Parent child relationship has never been easy. We can easily realize it in the texts that we have been reading. I preferred “mother” by Grace Paley and “Father” by Yasushi Inouye. The conflict in the relationship between parent and children is not very clear in those texts, but it is present. What really captured my attention was how in both texts this conflict was resolved by the death of the parents. I also liked how both authors painted the caring of a parent for his child. I think that both texts have a valuable lesson: that we should not take thing for granted.
The conflict in the relationship between parent and child in “mother” is the most common one we come upon in our world today. Kids often mistake their parent’s advice for annoying scolding that is not important. In “Mother” the story starts with a girl having a flashback about her mother; which is caused by a song that she heard in the radio. “Oh I long to see My Mother in the Doorway” says the song. She had many other memories with her mother of course but she particularly remembers her mom standing in the doorway, educating her. “If you come home at 4 A.
M. when you’re seventeen, what time will you come home when you’re twenty? ” Of course at that time she was still young and only taught about the present and the fun part of life, and felt like her mother was being annoying with all her scolding and complaints. She barely listened to what her mother had to say, still doing whatever she felt like doing. She didn’t value the lessons her mother was trying to teach her. I also feel that because her mother was always trying to educate her she attached herself to her dad who seemed more tolerant than her mother.
It shows when she evokes her father in her memory of her mother urging her to go to sleep instead of staying in front of the TV. “Go to sleep for godsakes, you damn fool, you and your communist ideas. We saw them already, Papa and me, in 1905. ” The conflict in “Father” on the other hand is different. Whereas I “Mother” you can deduct that the mother of the narrator is acting the way she is because she loves her child, you cannot say the same for the narrator’s father in “Father”. You can at first realize the lack of affection in the relationship between the father and his son when the father takes his son’s hands into his on his death bed. Since father had never done anything like that before, I could not understand what he wanted. ” This just shows that there has never, not even once been a demonstration of affection between his father and him. The conflicts in both texts get resolved by death. In both text the narrators realize how much their parent loved and cared about them. In “mother” the narrator wishes she could see her mother in every doorway, ready to scold her or teach her a new lesson. She now realizes that her mother her mother did everything she did because she loved her.
It is only now that she understands the troubles, the worries, and sadness that she brought to her mother when she was younger. The fact that she remembers it and wishes to see her mother in the doorway “I wish I could see her in the doorway”, shows in my opinion how much she regrets acting the way she did, how much she wishes her mom could be there to see that now she is grown and is behaving well, that she heard her every time she tried to teach her a lesson. In “Father” death also resolves the conflict in the relationship between the father and the son.
In the text when the author’s father took his hands into his, he never really understood what it meant. “For some time after Father’s death this incident stayed in my mind, and I speculated about it like one obsessed. ” It did not occur automatically to him that his father took his hand into his because he wanted to show him that he loved him. It is only when he reached about the age his father retired that he understood fully that his father loved him and that he was acting the way he did because he loved him.
As he is getting closer to death he realizes that his father was always so cynical because he knew he was dying from cancer, and wanted to protect them from death. “I also became aware that one of the roles father performed in his lifetime was to shield me from death. ” I also think that just like in “mother” the narrator feels some sort of regret. He never understood his father and spent year trying to be his exact opposite: “From the time I was a student I consciously willed myself not to think like Father, not to behave like him”.
Now that he understands why his father was acting the way he did he feels like he has been a little too harsh on him. One thing Liked about both texts was the love of both parents. They both died worrying about their children. The father taking his son’s hand in “Father” shows many worries: worry that he will die without his children knowing that he loves them, worry about how well they will do without him, worry about the image they will keep of him. In “Mother” the narrator’s mother shows her worry more clearly then the ather in “Father. ” She keeps wondering about what her daughter will become when she is not there which makes us wonder if she has a fatal illness. “You never finish your lunch. You run around senselessly. What will become of you? Then she died” A lot of times we don’t realize the importance of what we have until we lose it. In this theory often applies to children and their parents. We teenagers often don’t value our parents, what we don’t realize is that we can’t live without them.
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