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“The Father”, by Hugh Garner

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 535
  • Category: Guilt

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In the story “The Father”, by Hugh Garner, it will show the dynamics of a strained relationship between a father and son. Also it will show that a father’s insecurities and inconsideration can put a strain on a John’s (father) and Johnny’s relationship. This story demonstrates when John realizes his guilt and trying to reconcile it’s too late. John’s unfavorable characteristics have caused the strained relationship between him and his son. John is an insecure man hence the reason why he worried what strangers thought off him all the time. Due to the fact that John is insecure he begins to drink. At the Boy Scout meeting John drinks with Murdoch in his car. After the drink they come back inside the meeting and john falls on the stage in front of everybody while Johnny is trying to receive his award hence why Johnny is embarrassed. Ahead after many embarrassing events caused by his dad, Johnny starts to become ashamed of his father. John’s insecurities take it to the extent where it pushes him to say “God knows what the neighbors must think of me (p.67). John cares more about what others think of him than what his own son thinks of him. As inconsiderate as John is he says to a curate “’Three dollars!

Why I could have taken Johnny to a burlesque show for less than that’” (p.70). There is little boys present and their parents don’t want their children exposed to such inappropriate jokes like John often expresses. John is inconsiderate therefore he does things without thinking. During the Boy Scout meeting John leaves to have a drink with Murdoch. After, when he comes back he has to go with Johnny up the stairs onto the stage to receive Johnny’s reward. On the way down he trips and falls. Johnny is feeling embarrassed and extremely angry with his father. If John reconsiders his son’s feelings, he wouldn’t have over indulged in alcohol and embarrassed his son. Lastly, John realizes that he is embarrassing his son without being aware of it hence he starts to feel guilty and tries to make up for what he’s done. One example that shows this is when John says to Johnny “’…we’ll go downtown and I’ll buy a whole Boy Scout outfit’”.

He does this because he thinks Johnny will forgive him, but he doesn’t. Furthermore John pleads for Johnny to come back as he runs away after the scout meeting. He does this because he feels guilty and he doesn’t want to lose his only son. At the end of the story John says to himself, “’No, it’s your fault, it’s always been you fault’”. Finally john has now realized what he has done and how it has affected his son. Ultimately, John’s characteristics caused the strained relationship between him and his son. If John wasn’t inconsiderate most of the time, he would have cared about Johnny’s feelings before it was too late. Also Johns insecurity caused him to drink hence the reason why he became inconsiderate. All this at the end makes him feel guilty, in is these three characteristics that caused the strained relationship between him and his son Johnny.

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