LE3 .A278 2018
Bachelor of Arts
English & Theatre Studies
This novella explores the relationship between a middle-aged son named John and his father Walt who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease against the backdrop of winter in a small Nova Scotia fishing community called Hubbards. The novella also features John’s five-year-old son, Dennis, who serves as a foil to John’s character by reflecting the relationship that John had as a child with his father, and the reversal of their roles as father and son since John is now the primary caregiver for both. The novella is entitled “Steal,” which suggests both the robbery of memories and time. Walt has his memories stolen from him throughout his battle with Alzheimer’s and, in turn, John is being robbed of his father’s recognition of him as his son. Time is stolen from them both as Alzheimer’s is a degenerative disease, limiting their years together as father and son. The title also suggests “steel” since both Walt and John have to be strong in their battle against Alzheimer’s. The elements of the novella which build on research of both factual and fictional accounts of the disease are unified with an underlying quest for hope through struggle, as the characters must deal with changes that come with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and with the skeletons that surface from the past.
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