Compare and Contrast
The relationship between a father and son stems from an unspoken competition in many countries. Whether it is a physical or mental rivalry the superior role slowly transcends on to the son as he grows into a man. In Brad Manning's short story "Arm Wrestling With My Father," and Itabari Njeri's "When Morpheus Held Him," both contain admiring sons and impassive fathers. Despite both stories similarities in unspoken emotions they differ in the aspect of their physical relationships. This unrequited bond between a father and son in these stories portray various types of love.
Throughout Brad Manning's anecdote about arm wrestling he refers to his father as "the arm" or "the master with clenched fists." The embodiment of his father in these empowered limbs shows the dominating figure once held over him. "Daddy," was the only personal name Itabari Njeri's father allowed him to say. If Njeri did not settle for "Daddy," "Dr. Moreland" would have to due. There is a sterile and clinical connotation in referring one's father as Doctor. Manning's states," the man would win," also giving an impersonal and cold feeling to his "strong father." But this impersonal name was not forced upon Manning as Njeri's father had done. Manning's "father-son" matches battling "arm against arm" was their only means of communication. Manning decodes his father's crude "ritual," as he grows older. Itabari's father was," viewed in isolation," making it impossible for any kind of relationship to form. Young sons typically envy their father figure. Many sons are astonished at their father's ability to be flawless. Laughing, "through his perfect white teeth," shows Brad's positive envy of his father's appearance. In disgust, Njeri describes his father's "hairy legs," "breasts that could fill a B cup," and "balding head." Njeri describes his father with a loathsome tone. Brad and his father's "senior class" in high school admired his father's impeccable...
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