Once again the river as literary mechanism.
Deliverance gives you an answer within the first 10 pages. It reads a bit like a science fiction, I think, or maybe I just associate 1970s with sci-fi. And then again, yeah, sci-fi makes sense because it’s a textbook monomyth like many journeys to alternate universes. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Let’s do this populist rating thing: 5 out of 5.
Google translate of my “analysis” (why not/ just for fun), run through Spanish, Malay, Afrikaans, Somali, and finally back to English. Fear, it seems, translates universally.
The building and all of society are stripped away. Basic feelings and the fear of life knows darkness, the moon, the owl and the challenges to the death back to staring stone walls. While shaking the water in a dark little morning our hero lives. The river’s flow delivers to our hero back to normal life, but he changed.
Whether it’s fear of stagnating in one’s unremarkably ordinary life or fear for one’s life in the hunt-or-be-hunted game, *shrug*. It’s both. Read it as you will.
Dickey said that “everything in that book happened to me“. A compelling claim, to say the least.