“Powder” is a story written by Tobias Wolff in 1996 staged in the mid to late 1950’s about a boy and his father skiing at Mount Baker on Christmas Eve and what it takes them to get back home in time for dinner. The father and his wife are on the edge of breaking up, although she is still angry about him taking their son to see Telonious Monk she lets them go. He promises hand over heart to keep him safe during the Mount Baker ski trip and get him home on time. Through the story the father is responsible in what he feels what is best for his son.
Although it may be considered improper today for minors to go to a night club, in the 1950’s it was very common for minors to accompany their guardians when going to the bar. Thelonious Monk was considered “One of the Giants of American Music” (1), a classic if you will, a musician that many would go see. The father taking his son to see him would have been no different than taking a kid to a concert today.
Every time the father speaks, he speaks with confidence. When the son shook his head after the father asked him if he wanted some soup he said “Buck Up, I’ll get you there” (2) as they left the ski resort and passed the diner on their way home. The father does everything necessary to keep his word when he found out that the road was closed and may not get cleared in time. When they got back to the diner and were waiting for their order he said “I can’t let it happen”, (3) “I’ll tell you what I want. I want all of us to be together again. Is that what you want?” (4) As soon as his son said “yes sir” (5) he replied, “that’s all I needed to hear” (6) and then proceeded towards the telephone booth.
He tries to keep a positive atmosphere by joking when they drive through the saw horses even though his son doesn’t catch it at first. When driving down the snow covered road he reminds his son that this is something he should not try when he gets his driver’s license, saying it takes “a certain instinct”(7)... [continues]
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