Ap Lit and Comp
The Father and Son
Li-Young Lee’s poem “A Story” depicts the harsh and complex relationship of that between a father and soon. This is explored by the son’s desires for a story, which his father is unable to produce. The speaker uses emotional devices to elaborate on the entirely different perspectives that occur between a father and son. Through the trading on and off points of views, situational irony, and purposeful diction, the speaker adds emotional appeal and meaning to the love and bond between father and soon as well as emphasizing the theme of changing and growing of their relationship over time. This causes the reader to attach to the poem and by doing so to dwell on his or her relationship between their parents.
Lee’s first strategic approach is by the usage of the multiple point of view, that of the father and the son. The poem starts off in the father’s point of view showing his disappointment that he cannot give his son a story “Sad is the man who is asked for a story and can’t come up with one.” The author then switches off with “Not the same story, Baba.” Later explaining the father’s immediate inability to “…come up with one.” The father “…rubs his chin, scratches his ear.” The father is unable to supply his son with a story. The simple quote utilizes the emotions to truly show the frustration the father feels of letting down his son. Switching into the son’s perspective you hear “Please, Baba, a story?” showing the complete innocence of the son’s request.
Another significant and useful tool Lee uses is the situational irony that he creates in the third stanza where “In a room full of books in a world of stories, he can recall not one…” This shows that even though there is a million possibilities and a million stories in the world the father is still unable to remember not even one. This situational irony shows that the father sees that this should be an effortless task, yet it is...
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