The Portrayal of Father to Child Relationship in Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays”

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Marcella
English 10
Period: 5

The portrayal of Father to child Relationship in Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays”

According to photographer and designer Anne Geddes, “Any man can be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad.” Being a father is not a simple task. “Those Winter Sundays” exemplifies how difficult fatherhood could be, and how parent to children affection could be hidden by certain circumstances, such as hard living. Through the poem Robert Hayden shows how the speaker is ashamed in believing that his father did not love him, and how now he understands that love is not only shown by words but also by actions. Robert Hayden uses imagery, symbolism and irony of situation to carry the main message of the poem which is about fatherhood. Imagery is the formation of mental images, figures, or likenesses of things, or of such images collectively (dictionary.com). The reader is given mental pictures about the things that occur in the poem. First, the reader can imagine a father figure waking up early morning to get wood to make the house warm. It is also implied that the father woke up in the darkness and that he is a ward worker from the first stanza. Readers can also imagine the child’s position in the house, how the child respects his father (stanza 2). The next imagery is the father polishing the child’s shoes, which implies that he takes care of his child/family, placing himself second. Through these imageries, the author has illustrated the fatherly love to his child even in hard circumstances. Another major literary device used in this poem is symbolism. Symbolism is an image or a word that represents something beyond the literal meaning. There are four significant symbols in Those Winter Sundays. The first symbol is winter, which symbolizes misery. It could be in the form of death, old age, sorrows, or regrets. In general, winter means unpleasant or hard times. In this poem the word winter describes the overall mood of it, which...
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