Brief summary: Anders
The young man
Themes and message: Anders
The main idea of the text “Close to the Water’s Edge” are making the right decisions, family issues and the subtheme homosexuality. Making a decision is a difficult job for everyone, we must ponder the consequences of our decisions and think about how they will reflect on us and others.
In “Close to the Water’s Edge” almost all character's struggle with making correct decisions, especially the young man who is the main character. He has already decided to go to Harvard and as a consequence he has left his mother and stepfather behind.
The theme of family issues is very present in the story, as it presents the difficult relationships between the young man and his parents. On the one hand, the young man lacked the comfort and presence of his mother in difficult times, where she was divorced.
He was most likely not given enough importance to be explained several decisions, and he could only settle to see his mother marry another man very soon.
Homosexuality is a subtheme of the story that an inexperienced and inattentive reader could easily overlook. The theme is first hinted at during the tense conversation at the dinner table, when Richard begins to talk about a sensitive subject.
In the text the American value self-reliance, because they talk a lot about consequences and making a decision. Within this value comes equality of opportunity, because they must use their own knowledge so their decisions do not reflect on others.
When he comes out of the water, he finds a t-shirt and puts it on as a diaper. This symbolizes him as a baby and indicates that he must take his own decisions and begin taking responsibility for his life.
Nowadays, the issue of revealing one's true sexual orientation is very difficult for some people. The United States have already made huge steps towards the acceptance of sexual orientations of any kind, yet, for some people coming out in front of their family is still the hardest thing they have to do.