Monday, September 10, 2007

The Bear Came Over the Mountain

I enjoyed meeting with you today, even in the Andrews sauna. Stephanie and Madeline were right that there is more to be gleaned from the title of Munro's story. I found a review of the film 'Away From Her' that makes it explicit. The title comes from an old folk song and another perspective on the story comes clear from the lines that follow:
The bear came over the mountain
to see what he could see
and all that he could see
was the other side of the mountain

The review's online at


Stephanie said...

So is Munro connecting Grant to the idea that, even after a journey complete with highs and lows, nothing changes, including his perspective? Am I misreading it?

Madeline said...

I think you're right, Stephanie. We talked about the consistency of personality in class; I think this connects to Munro's story. It's the reader's expectation that something like Alzheimer's would change Grant, Fiona, and their relationship considerably. As it turns out, nothing has really changed. Fiona retains her personality, she is still detached from Grant, and there is still an undercurrent of infidelity in their marriage.

Molly said...

I think you're both right, but Grant in some senses is not completely unchanged. He is affected by Fiona's illness and now, though this sounds contradictory he has a purpose for his infidelity. His other intents were selfish and personal and he does not tell why he needed to be fulfilled by other women in the beginning of their marriage, but now through his selfnessness and dedication to Fiona as still a living person that he loves, he methodically cheats to please her. It seems the detachment that Fiona feels towards Grant is a display of the independance in her personality, not the knowledge of his past infidelities.