Crying. Not doing well in school. How did it all happen…at whose fault? Why has the relationship failed! In “ The Father” by Hugh Garner, John has failed his job as a father to his son, Johnny. John has completely responsible for the failure of his relationship with his son, due to his selfishness, drunken behaviour, and general irresponsibility, in raising his son. John does not care about Johnny, and does not take position, for a role model towards his son. Being selfish can be a good thing at times, but it can also create an emotional barrier between others, causing a failure of relationship.
John always cares about his status, and for him not to look bad in front of others. John’s selfishness results in him not caring about anyone else, but himself. John is always aware of what people might think of him: “‘God knows what the neighbours must think of me,’” (p67) he says, when his wife tells him that Johnny is afraid to ask him to go to the banquet. In general, a parent would have talked with their child, of why they were afraid, but no…not John! In a way, Johnny might have been afraid to ask his father, because his father never goes anywhere with him.
In the same fashion, John tells his wife, “‘I don’t want these goons down at the church thinking I’m too cheap to buy him one’” (p66) about Johnny’s uniform. Again, in a sense, he doesn’t want to look poor, or like he can’t afford the uniform. He’s so worried of what others might think of him. Not to mention what he does at the principal’s office. At the meeting “ the principal intimate[s] that the boys slowness might be caused by tensions at home, but this he vehemently denie[s] ”(p66). By the discussion of tensions at home, John denies it so he would not be blamed. He also doesn’t want to give the llusion to the principal, that he’s a bad parent. But not only that, he didn’t even think about his son. He never thinks of the condition Johnny is in, and back him up. Overall, John has an extreme importance of him not to look bad. Even if it means to forget your own family. John’s selfishness has led Johnny to be afraid of his father. Drinking brings sense of enjoyment, but no one knows the hidden reasons that are proceeded behind it. In a case, John drinks to hide his feelings, but his drunken behaviour leads to inappropriate and embarrassing actions which severely impacts his son.
First of all, John is going to the church drunk, when he thinks that “ he knew it was only a fuzzy sentimentally brought on by what he drunk” (p68). Nevertheless, he also drinks during the banquet. He was really drunk! That is when all the drama starts. When Johnny wins the award, John is proud, so he “ grasps the boys hand, and facing the audience, [holds] it aloft like a referee, signifying the winner of a box out”(p75). That is too much for Johnny, he is ashamed. At the fast that his father his drunk, Johnny is embarrassed by his actions. But of course, that isn’t all.
When John walks back after giving his son the award, “ he turn[s] around [ the tables] end, stagger[s] slightly, and [falls] against it, pushing the planks askew…” (p75). John should have taken that seriously, however he makes the whole thing into a joke. On the other hand, Johnny was disappointed. John’s drunkenness may have brought laughter to him, but not to Johnny. Drinking can not only hurt one, but it can highly effect others as well. Due to Johnny’s fathers drunk behaviour, Johnny is upset, disappointed, and totally ashamed, causing him to lead his father away from others, and not be seen with him.
Throughout the banquet, “ Johnny hardly [speaks] to [ his father] at all, but attache[s] himself conversationally to a boy sitting on the other side of him” (p75). For Johnny the fact that his father never talks to him, has let him down, resulting in him talking to the boy, not his father. Also, since his father is drunk, he doesn’t want anything inappropriate or embarrassing to happen. Moreover, he was looking at the art, and “ as soon as [his father] reached his side, Johnny [took] him away from the others…” (p71). Comparatively, when
John is looking at his son’s art, others come on by, and he was about to tell them it was the work of his boy, but Johnny is suddenly in a hurry to get away. Whenever others are around, Johnny tends to drag his father away, because he thinks his father might do something silly. In like manner, “ Johnny gives him an apprehensive look when he sits down, and then crowds as far away from him as he could get…”(p74). Johnny is really trying to part from his father. Somewhat, he’s giving the illusion that John is not his father, but a stranger, due to all the things he is doing at the banquet.
Regardless of what John is thinking when he gives the award to Johnny, “the boy [ breaks] away from him and [runs] back to his chair, his chin lowered on his chest” (p75). Thereupon, Johnny is embarrassed of his fathers actions, in front of his friends, and their father…everyone! Additionally, “ the boy [is] sobbing silently, his thin shoulders shuddering beneath his blazer” (p75). Because of his fathers drunken actions, he does particular things that he assumes is amusing, but Johnny gets upset, ashamed, and embarrassed by them, causing him to hate his father.
That results in them not talking with each other, and staying separated. The impact of John’s drunken behaviour towards his son , is full of hatred. Irresponsibility can cause negativity in life, and it can also harm loved ones, John’s irresponsibility becomes to be a lack of involvement with his son, creating a distance, and causing them to spread apart. Apparently, John his son wants to be left alone: “ He’s a twelve year old boy who wants to be left alone” (p66) he says. However, John should be aware that father and son bonding time is needed to make their relationship stronger, but he does not care!
Similarly, John thinks, “ Scout meeting! What do I look like? ” (p65) when his wife tells him about the banquet. Generally speaking, a father would be excited to spend time with their son, but because of John’s irresponsibility, he does not want to spend the day with his son. As a matter of fact, Johnny is afraid to ask his father to go with him: “ ‘Well I guess he was afraid you’d say no,’” (p66) says Johnny’s mother. Johnny assumes his father doesn’t want to go with him, because he usually doesn’t. Furthermore, John agrees to keep his son in the same grade for a second year.
He is a rock-hearted father. That really impacted Johnny in the way of how his father views him. In their relationship, “from then on, their distance on from another was greater than ever” (p65). John didn’t back up his son, and help him with him frustrations. He did not worry about his son. John never attempts to spend time, and know his boy. Knowing one’s interests, and hobbies means, knowing them very well. Due to John’s irresponsibility of lack of relationship with his son, he doesn’t even know what Johnny’s hobbies, and interests are. Johnny likes to do many activities, that his father is ot aware of. Johnny loves to go swimming, and even “though [John is] aware that the boy ha[s] been going two nights a week to a neighbourhood highschool pool, he ha[s] never thought of him being an exceptional swimmer” (p69). John doesn’t even know why his son goes to the pool, and if he is even good at swimming, or not. Comparatively, when John sees Johnny’s art at the banquet, “ he could see the tremendous amount of work that ha[s] been gone into its carving, and [feels] an immeasurable loss as he realize[s] he ha[s] not even inquired what the boy [is] doing…” (p71) John does not ttempt to be a responsible father, and know what projects his son is doing, so he can help him. Additionally, he does not even know his sons good at art. Moreover, when it comes to John trying to have a simple conversation with his son, he couldn’t think of anything to talk about that wouldn’t sound wooden, and contrived. Then, he realizes, “he [doesn’t] even know what position is son plays, or even the name of the team” (p66). Only if he takes part in his son’s life. Then he could know every single detail about him. Johnny’s like a stranger to him. His own son, a stranger… John thinks that” he seem[s] to know ess about the boy than anyone” *(p68). John doesn’t take part in his sons life. He doesn’t even take the time to get to know Johnny. John couldn’t even handle his general responsibilities, leaving him to know nothing about his son. A father has many sides to him, in which taking a side off, he’s not a caring parent after all. John is completely responsible for the failure of his relationship with his son, Johnny, due to his selfishness, drunken behaviour, and general irresponsibility, in raising his son. John always cares about his status, and for him not to look bad in front of other, esulting in him not caring about anyone else but himself. His selfishness leads Johnny to be afraid of his father. Second, John’s drunken behaviour leads to inappropriate, and embarrassing actions, which severely impacts his son, emotionally. Lastly, John’s general irresponsibility of lack of involvement with his son resulting in, him not to know anything about his son, Johnny. Their relationship became into a barrier, causing them to spread apart. As can be seen, John was completely at fault, for the failure of relationship with his son, Johnny. Sharan Chana May 2, 2013 Block 4 Option 1