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The short story Walking on Water, by Janette Turner Hospital, explores the connection between fear and foresight. This is accomplished through the lense of a mother, named Gillian, and her teenage son, James, talking about his plan to spend some time living with his aunt and uncle in California while he attends High School there.

In the short story Walking on Water, by Janette Turner Hospital, the author uses the character of a deceased boy named Stuart to emphasize foresight. James demonstrates foresight in his decision to get to know his aunt and uncle, and develop a Contingency Plan of sorts, in case anything should happen to his family, “Every day, every waking moment bristled with dangers, anything was possible.” (p. 408). James is driven to develop a backup plan by his fear of the possibility of losing his family. “What would he do if he were suddenly all alone? He had lived in five countries. … He hardly knew the grandparents who lived across an ocean, or the uncle and aunt and cousins who lived in California.” (p. 408). After Stuart is found dead of exposure, James shows foresight by developing his backup plan. “Yes, he thought waking. I need safety devices, I need way stations. … He would establish a chain of defences, he would be prepared.”

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This is shown by Gillian’s fear of the possibility of James being killed en route to or from his Aunt and Uncle’s place in California. “You could be killed between Gillian also fears that James makes it home alive, but comes back somehow different.

In the end, Gillian recognizes that everyone must walk their own path, and that her son could benefit from time away from home.

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