The Generation Gap

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Essay
The Generation Gap
The text represents an extract from the novel “Wheels” by Arthur Haily. The extract belongs to the belles-lettres style. The text looks at the relationship between Matt Zaleski and his daughter Barbara. The main theme of the extract is the generation gap. The author managed to reveal the inner corners of the characters’ soul through the description of their attitude to each other, their behaviour and outlook. At the very beginning Haily makes use of the epithet “the lonely weekend”. But in fact the word “lonely” refers to Matt because the weekend is the time to enjoy being with the family but his daughter “is away somewhere”. We can jump into conclusion that Matt and Barbara don’t mix a lot, as daughters and fathers usually do. Matt is just in the dark where the girl is (“somewhere”). As the author puts it the man “has to fend for himself”. The word “has” should be stressed - Matt doesn’t actually want to do it but there is no way out. To his mind life is too hard on him and he is a victim. The man looks back on the good old days when his wife was alive and they led a happy life. Matt is sulky and irritated because his daughter doesn’t care for him. And it’s behind him to understand that Barbara isn’t a little girl any longer. Matt thinks that she is all about her own life and work is regarded by her “as equally important with her father’s.” Matt wants to be taken under his daughter’s wing. In the text we come across with the man’s take on women’s business. He wants his daughter, as any ordinary woman, to keep house but Barbara can’t do it because she’s very busy. The girl is sure that they need a housekeeper but Matt doesn’t want to meet her halfway. On the one hand I came to realize that Matt is a selfish person. It is he who doesn’t put his daughter interests first. But on the other hand Barbara is a fine one. She is stubborn and inflexible. She always stands her ground. The girl should be more tolerate...
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