddaughters a story of their ancestors. The story the grandmother tells is powerful and teaches the grandchildren the dangers of Selfishness, and how our actions can cause more than just ourselves pain. The way Chang uses a story within a story is interesting, it can lead one to make the connection that the story the grandmother tells us has a deeper meaning and lesson it teaches. The girl in the story is selfish and only cares about having more than she does at that moment. She was a restless one and never contented with their catch,” “she said,’ if only this catch would bring back something more than another fish” (Chang, 54). “The river
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No matter the culture they all have stories warning the dangers people face. According to the Bible in Genesis it speaks of mans creation and exile from the Garden of Eden. How Adam and Eve had their children Cain and Abel, and how Cain killed Abel and sacrificed him to God. Man has always been dangerous, parallel to the story of Cain and Abel is how the girl knew not the dangers of the river. The dangers of this world are not few in number and most definitely cannot be listed by myself. However the grandmother in the story takes it upon herself to educate her grand children on them. “Spoiled by her father, kept protected from the river, so she could not see its danger. To this young woman, the river was as familiar as the sky. It was a bright, broad road stretching out to curious lands. She did not understand the rivers depths” (Chang, 54). The girl in the story told by the grandmother was ignorant to the dangers of the world and was taught to be ignorant to them by the protections of her father. Since she never faced any of those dangers she did not learn to be wary of those dangers and that could have led her to drown when there was a flood. The dangers of the river can be symbolic of the dangers people face every day. People get taken advantage of and used every day. The girl in the story is heavily influenced by the water spirit boy. “And the spirit of a boy who had drowned many years ago looked up and saw her lovely face” (Chang,
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