The Bass the River and Sheila Mant


The Bass the River and Sheila Mant is the story of a 14-year-old boy with an eye for Sheila who spends all summer trying to win over his admirer and impress her.

This story offers an important life lesson about following one’s passions without compromising them for others’ approval and about making difficult choices that can have immense rewards in return.


The Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant are told from the perspective of a fourteen-year-old boy named Nathan, who has an intense attraction for Sheila (his crush). While loving both Sheila and fishing equally, when he hooks a big fish, he must choose between fishing for it or trying to impress Sheila, eventually choosing Sheila as the intended recipient of his affection. Throughout this tale, vivid details of both the river and the girl create an immersive atmosphere that allows readers to empathize with him and understand his struggle better.

This story delves deep into the complexity of adolescence and infatuation and explores its challenges of balancing personal interests and external expectations. The narrator’s decision to let go of the bass serves as a symbol of what many adolescents must sacrifice in order to reach their goals.

The narrator is depicted as being humorous, dreamy, and different; his ability to interpret Sheila’s mood changes through facial expressions is evidenced by his ability to memorize them. On the other hand, Sheila lacks any knowledge of nature, thus believing the narrator’s assurances that fish will wait when she returns despite his offer of help rowing the canoe. She also refuses his offer to help propel it; this shows how love can blind us to doing things we would otherwise avoid.

Internal Conflict

The conflict in this tale mirrors the struggles young people must go through to balance personal desires with external expectations. When the boy attempts to impress Sheila by taking her to a concert he loves more than fishing, his desire to please Sheila overrides his passion for fishing; eventually, he decides that his authenticity should take precedence over Sheila’s fleeting admiration. This sacrifice exemplifies this lesson for young readers: authenticity over short-term gain.

The 14-year-old protagonist, Narrator, develops an intense crush on Sheila Mant, an older girl from his neighborhood who agrees to go out with him on a date to the concert of their choice. But on their journey, she insults his favorite hobby – fishing – prompting him to conceal his rod, only for him to accidentally catch one of the biggest giant bass ever seen!

Conflict and suspense are essential tools of good fiction writers who aim to keep readers engaged with their stories. While some conflicts are overt, others can be subtler and can be harder to identify; internal conflict refers to struggles within one character, while external conflicts involve those outside it (for instance, a person or group outside it).

In this tale, the narrator must decide between his love for Sheila and his passion for fishing. He must decide whether to cut his line and inform Sheila of his catch or keep the bass. By choosing not to keep the fish for himself, his authenticity overshadows any possible approval from Sheila.


The Narrator, a teenage boy who enjoys fishing, falls for Sheila Mant, an attractive 17-year-old girl attracted only by her physical attributes and shallow nature. Although Sheila initially seems more appealing, later in the story, he comes to regret choosing Sheila over bass fishing; ultimately, he learns that being true to yourself and not allowing others to control your life are vital principles to live by.

The author employs many visual images in his story to create an unforgettable scene for his readers. He uses personification to make the fish, and Sheila appears more human-like; for instance, when speaking of Sheila being more beautiful than any largemouth bass. Furthermore, metaphors are employed to describe both rivers as well as Sheila herself.

Exposition is a writing technique used to provide background details about settings, events, and characters in a story. Here, the exposition is brief and sets up what will happen later on in this piece of fiction.

The narrative centers on an internal conflict between his love of fishing and his desire to please Sheila, creating a relatable and authentic depiction of adolescence. Furthermore, sacrifice is explored throughout, showing how willingly the protagonist gives up his passion in order to appear more sophisticated to Sheila; this theme resonates strongly with readers who feel pressured to conform to society’s expectations while losing themselves in the process.


The central conflict in this story revolves around the boy’s internal struggle between his genuine interests and desire to impress Sheila. The bass, river, and Sheila serve as symbols for these competing goals; the bass represents his love of fishing, while Sheila represents his desire to conform to social expectations by projecting an image of sophistication and allure – symbolic of both adolescence and young love. This conflict epitomizes all that makes up young love today.

The setting is essential to creating atmosphere and character development in stories. Wetherell uses detailed descriptions of the environment, boat, and surrounding scenery to convey a sense of place while stirring emotions within readers – for instance, the river creates feelings of isolation, while Sheila’s beauty elicits admiration and infatuation from readers.

Wetherell’s use of indirect characterization in his story underscores its central message – people can influence each other for good or ill – through the actions and decisions of its narrator, reflecting Sheila’s influence over him, an important reminder not to allow others to dictate our lives and dictate the decisions we make ourselves. Furthermore, his story emphasizes choice and how these choices may have both positive and adverse effects.