What Is the Climax in the Story “The Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant”?
The climax of the short story “The Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant,” by W. D. Wetherell, is when the unnamed narrator chooses to cut his fishing line, loosing the bass fish so that he can keep Shelia Mant, who is on a date with him. He chooses to sacrifice his prized fish so that his date still likes him.
In the story, the 14-year-old narrator has a crush on his 16-year-old neighbor, Shelia Mant. She accepts his offer of a date to a concert. His favorite pastime is fishing, and he suggests they go to the concert on his canoe. He learns Shelia hates fishing during the boat ride. When the largest bass fish he’s ever seen gets snagged on the fishing line he left in the water, he has to decide if he should catch the bass or not, knowing that catching it would ruin Shelia’s opinion of him. The boy has to choose between his two strongest passions – fishing and Shelia Mant – because it is impossible to keep both. He decides to cut the fishing line and continue on his date with Shelia. Later, Shelia goes home in another boy’s car, after telling the narrator he is “a funny kid.” He learns to never act like someone he isn’t.