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Commentary on I Heard the Owl Call My Name Essay


Come Swimmer

Have you ever had to spend your whole life knowing that youre going to die sooner than expected? Well Mark had to, except one thing he didnt know he was going to die, until the very end. In the book I Heard the Owl Call My Name, by Margaret Craven, Mark is a young vicar sent by his bishop to a remote Indian Village. To live out the rest of his days because of his shortened life expectancy. In the Indian Village there are myths, for instance the swimmer, Mark is very similar to the salmon, even till death.

Mark and the salmon both lead a life of courage and adventure. For example, Mark moves into a community where he knows no one and the villagers have all known each other since birth. Having no modern conveniences leads Mark to live a completely different life, than he is use to. This showed Marks courage for doing something out of routine, and experiencing something new. This is also important because of the affects of the village will eventually have on Mark and his bravery throughout his stay. The salmon also is courageous. Making their dangerous swim up stream, just to lay its eggs for a new generation. Which this requires all of the salmons energy. This shows that the salmon is also very brave and that it would risks its life for their unborn babies. This is because the salmon was destined to live this way, it knew it deep down inside as an instinct. The way that Mark and the salmon live is similar.

Besides some people saying that Marks life was invalid, most would have to disagree. Mark and the salmon both spend their lives completely for the end for which they were made. Mark died doing something he loved, and that was by helping others. He loved the village and they were his family, and even the village accepted him as their own. This showed Marks compassion for the village, and he died knowing that he had spent his last couple of years making a difference. This was important to him because he has kept the village together, through the worst times, and still he had faith. The salmon too, spends their lives completely for the end. They kill themselves trying to get up the stream; they were born knowing what to do. The salmon lay eggs and bring new generations into the world, carrying on the circle of life. This showed the triumph of the salmon and its doggedness towards rebirth of their kind. This also showed the exotic way of a salmons purpose in life, although it could be considered heresy, I say it was meant to be. Mark and the salmon both end their lives with triumph and dignity.

Mark and the salmon are alike in many ways. They live and die in a similar way. In the village, when twins are born, they are called swimmers, named after the salmon; and Mark is himself a twin. They both show that if you find the meaning of life, you can die with happiness in your heart and mind.

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