Under the Influence

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Name: Della Gregoire
Instructor: Father Rossi
Semester: spring 2013
Course: Journal writing
Date: March, 21st 2013
“Under the Influence”
By Scott Russell Sanders
In the essay "Under the Influence," Scott Russell Sanders speaks of his father heavy drinking of alcohol. He starts by saying “my father drank. I used the past tense not because he ever quit drinking but because he quit living.” (pg1) The memory of his father compulsive drinking did not just affect just Mr. Sanders but his brother, sister, as well as his mother. The story continues as long as memories hold. He remembers clearly as a child sneaking into the garage or barn an witnessing his father drinking from flat green bottles of wine, brown whiskey bottles, and can of beers disguised in brown paper bags. Mr. Sanders continue by saying it was very easy to determine when his father was under the influence of alcohol and when he was sober. He would be dishonest and abusive (verbally). He would hide the bottle or can in his jacket and acted normal. He would try to be sarcastic and say things like “What’s up body?” he says, thick-tongued and edgy. “Sky’s up,” I answer playing along.

“And don’t forget prices,” he grumbles. “Prices are always up. And taxes.”(pg1) Sander recall his dad’s several accidents be it with his white 1951 Pontiac, or the Robin egg blue pickup, or is it the 1963 Rambler, or the 1956 station wagon or is it the 1969 Bonneville. He always seems to interrupt our games as walks unbalanced towards the house. He then throws himself into his over stuffed chair and sleep. “Shaking her head mother stubs out the cigarette he has left smoldering in the ashtray.” My siblings and I tiptoe pass him all night before our bedtime and hear him snore loudly. We were very fearful while lying in bed; we can hear the arguments between our parents. Mother is yelling and he is growling. Mother returned to their room, mourning because of...
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