Proulx’s The Shipping News

A review of the novel The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx, which brings to life a Newfoundland fishing town and its inhabitants.

This paper examines E. Annie Proulx’s novel `The Shipping News`, which describes a modern family who to returns to their ancestral home of Newfoundland. The paper illustrates both the literal and psychological aspects of their new lifestyle and values. The author is critical of the novel, stating that the story is unoriginal without any twist to the theme of enduring the small tragedies of the human condition.
`With this novel, Proulx seems to be providing us with a reworking of that axiom we have all heard: You cannot go home again. Home may be the place that has to take you in when you have to go there, but you will have forgotten how to speak the language, and the food will no longer satisfy you and there will be alarming noises in the night. You may be able to overlook these things for a time, but eventually you will realize that the only way we can live our lives is by stepping each day into the future. One of the tragic elements of much of human existence is the fact that we can only face the future if our back is toward home, and so all progress is in some ways a journey away from home and who we once were. `