Red from Green by Maile Meloy Being a teenager, growing up, is not easy. There are a lot of things to think about and many feelings to relate to. You have to make some decisions and that is not always easy either, even if they sound easy. A decision could be what to wear for a party or it could be bigger decisions that will have influence on your life. The story, Red from Green, is mainly set on the river and in the woods beside it, where Sam, her father, her uncle Harry and one of her uncle’s clients called Layton are on a float trip.
It is set in July and the weather is hot and sunny.
However in the end of the story we are at home with Sam and her father. Sam Turner, the main character in Red from Green, is a fifteen year old girl, who lives alone with her father, because her mother died when she was young.
She is going to be a sophomore in the fall and her father gave her the idea of applying to a boarding school, where she has been admitted, but Sam is not completely sure whether she wants to accept the offer or not. It is a very difficult decision for her to make. In the summer she goes on a float trip with her father, Harry and Layton.
On this float trip Sam experiences something she has not tried before. Layton shows some interest in her, and that is very new to her and she does not really like it.
He is, after all, a grown man. Sam’s father is absent a few times on the float trip. He leaves Sam alone with Layton, and that gives Layton the possibility to show this interest in Sam. It hurts Sam that her father abandons her, and when they get home, she decides to accept the ffer and go to the boarding school. Sam and her father’s relationship evolve through the story.
In the beginning it is okay but they do not really talk that much with each other. Sam’s father is not really there and he leaves her alone with Layton which she dislikes, and it makes her a bit angry at her father. As the story continues their relationship does not improve much. But in the end of the story, when Sam and her father are home again, their relationship gets better, because when Sam tells her father, that she has accepted the offer from the oarding school, he gets sad because he will miss her a lot when she is not around.
When Sam hears this, she regrets her decision a bit, because deep down, she loves her father very much and do not want to leave him alone, like he did to her on the float trip. The theme in Red from Green is growing up. Sam is fifteen and inexperienced. When Layton makes a pass at her it scares her a bit, and that is also why she gets angry at her father for leaving her alone with him. Sam is in a part of her life where, in some cases she is treated like an adult, but in some cases like a child.
I think that she still sees herself as a child, because she thinks that it sound very old, that she is going to be a sophomore in the fall. Another theme is Sam and her father’s relationship, and how it evolves through the story. Another thing that develops through the story is her and I think that makes her realise that she is not a little girl anymore. The title of the story, Red from Green, could be referring to Sam. When an apple or tomato ripens it goes from green to red, and from being unripen to become ripen. The same happens with Sam through the story.
She goes from being immature and seeing herself as a child to being more mature. In the story Layton catches a fish, and Sam’s father says that it is too small but still takes it, and put in their cooler. The fish could be symbolising Sam and her father could be alluding that she is too young. But the fact that Sam’s father takes the fish anyway, could symbolise that he, in a way accepts what Layton does with his daughter. Sam also sleeps alone in a burrow and that could be symbolising that she is already separated from her father.
In the beginning of the story Sam relies a lot on her father and lets him take care of things. “Sam knew that her father wouldn’t tolerate poaching, so she left it for him to take care of. ” But in the end of the story, she makes her own decisions and relies on herself. “Then she went into the house and filled out the final form for the scholarship to boarding school, and in the morning she put it in the mail” In the evening, when Sam’s father makes margaritas for them all, he makes a virgin, without alcohol for Sam, and Layton asks for a virgin too. Here, Layton could be referring to Sam. “Sam’s father was making enchiladas, and chipping ice for margaritas with a pick. He made one without tequila for Sam. Layton asked for a virgin, too
In conclusion, Sam is a young girl, who gets more mature, when she experiences a grown man showing interest in her, which makes her realise that she is not a little girl anymore. Sam also finds out, that her father will not always be there for her, and she has to take responsibility for herself and her life. This makes Sam accept the offer she has got from a boarding school, which is a big and difficult decision for her to make.