The Shore and the Sea:Death and LifeAlmost immediately, in order to establish the home of the Potki’s protagonists, Patricia Grace utilizes simple lyrical descriptions of the land, particularly with regards to the seashore which took on a nature that, yours truly had never before experienced in a work of art. To quote directly from the work itself “the shore is a place without seed, without nourishment, a scavenged dead place”(Grace 18). However, through this death a freedom is bred as is a certain “rest” (18). By contrast the sea sits nearby. It is described just as implicitly as the shore though not as directly (Of course, this is just one person's opinion).
Mary throws that which “either lived or could live” into the sea (19), the sea is the place for life but with this life is effort, a constant straining. As a like e.g. of this consider the example of young Toko’s catching the fish. The fish is trapped literally on the line (and later on the rock while the hunt comes to a close) but in the requisite more profound reading this entrapment seems to suggest that the sea functions as an inverse of the freedom provided by the beach (frustration abounds about how English majory this sentence reads/feels. Hopefully this disclaimer makes it a little more bearable).
Very notably the protagonists don’t want to fall into the sea (Grace 49). Hence the sanctity of death is established in the novel before the importance of life. As macabre as this may appear there’s a kind of joy in the technique. It prioritizes the liberation of death (thus the festivities when Hemi’s mother dies) and celebrates it for it makes possible the hallowed notion of rebirth which proves to be absolutely vital in understanding the psyche of the protagonists of Potki and consequently connecting through the smog of post-modern, twenty first century, capitalistic cynicism.