Big Fish: Edward Bloom’s Failure as a Father
Creating and overseeing a decent family relationship between a parent and their children is not simple. It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that their children grow up in a nurturing environment. Daniel Wallace’s Big Fish explores the mythical life of Edward Bloom, a great man who lacks the realistic element of sharing his history and inner thoughts. He also has an egocentric personality which urges him to pursue his dreams instead of family; resulting in his failure as a father to his only son. In Wallace’s Big Fish, it elucidates Edward’s many errors that lead him to be the explanation as to why his relationship with his son is so conflicting.
Firstly, the poor father-son relationship in Big Fish is the result of Edward’s secretive lifestyle that he keeps to himself. Edward uses humor to avoid telling the straightforward truth of the answers that William, his son, looks for in his father. In the chapter, “My father’s death: take 3” (Wallace, 106), William constantly struggles to acquire even a shred of honesty out of his dying father. He tries to remain serious and asks Edward sincerely; “Let’s talk, okay? Man to man, father to son. No more stories.”(111) As a parent, it is important to have your child close to you; physically and emotionally. Despite of all William’s attempts, Edward stands stubbornly strong and uses humor to deflect every attempt William to connect with him, causing William frustration and a growing dislike of his father’s light heartedness at such a crucial moment in his life. Edward Bloom’s native attributes of being imaginative and humorous are also at fault as he uses these characteristics of his to mask his true identity. In the novel, he states; “…if I shared my doubts with you, about God and love and life and death, that’s all you’d have; a bunch of doubts. But now, see, you’ve got all these great jokes.” (seventy-three) Due to Edward’s characteristics and beliefs being...
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