A. ) The story is about Alex and his family, and it clearly shows the differences between a native and a tourist. It describes the relationship between Alex and his daughter and it also describes their vacation in Thailand, and the complications that follow. The author Catherine Merriman has written a short and interesting story, called “Eating Sugar”. The story begins in media res, which means the story begins in the middle of the story without any introduction.
The characters and conflict are introduced through a third person and to make the story more real, there is also used dialogue, which informs us about the characters feelings and thoughts during the story. The themes of the story are fear, distrust, tourist and native, and prejudiced. In this story there is a main character a man, named Alex. From the beginning of the story we are told, that the main character has a wife named Eileen and a daughter named Suzanne. They are in holiday in Thailand and they are lost in a forest in a foreigner country.
Alex and Eileen are very terrified and worried. They are afraid, because they can’t find a way, away from the waterfall, and they are lost in a strange country, which also frightens them. Eileen shows or expresses her fears directly: She finds it very stressful in Thailand and she wasn’t embarrassed to show it. Unlike to Alex, he keeps his fear inside and he is a little ashamed to show it because he is the man and the father. He has to be the strong one, because he is a man as well be the one who protects and guards his family.
However, he doesn’t really represent a strong or a good father or a man in the text. Because when his daughter asks him how he is. Alex lies and says that he is fine and he is dishonest with his daughter: “You OK, Dad” Suzanne asked… Fine, Fine just hot” . “How would we find the flat again? She was right, of course. He didn’t want to think about it – their utter helplessness – but at least she did” . This quotation shows that he isn’t a strong father because his daughter leads them to the right way for the reason that he feels helpless and powerless and weak.
He doesn’t know how to find the road. He doesn’t either want to think about it. He lets his daughter to worry about it and think about it. Alex is also very grateful to Eileen because Eileen’s constantly-expressed nervousness and fear keeps Alex own fear covered up. Although, they are lost, his daughter, Suzanne, is more calmed and she is very positive. She tries to calm her parents down. Suzanne is an English teacher in Thailand and her parents were forced to take the trip to Thailand in the month April because “the week of the Thai New Year holiday, Song Khran, was the only time she had off” .
When they were to the waterfall there were some other Thai people and they were the only one who was westerns. The Thai people called the western people “Farangs” because they were white and high status freaks. However, on their way they meet four stocky Thai men, who didn’t really speak very well English, but one of them did understand English, but he spoke English and Thai mixed. He is described as a “dark-skinned muscular man maybe around thirty” . “Then was distracted by his companions who were waving their arms at the emptiness, uttering cries of astonishment (… )”.
This quotations shows that the four Thai men were very surprised and astonished when they saw Alex and Suzanne and Eileen, because they are not used to see tourists or a foreigners in their country. They were very curious to know where they are from. They also thought that Suzanne was a film star perhaps because she looked good and she is a white girl. They were disappointed when they found out that she was a teacher and they were stunned that she could speak Thai. One of the Thai men was very open about himself. He told them that his name was Wirut and that he is from the east, near Surin.
Unlike Eileen who was very cruel and prejudiced because of the way the Thai men spoke English. She thought that he was drunk and she fears the four Thai men. But Suzanne tries to reprove her mom: “An Issan. Very rural. I don’t suppose he meets many westerners (… )” . In this quotation it shows that Suzanne is more friendly and open towards stranger, perhaps because she is a teacher and she meets a lot of different kinds of people, who have different cultures. Unlike her Mother and father who takes distances from the Thai men. Alex gets very scared at the end of the story.