The Charmer by Budge Wilson

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"The Charmer" by Budge Wilson is a short story about a Canadian family that finds misfortune and conflict within their lives. Conflict being the predominant theme which directly affects all the participants in the family. The story is written in third person and narrated from the young girl Winifred's point of view. Budge Wilson uses Zack's smothered childhood, charming personality and irresponsible behaviour to create emotional conflict between members of the family. Growing up as a happy and popular young man, Zack creates himself a perfect reputation which left room for love and smothering from his mother and two sisters. His mother and sisters love him very much and show this love by being at his every beckoning. Winifred is no exception; the love for Zack is shown by the extraction, "How be you wash my bike for me, Pose, Love?" I would be halfway to the kitchen for bucket and rags before he stopped speaking. [And] I was Zachary's willing slave. Slavery in fact, was a vogue in our house."(Wilson,101). Zack from a very young age is overwhelmed with love and good deeds sent in his direction. He takes advantage of these kind gestures and never really appreciates what was being done for him. This lack of appreciation and constant smothering is noticed by his father at later stages in the story and creates a level of confliction between them throughout the story. His father makes the mistake of not saying anything about his disagreement with the way Zack is treated and allows the conflict to continue. "Even Dad took a long time to wake up. You wouldn't think a fourteen – or sixteen-year-old-boy could hoodwink a father… [And] Dad would just leave the room and go out to his work shed and sit and rock and rock in that old chair of his." (Wilson,103). His father new there was a problem but did not act on it until the situation reached its climax which resulted in Zack leaving home. The problem is allowed to escalate at the time. The father does not...
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