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Interpersonal Relationships In Swamp Angel and Fifth Business

In the novel Swamp Angel the main character, Maggie, asserts that "swimming is like living , it is done alone". This is, in fact, a very telling statement with respect to the life of both Maggie and the life of Dunstan, the main character in the novel The Fifth Business. Maggie's comparison of life to swimming raises interesting points about the way in which each of the two characters proceed along the road of life. Maggie's statement is actually a simile which compares swimming alone to living life. In most cases a simile is used to take certain characteristics of one entity and to bestow them upon another entity in which they are not usually found. Maggie's comparison of swimming alone to life is no different. It is generally held, in modern society, that life is a journey that is made with the help of others. Intimate interpersonal relationships are viewed as support systems in life. Many people view these relationships as that which makes life worth living. Maggie's statement directly refutes these claims. When one is swimming alone there is no one to rely on for safety and guidance. The owness of survival, in essence not drowning, falls squarely upon the shoulders of the swimmer alone. Maggie's comparison leads one to believe that the same is true for life. In life , as in swimming alone, one should rely only on oneself for survival. Maggie's comparison of life and swimming alone, and all that it implies, can easily be viewed as the personal motto that both Maggie and Dunstan live by. Each character is very strong willed and independent as one would expect. Anyone who lives life alone would have to be both of these. the characters also share another similarity, though. This being that their lives both lack the intimate interpersonal relationships that are mentioned above. Each character -2-travels through life maintaining relationships which exist on a very shallow and superficial level. There are of course ...

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