Shelia Mant is a Typical Teenager
Typical teenagers: a crush, a pretty older girl. Shelia Mant is a regular teenage girl; just as the narrator is a regular teenage boy. The narrator spends most of his days looking at Shelia. Shelia is the girl who lays upon her floating dock sunbathing all day. The narrator is the boy who watches her from a distance. Throughout the story both characters have similar personalities. Shelia Mant and the narrator are more alike than the guy she ran off with at the end of the story because neither one of them is good at communicating with others.
Shelia Mant and the narrator have more in common than they think. Neither one of them is good at communicating with others. Shelia Mant is a bad communicator because she wasn`t facing him in the canoe on the way to the concert. “I was glad she wasn’t facing me” (Wetherell 3). The narrator wanted to dive into the river when Shelia looked at him. “When her eyes were on me, I felt like diving into the river again from agony and joy” (Wetherell 3). He wanted nothing more that to be with Sheila Mant, then when he is actually with her, he gets embarrassed when she looks at him.
Another way the narrator and Shelia Mant are both bad communicators is that they both talk when nobody else is talking. She talks about herself and he tries to use big words to impress her. Sheila actually talks for a few minutes without noticing that he is not listening. “While all this was going on, Sheila had begun talking, and it was a few minutes before I was able to catch up with her train of thought” (Wetherell 8). He uses big vocabulary words to impress her but she is not impressed by big words. “Yeah bass. They come into the shallows to chase frogs and moths and things. Big largemouths. Micropterns salmoidos, I added, showing off” (Wetherell 5). Neither one cares what the other one says. They were in a canoe, and they had more time to communicate but it just was not going to happen since neither one of them is a good communicator.
Some might say that Sheila Mant and the narrator have nothing in common. She is older than the narrator so she doesn’t consider him as a boyfriend. He considers her as a girlfriend anyway. She is also different because she does not like fishing and he does. Sheila says, “I think fishing’s dumb, she said, making a face. I mean, its boring and all. Definitely dumb” (Wetherell 5). He really enjoys fishing, so he should see that they have nothing in common right away. Even though it appears like Sheila and the narrator have nothing in common, they really have the same personality traits.
She wants to be beautiful, and the narrator wants to be liked. The narrator doesn’t know that she wants to be beautiful. Eric, on the other hand, lets her know that she is beautiful enough to be a model. She says, “Eric said that I have the figure to model….” (Wetherell 8). She is too worried about telling about herself to realize that the narrator likes fishing and he is trying to impress her. He cleaned the boat, used big words, and hid the fishing pole to make it look like everything was cool. But she really disrespected him when she left the party with Eric Caswell and told him he was a funny kid. Sheila Mant explained that she would be going home in Eric Caswell’s Corvette. Then she said, “You’re a funny kid, you know that?” (Wetherall 10).
Sheila and Eric don’t have anything in common like her and the narrator. Sheila goes with him because he has a Corvette and money, and tells her that she is beautiful. He is older than her. Maybe Sheila has a crush on Eric like the narrator did on her.
Wetherell, W. D. "The Bass, The River, and Sheila Mant" Pathways: Literature for Readers and Writers. Logan, IO: Perfection Learning, 2008. 4-10. Print.