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Then Mrs. Lovenheim turned to me where I stood, first-aid kit dangling in my hand like a lunch box. I felt as if she were about to say or do something, but instead, without a word, she moved past me back to her umbrella, collected her things, and left” (430).

These two sentences really summed up the quiet and stoic heroism of Mrs. Lovenheim. I believe Josh was so used to empty girls who would just throw themselves at him that he was amazed and in awe of a perfectly capable women who could do something he could not. He felt helpless when he had to save the child but strange Mrs. Lovenheim, who always did the same thing everyday and who lived out her days unceremoniously, became the savior of little Becky. It is my guess that he yearned so deeply for Mrs. Lovenheim’s touch because he was bereft of female contact that didn’t involve pure lust. Perhaps he felt a connection much deeper than the flesh when it came to Mrs. Lovenheim. He could identify with this woman who had her life changed drastically by the actions of one person. He felt as though his life was changed forever due to the near death of Becky and the sudden intrepidity of the woman whose life was halted halfway through.

Before the almost tragedy involving his daughter, Ric Spencer was a man who very obviously missed his glory days as a lifeguard. Even after Billy Mandel’s death, he was still caught in the mindset of the Ric with a taut swimmers body and thick, blonde hair. Throughout the story, it was as though he yearned to go back to those days and live out life without his daughter and wife. It took his child actually choking for him to get snapped back to reality and fully realize that he does not need to envy Josh Michaels’ life.

This is a story depicting the complicated nature of human beings. It shows that a person can have everything in someone else’s eyes but still not be happy.


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