Accounts Settled: A Review
In the book, Accounts Settled, there is only one major character named
Gordon. Gordon is seventeen, six feet tall, and has the beginning of a beard.
The main setting is in a forest-filled valley that is a mile from Gordon’s home.
The story does not give a specific date but the most logical time this story
takes place is in the winter during the early 1900s.
The inciting incident in the story is when Gordon’s dad came down with
flu-pneumonia and Gordon must take his place in taking care of the trapline that
he had set up in the forest. The conflict of the story is internal and external
because Gordon had to face himself and nature. The rising action started when
Gordon had a sense of fear as he went into the valley. The, the porcupine stole
his food and Gordon was going to kill it but remembered an old woodsman tale
that it’s bad luck to ill a porcupine. Gordon then goes to bed, hungry and it
took him awhile to fall asleep. He later wakes up to find a cougar ready to
pounce on him. The cougar dose not strike yet because it is waiting for Gordon
to move. Gordon knows better and stayed in the same position for what seemed
like hours. Suddenly, the porcupine returns to look for more food and this
disrupts the cougar. The climax is when Gordon quickly reaches for his gun and
shoots the cougar. The resolution is when Gordon “cries the final tears of his
boyhood” and he is finally a man.
This writer used suspense in his story many times. For instance, “his
eyes held the boy unwinkingly as he waited in the fiendish way of cats for the
moment when the man must stir, or make an attempt to escape, the moment when his
ingrained fear of man would be swallowed up by the rising tide of his blood-
lust” and “moments passed, horrible heart-thudding moments, during which neither
man nor animal stirred”. Another method that the writer uses is foreshadowing.
For instance, “he wouldn’t have minded tending the old line along the lake shore,
but this haunted place-” and “Gordon had let it go at that, but he knew by the
occasional fuzz of nerves along his back that the secret shadowing still went on,
and that it was more than an inquisitive surveillance.”
This author defiantly used a surprise ending because the porcupine
returning to find more food was a complete surprise.