The Trip to Halawa Valley

By: Jay Babson


"The Trip to Halawa Valley," is a short story written by Lynne Sharon
Schwartz. The story is about a son succeeding and getting married in Hawaii,
and the reunification of his divorced parents. The parents become the main
focus of the story when the son suggests that they go on a trip to Halawa Valley.

In this story Schwartz is trying to show people that once you make a
decision it is very hard to turn back on that decision. With all the characters,
except for the briefly mentioned newlyweds, Schwartz shows how decisions made by
a person or a couple are hard to turn back on. An example of this is Paul\'s
parents. Lois and Jim are brought back together in Hawaii, and try to rekindle
their love for each other. After their trip though, they realize it can not be
done, and part in their own separate ways.
Schwartz does a very good job of showing the reader the experience she is
trying to convey. She does this by using a couple different characters
throughout the story. The main ones she uses are the parents, and that is the
very obvious example. A few other examples are not as clear, but they do show
how decisions are an important factor in life and once made are very hard to
turn around. Using Paul\'s brother Anthony, Schwartz shows that once he made the
decision to join the Hare Krishnas there was no turning back, even if that meant
not communicating with his parents anymore. Schwartz also uses Paul\'s other
brother Eric. When Eric announced that he was gay, his parents had to make the
tough decision to either support or not support his choice in sexuality.
Schwartz develops the characters very fast, but in doing so makes the
story move faster. Throughout the story the characters are being developed
through the thoughts of both Lois and Jim. They talk about their kids and how
one of them died at age 11 due to a brain tumor. Schwartz also makes Lois
develop Jim, and Jim develop Lois. She does this by making them reminisce about
their past together.
The conflict in this short story is between the parents of Paul. They
both do not know whether or not to get back together. Throughout the story they
both hint at getting back together, and once they even made love. After they
did though, Lois realized that she was wrong in making love to him and that they
could never get back together. Schwartz uses their unsuccessful attempts at
reaching Halawa Valley as a comparison to the relationship. This is done by
showing how the two attempts at reaching the valley failed, and h

Category: English