The Man Who Finds Out That His Son Has Become a Theif - Poetry Analysis

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Betrayed is what you would feel if you have been lied to by your own flesh and blood. The poem “The Man Who Finds That His Son Has Become a Thief” by Raymond Souster, depicts a father's emotions as he is told that his son is a thief. The father feels a various amount of emotions surging in him, ranging from anger, guilt and embarrassment, hurt and finally sorrow.

In the beginning, the father first displays his anger. The father who believes his son to be an honest boy, he is “Coming into the store at first angry” (line 1) as he is outraged by the fact that his son was being accused of stealing. He curses everyone who dares call his son a thief because he believes his son cannot do anything wrong or sinful. He would soon realize that he does not know his son as well as he thinks he does.

Soon after, the father shows embarrassment for making a scene and the guilt he feels in his son as the evidence slowly unveils itself. The father had defended his son but the truth which had the “unmistakable odour of guilt, which seeps now into the mind and lays its poison” (line 11-12), could not be hidden and was shown in all its hideous glory. His embarrassment started to creep over as his defence for his son had been shattered.

Finally, the father wants to run away from the truth as he now feels the sorrow and hurtfulness that has befallen him. He cannot take on this pain now that's as if “an unseen hand had slapped him in the face For no reason whatsoever” (line 14-15), and left a wound in his heart, made by his very own son who is now a complete stranger to him. The father wants to escape the eyes of the people who have seen his son for what he is and tries to hide from the gazes of the strangers.

Thus, the father has felt his anger rise, the guilt and embarrassment of being disproved, and the hurt and sorrow given from his son. Feeling all these emotions in one go has led the father learning that his son has become a thief.
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