Back to Main Page Bernard MacLaverty: CAL
of "Father and Son" by Bernard McLaverty
- The story "Father and Son "
written by Bernard McLaverty tells about the relationship
between a father and his son. They lost their
wife/mother, and father and son aren't able to cope with
- The author shows two extreme feelings
in a relationship between father and son: hate and love .
- The son doesn't talk to his father
because he hates his father for having less courage than
a mouse. The father loves his son because he seems to be
the only one who is left. Therefore he is worried about
his son all the time because he doesn't know what he is
doing all day long. His son isolates himself by locking
the door to his room because he believes that his
"lousy" father isn't strong enough to help him
with his problems, which are not explained. What becomes
obvious is that he feels threatened as well and therefore
has a gun under his bed.
- And this attitude towards his father seems
to be understandable because his father feels threatened.
He fears to be attacked and takes a lot of valium.
- Both father and son are ill,
physically and mentally. The father wants to talk to his
son, wants to put his arms around his shoulders, wants to
make thinks better but he has to realize that he is
unable to because his son hates him. One evening his son
answers the door and is shot. The background to this is
not so easy to understand but it looks like the son was
involved in any sort of sectarian violence. After having
read "Cal" the story is easier to understand.
It might be a realistic description of a young man who
tried to get away from a militant paramilitary group and
could be seen as Cal's fate as Skeffington describes it
to him when he says he wants "out".
- Bernard MacLaverty: "Father
- In: The Short Story
and You (Klett-Verlag)
by Martin Janssen
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