A Father Figure In Hugh Garner's Short Story, The Father

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“That anyone could father a child, but a real man chooses to be a dad,” - J. Sterling.
Hugh Garner’s short story, ‘The Father’, can closely relate to this quote with the protagonist John Purcell who chooses to dismay his fatherly duties of relating to and taking care of his only child, Johnny, and instead pursues in his drinking habit which has destroyed his home and social life. A father figure is an important aspect of every child’s life, and without one people can often be left emotionally unstable and damaged. In the case of the short story, ‘The Father’, Johnny is without a father figure in his life, and when his father tries to be one he ends up embarrassing and disgracing him in front of all of his friends and fellow scouts. John tries
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Johnny has been so traumatized by his father’s selfish ways that he was too afraid to ask his father for the full scout uniform after his father had bought him hockey pads and a rifle the last Christmas. John didn’t like spending money on Johnny and John was scared to ask him to in fear that he would aggravate his father and cause him to get angry at him. John’s second most straightforward example of selfishness is how he worries that the scoutmasters will think that he’s “too cheap” to buy Johnny a Scout uniform. John constantly tries to make a good impression on other people think rather than trying to make a good impression on his son and strengthen the relationship to the former glory it once was. Lastly, John shows the epitome of selfishness by getting drunk at his son’s scout meeting despite being fully aware of how much the meeting means to the boy. John lets his selfishness overcome his will to regain their relationship and decides to become intoxicated and embarrass the boy, ruining any chance they had of regaining their

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