The closing down of the mill and the slumbering town shows that once something has outlived its usefulness it has to end. This can be linked to the end of Nick and Marjorie’s relationship.
The atmosphere when Nick and Marjorie visit is one of emptiness, loneliness.
They fish, but there seems little sense of closeness between them. It is difficult to tell what their relationship is or how old they are.
Nick advises Marjorie on how to fish. He seems the character with the skill.
The catching of a trout is exhilarating.
Nick is irritated by Marjorie knowing everything. He feels he taught her. There is a lack of warmth and contact between them.
When she urges him to tell her what’s wrong he says that their relationship isn’t fun, but is he also referring to life in general?
There is an atmosphere of sadness as there is no argument, she just leaves him after he claims life isn’t fun.
Bill arrives and it seems Nick had planned to split up with Marjorie all along.
Nick needs time to think after it is all over.
There is a sense of life going on as Bill eats a sandwich.
The passage explores relationships and how painful the end of a relationship can be.