Arent You Happy for Me

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It is very common for parents, even after their children have started their own lives, to try and continue to tell their children how to live their lives. They may always tell their children “you need to learn from your own mistakes”, but when it comes down to it, they want to keep their children from possibly making the same mistakes they did. In the short story, “ Aren’t you Happy for Me?” by Richard Bausch, Melanie’s father, Jack, is not too thrilled about the idea of his young daughter marrying a much, much older man. Later in the story, we learn that Jack is divorcing Melanie’s mother. Jack overacts about his daughter news of being pregnant and marrying an older man to avoid discussing his own divorce and because he is afraid that Melanie’s future marriage can end up in divorce like his.

When Melanie tells Jack her news he overreacts about the situation. In the conversation Melanie had with her father on the phone she tells him not only that she is pregnant but that she is marrying a man much older than her. Her future husband is sixty-three years old while she is twenty three years old. Jack does not like this news at all. Jack states, “Melanie, you’re- you’re not pregnant, are you?” (86). He does not want to accept the situation and he wants to protect his daughter even though, she is old enough to make her own decisions.

Later, we find out Jack overacted about Melanie’s news because he wants to avoid discussing his future divorce with Melanie’s mother. He is trying to avoid the conversation with his daughter about the divorce with his wife therefore, he makes a big deal on the fact that the man Melanie is marrying is sixty three years old. Jack states, “Well, good God, this guy’s nineteen years older than your own father.”(89) This quote shows how he is overacting because why should he be concern if William is older than him when is Melanie the one marrying William. In addition, he questions Melanie on why she didn’t choose somebody...
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