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The Connection Between Father and Son

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It’s very important to have a strong relationship between father and son, but every child has that. It can be very hard for the fathers to create a healthy relationship with his son especially when you are divorced and have limited access to your son. A good example of this is seen in the text “Crossing” by Mark Slouka. In the short story we are introduced to a father who takes his son on a bonding trip into a wild forest.

It’s not just a random wild forest, but a forest where the farther went with his dad when he was a young boy, so it has a deeper meaning. To get to the place where they will be resting for the night, they have to cross a river. On the way out the manage to cross the river with no difficulties. And after a day of exploring and hiking they head back to cross the river. This time the crossing has its challenges. When that dad crosses with the son the get stuck, because of stronger current, but they don’t get swept away. The father stays strong, and he is motivated by his thought: “My god, all his other fuckups were just preparations for this.” (l. 135) This indicates that he has messed up before and was trying to mend things one and for all.

The main character in the text is a man presumably in his late thirties or start forties based on him having a young son, and he has been married. It’s not directly written that he is divorced, but when he arrives to pick up his son, he sees flowers he has planted, and acts like a visitor in the house, is new to him. This means he has lived in the house with his wife and son, but when he got divorced he has moved out.

The father wants to put things right between him and his son, perhaps because he knows how it feels to have a bad relationship with a dad. The relationship between the boy and the fathers seems okay, the boy runs out the say hello to his dad (l. 16), and when crossing the river, the dad is very good at calming down his son. But other than that, it does not seem like they talk that much. The trip is means more to the dad, than to his son. Because its him who has made the mistakes in the past, but his son is too young to understand. He tries to prove for himself and his ex-wife that he is a good man.

The main character brings his son to a fantastic nature reserve, with a river and a barn hidden in a forest. The boy and his dad has to cross the river, hence the name of the story. While the main character is make his way across the river, he sees his son sitting on the big rocks (l. 110) because something scares him about seeing his little vulnerable son sitting alone it the mighty nature. In the story the setting opposes as antagonist, because when they are heading home the rivers current is stronger and therefore they get stuck.

The day they came the dad carried the son successfully across the river, this is a sign of trust. On their way home when they get stuck, the fathers trust to his son vanishes, and the fuckups he has worked so hard to make good again, reappears due to the river crossing symbolising his relationship with his family. We also hear about the main character visiting the forest and the barn with his dad year and year back.

The story is written in past tense, but it’s written so we follow the storyline like the main character understands it. The effect of the story being told from the main character’s point, makes the story more interesting, instead of someone telling what happened, that would maybe sound a bit too much like a newspaper, but we also feel sympathetic with the dad. A lot of the context has to be understood indirectly, for example the main character’s divorce, but one thing that is very well described is the setting.

The current of the river, the big rock both under the water, and on the embankment, this is why the nature is such a major part of the story. The story has a lot of foreshadowing in, for example: “The current was stronger” (l. 105) this suspense, in general the is quite a bit of suspense in the text, especially towards the end. The narrator brings the reader back in time serval times, to when the main character came the same place with his dad. So the reason the main character brings his son back there is because he says it’s something he won’t experience with his mother, but the main character must have had one or more enjoyable trips there in the past.

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