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Relationship Between Father And Son In Literature English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1695 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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‘Cormac McCarthy strips back America – and his style – to a post- apocalyptic core in his bibically resonant tale of family, love and loss’ Independent Books of the Year

‘A Gothic horror story of quite exceptional quality. It is macabre, bizarre and impossible to put down.’ Financial Times

A son looks up to his father as the perfect role model whereas the father sees his flaws through the reflection of his son’s eyes. The relationship between a father and son is based upon a cause and effect marriage Are you saying that you have to be married to have children? which both dystopian novels, being heavily male dominated establish as being quite distinct in comparison to one another.Your first sentence needs to be powerful. Your expression reads awkwardly here. Have a rethink. The reason for this huge difference is based upon many factors, with one of them being the element of protection. In The Wasp Factory, Frank’s father is able to protect is son with secrecy, lies, deceit and mystery; the greater of two evils, whilst the father in The Road acts as a shield protecting his son with his revolver from the cannibals. Their relationship in McCarthy’s novel appears to be strengthened over time, as each day becomes harder the boy asks more and more questions and in a sense matures; there are no lies shared between them since the father treats his son as an equal both in action as well as dialogue. It could be argued that amidst such a destroyed and isolated world the son in McCarthy’s novel becomes more attached to his father since he is everything to him and viceversa, however this is quite the contrary in the Wasp Factory where Frank contemplates upon the benefits of killing his father and shares no bond with him. This could be partly due to Frank’s anger and frustration since his father has created a enigmatic life for him to piece his history together thus further muting the father and destroying their relationship which over time is being eaten away ‘I was glad to see the difficulty he had walking’. A very longwinded sentence. Be concise. Moreover the absence of women in both novels allows the readers to gain some sympathy for the fathers since everything has fallen upon their shoulders, the essence of desperation and discontentment in both novels is due to the desertion of the mothers which allows the readers to delve into the fathers feminine side. Hence there are many contrast as well as comparison between the two novels relating to the father and son relationship, thus the question arises compare and contrast the relationship between father and son in Bank’s the Wasp Factory and McCarthy’s The Road. Your intro is meant to touch on the types of relationships in each, a summary of genre and plot and a hint of what we’re to see in the essay. To what extent does this introduction follow these expectations?

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A common theme reoccurring in both novels is that of violence and cruelty which greatly affects the relationship between father and son. In The Road, both father and son are forced into a world which is completely alien and uncivilized, this in a sense strengthens their relationship with each other. With scenes of cannibalism and death there is nothing they can do, except reassure themselves that they are ‘the good guys’ and that there are still two bullets in the pistol. Moreover their relationship can be seen as an allegory with the ever cautious father representing survival as he frequently steals and kills others to protect his son, whilst the son represents compassion, often pestering his father to assist the ravaged, desperate people they encounter. The novel then becomes the inner struggle between serving oneself and serving others, with the father and son working together for survival whilst increasing their love for one another. Lets have a novel marker. maybe a comparative word to show that you have moved texts. Instead of a relationship which solely lies upon the need for each other, Frank pity’s his father being able to exploit his weaknesses. Subsequently, the boy’s father has no choice but to use violence, violence which is seen as justified as he is protecting himself and his son. Whereas Frank recalls the beatings he suffered from his dad ‘he’s stopped beating me now that I’m older’ This is an incomplete sentence. Therefore this element of cruelty is not justified, his dad treats cruelty with cruelty, if Frank’s dad did not adopt such a need for violence, the relationship would have depleted him of all anger. Thereon this contrast becomes an explanation for the distance between Frank and his father, violence unlike the violence used in the road is necessary whereas the violence used in the Wasp factory is not. It could be argued that Frank’s anger could be a result of his abusive father. He admits he is ashamed and embarrassed by him and his means of escape leads him to in a sense to experiment with death using the factory. This wage of war against nature gives him that reassurance of value and significance in life which he was deprived from. Limited quotes so far?

Furthermore Frank was home schooled by his father, this would lead to one reflecting upon the intelligence of both father and son and question the types of conversation they have. However they’re conversations are more or less a petty rehearsed dialogue being repeated back and forth time and time again. For example his father asks how high is the table? this obsession with measurements becomes a routine that has been going on for Frank’s lifetime which further alienates them. The relationship between Frank and his dad therefore can be established as perfunctory; there are few feelings discussed and both seem to live relatively separate lives each living with their own significant secrets. What is the purpose of this separate paragraph? How does it aid you with your argument? Does it need to stand alone?

However in comparison to The Road one could argue that the father and son have a rehearsed dialogue used purposely for their survival. ‘Are we going to die now papa ?’ ‘no son’ The father tries to take all responsibility for them and in a sense the boy is seen as a liability, yet as we progress through the novel they both partake in sharing the burden of their situation. They see it as their duty to continue with hope as their pathway, they are both well aware of who they are and their purpose for one another unlike Frank and his father who seem to be confused and disunited with the aspect of Eric’s return. Therefore the father’s desperation not to die or allow his son to be taken by the “bloodcults” is something that McCarthy makes clear without spelling it out. He never tells us that the man is dying, but as his cough worsens, along with the boy’s progression as he stops playing with the broken toys and items he finds, and becomes ever more skeletal: ‘Knobby spine bones’ This sentence isn’t complete. Read it through. This verstehen What did you mean to write here??? or type of understanding is commonly associated with the mother type figure, yet the reader cannot piece together this type of understanding since the identity or name of the father and son in The Road seems trivial and pointless, similarly with Frank since he has no value or input in society. Should this next section about setting be a separate paragraph? Therefore the setting can be seen as symbolic as both the island and the apocalyptic world force more stress on their relationships, testing them and in turn this leads to a greater bondage between them, even in the Wasp Factory. This seems quite ironic since by becoming the product of such an isolated society their relationship does the opposite, strengthening instead of weakening their love for each other. The reasons for this loss of identity links back to the theme of isolation which can in turn weaken or strengthen the father and son relationship. In The Road the essence of trust with one another does not exist, since the world is at its end; no one is to be trusted this results into only the father and son ‘carrying the fire’ and keeping alight that element of trust with each other.

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Moreover the absence of the mother in both novels forces the father to act as a replacement for her. The father learns to infuse as a mother as well as a father, further making the reader sympathise with them and reinforcing the importance of their relationship. The mothers are portrayed in a very negative perspective, which a feminist critique would not approve of. The mothers are seen as weaker then the fathers and more selfish, in the Road especially the mother kills herself as a act of escape. This further assists to the burdens already placed upon the fathers, they are now more isolated and have no one to turn to.

Some readers claim that the the message behind McCarthy’s novel was to show the readers the effects of global warming or nuclear warfare and it’s impact upon the earth. Yet McCarthy claimed his message or intention boiled down to one universal concept, that being the love and relationship between father and son. One could further argue that both novels with the absence of God, portray how life can still be lived, even though in extreme measures people would find God elsewhere, as the father in The Road says ‘When I first saw him I thought he was god’ hence the question being answered here is the absence of god can rejuvenate both father and son.Taking in consideration the setting, a lone island as Banks being a socialist perceives it has life without god would remain the same to as life with god. Frank and his fathers rationality is based upon choice with no factors of God amidst it, only the factory acts as a replacement therefore it could be said that Banks believes a world without the belief in God would remain the same, we don’t need god for hope.


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