Why the Relationship Between John and His Son Johnny Has Failed

Topics: Shame, Embarrassment Pages: 10 (1693 words) Published: May 8, 2013
Crying. Not doing well in school. How did it all happen…at whose fault? Why

has the relationship failed! In “ The Father” by Hugh Garner, John has failed his job as a

father to his son, Johnny. John has completely responsible for the failure of his

relationship with his son, due to his selfishness, drunken behaviour, and general

irresponsibility, in raising his son. John does not care about Johnny, and does not take

position, for a role model towards his son.

Being selfish can be a good thing at times, but it can also create an emotional

barrier between others, causing a failure of relationship. John always cares about his

status, and for him not to look bad in front of others. John’s selfishness results in him not

caring about anyone else, but himself. John is always aware of what people might think of

him: “‘God knows what the neighbours must think of me,’” (p67) he says, when his wife

tells him that Johnny is afraid to ask him to go to the banquet. In general, a parent would

have talked with their child, of why they were afraid, but no…not John! In a way, Johnny

might have been afraid to ask his father, because his father never goes anywhere with

him. In the same fashion, John tells his wife, “‘I don’t want these goons down at the

church thinking I’m too cheap to buy him one’” (p66) about Johnny’s uniform. Again, in

a sense, he doesn’t want to look poor, or like he can’t afford the uniform. He’s so worried

of what others might think of him. Not to mention what he does at the principal’s office.

At the meeting “ the principal intimate[s] that the boys slowness might be caused by

tensions at home, but this he vehemently denie[s] ”(p66). By the discussion of tensions at

home, John denies it so he would not be blamed. He also doesn’t want to give the

illusion to the principal, that he’s a bad parent. But not only that, he didn’t even think

about his son. He never thinks of the condition Johnny is in, and back him up. Overall,

John has an extreme importance of him not to look bad. Even if it means to forget your

own family. John’s selfishness has led Johnny to be afraid of his father.

Drinking brings sense of enjoyment, but no one knows the hidden reasons that are

proceeded behind it. In a case, John drinks to hide his feelings, but his drunken behaviour

leads to inappropriate and embarrassing actions which severely impacts his son. First of

all, John is going to the church drunk, when he thinks that “ he knew it was only a fuzzy

sentimentally brought on by what he drunk” (p68). Nevertheless, he also drinks during

the banquet. He was really drunk! That is when all the drama starts. When Johnny wins

the award, John is proud, so he “ grasps the boys hand, and facing the audience, [holds] it

aloft like a referee, signifying the winner of a box out”(p75). That is too much for Johnny,

he is ashamed. At the fast that his father his drunk, Johnny is embarrassed by his actions.

But of course, that isn’t all. When John walks back after giving his son the award, “ he

turn[s] around [ the tables] end, stagger[s] slightly, and [falls] against it, pushing the

planks askew…” (p75). John should have taken that seriously, however he makes the

whole thing into a joke. On the other hand, Johnny was disappointed. John’s drunkenness

may have brought laughter to him, but not to Johnny.

Drinking can not only hurt one, but it can highly effect others as well. Due to

Johnny’s fathers drunk behaviour, Johnny is upset, disappointed, and totally ashamed,

causing him to lead his father away from others, and not be seen with him. Throughout

the banquet, “ Johnny hardly [speaks] to [ his father] at all, but attache[s] himself

conversationally to a boy sitting on the other side of him” (p75). For Johnny the fact that

his father never talks to him, has let him down, resulting...
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