What Stays in the Family
1. Exploring Meaning
a. How does Lorna Cozier’s mother cope with her husband’s drinking prior to his illness? She keeps herself busy working a number of jobs during the day, and then looking after her daughter. She keeps a social life to a minimum, probably just to say she has one. She leads an independent life, void of her husband.
b. How does his illness create additional problems with his wife? The father, due to his alcoholism, was late for family events, embarrassed himself in front of others, and was harmful to himself when intoxicated. These problems manifest in to bigger problems that the wife and the daughter both had to tolerate. c. How does her father’s behavior affect Crozier in her youth? Give specific examples. Believing her father would not show up to her valedictorian award, she had to tell the principle, whom her parents were to sit next to at dinner, that he wasn’t attending. Finally when he did show up, he was intoxicated once again, and embarrassed her further. This is one example of what caused all the insecurities that Crozier had to endure while going through life. d. Why do you think Crozier feels compelled to share her family secret? Does the present any additional problems for her? Crozier wants to share her family secret because it’s her way of showing her father off in a different light. Having grown up with his drinking looming over the family, having the ability to make poems that highlight other aspects of who he was brings a sort of comfort for her. e. What message does Crozier leave the reader with at the end of her memoir? She admits that her father was a drunk. She’s okay with that, and to be able to finally say it, after holding the secret inside for so long is welcoming. However, that’s not all he was, so there is excitement behind being able to finally talk about her father as something other than a drunk. 2. Making Connections...