An Analysis of "A Great Day" by Frank Sargeson

1094 words 5 pages
”A GREAT DAY” by Frank Sargeson
Literary analysis

The short story “A Great Day” is written by the New Zealander Frank Sargeson, one of New Zealand’s leading authors. He wrote this novel during The Great Depression in the mid 1930s. New Zealand was one of the countries that were affected by The Great Depression. Unemployment reached 12 percent at its worst and New Zealand’s national income decreased severely. The author explicitly emphasises this by bringing up the unemployment of both of the characters, Fred and Ken.

This story is about two friends, Fred and Ken, taking an early morning fishing trip. It looks like it’s going to be a great day. It was something uncommonly strange about this day. The two talk about normal stuff, and as
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For example the fact that Ken can’t swim doesn’t seem very suspicious. When Fred mentions that when Ken gets older, he will most likely lose his strength, and where his so called “frame” will be when he’s dead. From here they come into that we all are going to die soon. “It might as well be now as anytime, mightn’t it?” Fred says. All this appears normal, but all that is does, at least for me as a reader, is that it’s reeking of Fred’s hatred towards Ken.

The themes in “A Great Day” are obviously envy and vengeance. Fred is so remarkably envious of Ken’s perks and attributes, and wants him out his way, so that he can shine and show the world how great he really is. Specifically he wants to show Mary what she’s been missing out on. Vengeance comes into the picture when his plans of killing Ken are revealed with those previously mentioned hints in the text.

The story takes place a dinghy, which is a small boat. I think it summer time, and the story goes from early morning probably until approximately sun down. I get the feeling as if the setting is tense and surreal. This is described by the passage “It was so still it wasn't natural. Except for the seagulls you'd have thought the world had died in the night.”
The weather is also a symbol of how quick things can change from normal to not so normal after all. When you least expect it someone or something can change so unexpectedly. This is just how it is in story. Fred goes from being Ken’s

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