Certainly Cal is trying to figure out his own ‘larger destiny’ and the role of his father’s work in it. I think it becomes quickly clear to him that his character doesn’t suit the place and time into which he was born. At the same time, the extreme sacrifices members of this community make for their livelihood drive them to romanticise their work. Even though Cal doubts his own suitability for fishing, he is as susceptible to this pressure to aggrandize it as anyone else (his fondness for adventure stories might even make him more susceptible). This tradition of describing daily life in romantic terms such as ‘destiny’ continues to influence and afflict Cal, even once he’s old enough to reject it.
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