By Toan Nguyen
THE FATHER-SON RELATIONSHIP
In family life, there is often a lack of communication between parents and their children. Although parental love is always present, children often misunderstand or are unaware of their parent's love for them, especially the father’s love. Fathers often try to keep their strong figure as the head of the households and their love is usually implicit. The three short stories, “Penny in the Dust,” by Ernest Buckler, “A Secret Lost in the Water,” by Roch Carrier and “Lies My Father Told Me,” by Ted Allan all share a similar theme – relationship between fathers and sons. The father-son relationship portrayed in each of these three stories is awkward and distant which prevents the characters from entering into the other’s world and thought. The three stories’ settings take place in Canadian rural regions in the 1920’s and feature relationship between little boys and their farmer fathers.
In the first story, “Penny in the Dust”, Peter is a young boy who comes back home for the funeral of his father. He and his sister recall the event when the family thought Peter was lost while he was hiding in his room because he lost the shining penny his father had given him. Peter remembers the time when his father and he loved each other very much but did not express this feeling toward each other. In the beginning, his father does not understand him or his silly and childish games. Similarly, Peter is unsure of his father because his father never showed his emotions. At the end of the story, both he and his father begin to understand each other. After his dad finds the penny, Peter reveals his silly game. The boy tells his father about the secret fantasies he had, was imagining finding a treasure and that the penny was gold so he could buy his father a machine to help him finish work early and enjoy time together in a big automobile they could drive to town. Peter’s father finally begins to empathize...