My Family and Other Animals

by

Gerald Durrell

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The Bootle-Bumtrinket Symbol Analysis

The Bootle-Bumtrinket Symbol Icon

Gerry receives the Bootle-Bumtrinket, a strangely shaped boat crafted by Leslie, for his birthday. It allows him a sense of freedom and mastery over the aquatic world that had previously been unavailable to him without adult assistance. Especially because Gerry does receive it for a birthday, the boat then becomes symbolic of Gerry's growing maturity and independence. However, the ridiculous name he gives the boat is also indicative of the fact that Gerry is absolutely not mature. The nature of the boat, combined with its name, then casts the boat as a symbol of Gerry's existence in a liminal space between child and adult.

The Bootle-Bumtrinket Quotes in My Family and Other Animals

The My Family and Other Animals quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Bootle-Bumtrinket. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Natural World Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of My Family and Other Animals published in 1956.
Part 2, Chapter 11 Quotes

A pot of black paint was produced and laboriously, in rather trickly capitals, I traced her name along the side: THE BOOTLE-BUMTRINKET. There it was; not only an unusual name, but an aristocratically hyphenated one as well. In order to ease Mother's mind I had to promise that I would refer to the boat only as the Bootle in conversation with strangers.

Related Characters: Gerry Durrell (speaker), Larry Durrell, Mother, Leslie Durrell
Related Symbols: The Bootle-Bumtrinket
Page Number: 143
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile
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The Bootle-Bumtrinket Symbol Timeline in My Family and Other Animals

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Bootle-Bumtrinket appears in My Family and Other Animals. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2, Chapter 11: The Enchanted Archipelago
Childhood, Adulthood, and Education Theme Icon
...Bootle just when Larry suggests Bumtrinket. Thus, much to Mother's dismay, the boat becomes the Bootle-Bumtrinket. (full context)
Childhood, Adulthood, and Education Theme Icon
Margo, Peter, Larry, and Leslie carry the Bootle-Bumtrinket to the jetty, where Gerry and Mother open a bottle of wine in celebration. Finally,... (full context)
The Natural World Theme Icon
Childhood, Adulthood, and Education Theme Icon
Friendship and the Care of Animals Theme Icon
The next morning, Gerry takes Roger, Widdle, and Puke out on the Bootle-Bumtrinket's maiden voyage. The sea seems bluer and more beautiful than usual. Gerry observes the clams,... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 12: The Woodcock Winter
The Natural World Theme Icon
Absurdity and Storytelling Theme Icon
Childhood, Adulthood, and Education Theme Icon
...broken heart in private so one day, she loads Roger, Widdle, and Puke into the Bootle-Bumtrinket and takes it out to a small island to lie in the sun. Gerry is... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 16: The Lake of Lilies
The Natural World Theme Icon
The family attaches the Bootle-Bumtrinket to the Sea Cow to tow it, and Mother, Theodore, Sophia, and the dogs ride... (full context)