Norris the goes on to describe the boys relationship with his father. Again Norris uses a lot of detail to emphasise how important this man is to the little boy. When the father is eating he feeds his small son ‘as if he were feeding a small bird’ this description describes that he is very close to his son and he is really gentle with him. The boy stood in front of his dad with his new hat on waiting for the mans approval: ‘On Sunday we’ll go for a walk, just you and I. We’ll be men together’ This shows how proud the father is of his son and how strong the bond is between them.
This is also another first for the boy, his first time being a man with his father. There is then a change in time and setting when the story describes the boy’s walk along the canal with his father. As the boy walks along the canal he thinks about things that his grandfather had told him about how the canal used to be. It is clear that the boys childish imagination is at work again ‘there they go sailing away to China’ this is a very childish thing things and we slip into the idea of the boy being very childish just like Heaney was in his poem.
Then there is the mention of Fletchers Wood. This is another first for the boy as he has never been to Fletchers Wood before. The father had told the son about visits to Fletchers Wood before so the boy seemed very excited to go there. It is then that there is the mention of blackberries and the comparison to Heaney’s poem becomes more obvious. Norris uses lots of sensory images to describe the blackberries, just as the poem does.
‘Each of its purple globes held a point of reflected light’ this describes the blackberries as if they were shining. Next Norris describes the boy as he is eating the blackberries ‘he rolled it with his tongue’ this is implying that he is trying to savour the taste of the blackberries, just as the children did in Heaneys poem. The boy and his father had only good intentions when they decide to take some blackberries home to the mother but this is where the tone and mood of the story changes, just as Heaneys poem did towards the end.
The father and son collected the blackberries in the boy’s hat and didn’t realise the mistake they had made until they got home. Suddenly, the boy was thrown into the world of his parents arguing, something he had never experienced before. Again the idea is portrayed that money is a problem for the family so when the mother says ‘if you had anything like a job’ there is an idea given about the era of the story. The clue that the father doesn’t work could mean that the story is set during the Depression in the 1930’s.
The boy has never witnessed his parents arguing before and suddenly realises that he has to face up to the reality that not everything is perfect and that he must come away from his childlike fantasy world at times. Suddenly we fins the boy crying to himself so his parents don’t see him ‘knowing that this was a different weeping to any he had experienced before. ‘ He felt guilty even though technically none of this was his fault. The argument was yet another first for the boy as he had never seen or felt this before.
Norris ends the story with the line ‘he must learn sometimes to be alone’ The boy feels dejected and realises, just as Heaney does that good things like days out or blackberries don’t last forever. Even though the texts are not related in anyway we can still find links and comparisons between them especially in the themes throughout. Obviously one of the main comparisons is with the blackberries, but instead of looking at them as just fruit they could be viewed as a comparison to growing up and how all-good things go ‘rotten. ‘