February 12th, 2018
The Bonding Between A Father And Son
Many say that mothers are considered the more important parent compared to fathers. Mothers forge a unique connection with their child through pregnancy, giving birth, and breastfeeding. Stereotypically, mothers are considered to be empathetic, caring, and an emotional parent. This is why mothers seem more important in the child’s life. If the mother has a significant connection with the child, then how exactly does the father have a relationship with his child? The texts The Road by Cormac Mccarthy, Forgiving my father by Lucille Clifton and Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden, demonstrate how relationships with your father are more complex than they appear.
The bond a child has with their father really depends on their relationship. Some children can have more than one father, such as a stepfather, male father figure, or no father at all. There are many adaptations showing different relationships with fathers. One of the most common situations is families where the father is usually seen as the breadwinner and is unaware of what was going on in his family members lives. In addition to this, there are other adaptations where the father has to play the role of both parents. In the reading the author, gives an example of a father having to be both parental roles. The father in this reading is a single parent, it is only him and his son, which makes it worse is that they are living and trying to survive in a post apocalyptic world. The book starts off with a dream the father had, about his wife who has died. When he wake up , his first instinct was to check on his son, “When he woke in the woods in the dark and in the cold of the night he’d reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him. “(pg.1) Just by the gentle act of checking on his son, you can see how much the father cherishes and cares for him.
In this post apocalyptic world the only motivation the father has to live is because of his love for his son. If his son was not there the father may no desire to live. As the book goes on the father states, “if only my heart were stone”(pg.11), within his dream where he had a conversation with god. This is because he has lost his will to live or go on with life. Most of the father’s family is gone and he would rather be gone with them. However, the father’s son is what is holding him back from letting go of his life. When the father wishes for his heart to be “stone” it is because that way he could pass on without regret for leaving his son. Though in reality he can’t as his heart is human and he is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure his son is safe and healthy.
As in The Road the father didn’t want his son to feel abandoned, the case was different for the text Forgiving my father. In Forgiving my father, Clifton shows how the daughter felt abandoned and held a grudge for her father.
Throughout the story it becomes more clear that the son would also do anything for his father. For example, in one part of the book where the son and father while they were exploring the neighborhood. The father wants to go in to the house to see if there is any food to feed his son. As the father is going to the door the son says,”I’m not hungry papa, I’m not”(pg 108). The son feels worried and fearful about his father going through the door as it is unknown what lies behind it. The son would rather starve than loose his father. Even though the father is willing to take the risk to feed his son, the son doesn’t want him to. He just wants to put his father out of harm’s way. This reminds me of a time when it was just me and my father at home. At that time there wasn’t enough to eat and money was tight. Since money was so tight I didn’t want my father to spend extra money on me by going out and purchasing food. Although, my father was willing to do it order to feed me. Knowing it was wrong to do so I told him I wasn’t that hungry while I truly was. In the end my father ended up spending the extra to satisfy my hunger. This shows how both our fathers were willing to do anything for us even if we disagreed for their sake. Which therefore elucidates the impression that the relationships we have with our fathers are more intricate than simple.
The reason the bond between the father and son is so complex in the reading is because the only thing they care about is keeping each other alive. The son never had the soft touch that a mother could give. The father only showed that type of softness when he felt something was wrong with the son. Even though there wasn’t that soft touch the father did show compassion and concern for his child throughout the book. Like a lion with his cub defending against a predator. Although, there was not that much empathy around within the story there was a connection of survival.