How is the character of the father drawn? How would you describe him? Interestingly enough, the author does not provide much of a physical description of the father. We know he is of fairly old age, as he ultimately dies at the end of the story

  1. How is the character of the father drawn? How would you describe him?
    Interestingly enough, the author does not provide much of a physical description of the father. We know he is of fairly old age, as he ultimately dies at the end of the story, but there isn’t much description of his looks. We do clearly see that he has a very strict and stern demeanor. The author notes: ” We were allowed a single Crayola from the box at a time. One Christmas Eve he shrieked at Kimmie for wasting an apple slice. He hovered over us as we poured ketchup saying: good enough good enough good enough. Birthday parties consisted of cupcakes, no ice cream”. Such descriptions of the children’s upbringing paint a picture of a very rigid, overbearing father.
  2. What do you believe the father is trying to communicate?
    Ultimately I believe the father is trying to communicate to his children how much he loves them. The little sticks he plants around the larger pole represent his children, while the pole is him. He then ties strings from the pole to the sticks, further illustrating the symbolism of the pole as himself, and the sticks being connected to the pole as the offspring of the pole. His notes of “LOVE” and “FORGIVENESS” are meant to effectively tell his kids that anything he did for them was out of sincere love for them and with their best interests at heart. Perhaps having realized he might have been too strict at times, he is asking his children to forgive him for coming off so mean.
  3. Do you think the father is a stand in for something larger, or this is just a quick story about one man’s efforts to communicate?
    Well, this is an interesting question to ponder. I believe that the pole first and foremost stands for the father and is supposed to represent his experiences with his children. But on a larger level, I do believe it can be argued that the pole represents all the over-bearing, strict parents who, while having good intentions, may not realize that they need to lighten up a bit, so to speak.

peer 2 : (Suong Lam )