How Cal Experiences and All the Difficulties He Has to Face Makes You Feel Sympathetic Towards Him

Better Essays
During the novel ‘CAL’ written by Bernard Maclavery that takes place in Northern Ireland. The young Irishman Cal lives with his father Shamie who are both catholics. They live in a town near Belfast in which mainly Protestants live. Cal's mother died when he was 8 years old.Cal faces many hardships and life difficulties throughout. Maclavery uses ways in which we feel the innocence of Cal and that we feel sympathetic towards him.
The book first introduces his relationship with his father. Shamie, who works in the local abattoir. Maclaverty displays the arrogance and stubbornness of Shamie towards the Protestants. Even though he and Cal receive many of letters of threat, he still refuses to move out off the street, even if it does endanger Cal’s safety. This then shows us the bond between Cal and his father. They don’t have a strong bond as they both lead totally different life’s and hardly ever talk. The main time they are together is when Cal makes the dinner and they eat together. After the fire Cal moves out to get away from daily conflicts and threats. Cal does not make allot of effort to get into contact with Shamie allot. Cal has isolated himself very much and couldn’t really speak to his dad as father and son. As time goes by, Shamie becomes mentally ill. Which for anyone would be hard. Maclaverty uses real life situations to connect to people’s emotions. This instantly makes you feel connected to the character and share sympathy towards him. However the relationship with his father is not only one of the many difficulties that Cal faces. His religion puts Cal into many awkward situations. Maclaverty makes it clear to the reader that Cal does not want to be a part of these situations. The writer situates Cal in the all Protestant town to show the isolation that Cal is in. His religion also makes work hard to find. So financially Cal is not very well off. Cal is friends with Crilly who is also a

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    He knew his brother had found him out. And he felt a longing for Aron to love him. He felt lost and hungry and he didn’t know what to do” (Steinbeck 372). The motives behind Cal’s actions are unclear, even to him. As Cal begins to realize that what he craves more than anything is love, the reader can then start to sympathize for Cal. Cal goes to great measures to earn the affection of his family, including things that appear to be vile. The reader most likely considers a wealthy man robbing poor farmers of their money during the war corrupt. Yet when the reader encounters the fact that Cal was only doing this in order to gain his father’s love, there is a certain respect and admiration associated with his behavior. Then as Adam rejects Cal’s thoughtful gift, the reader acquires even more sympathy for Cal because no matter how hard he tries, he never is able to achieve his goal of pleasing his father. The Trasks’ butler, Lee, states when Cal and his brother are just babies, “The…

    • 994 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Throughout the memoir, there are several circumstances the family undergoes; one significant disruption is the deaths of several family members. In the first chapter, McCourt introduces the situation in which his parents meet and were practically forced into marriage. Angela, Frank’s mother, was pregnant and her cousins suggested marrying was the only option so she would not be looked down upon society. McCourt lived in New York with his family, but moved back to their native land, Ireland, shortly after his baby sister, Margaret, passed away and Angela fell into a deep depression. His use of asyndeton creates a run-on list of his struggles such as “…the poverty; the shiftless loquacious alcoholic father; the pious defeated mother moaning by the fire; pompous priests; bullying schoolmasters; the English and the terrible things they did to us [Irish] for eight hundred long years” (11). The readers can visually construct the image of a beaten mother sitting by the fire place…

    • 1012 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In the book, Cal says many times to himself to “Don’t be mean” and that he doesn’t want to be lonely. This leads Cal to say hurtful things to his brother Aron when Cal realizes that he can manipulate his brother, causing him pain and confusion, he uses that to his advantage, even though sometimes he loves his brother Aron, he also envies him for being their father’s favorite son. As the book progresses Cal sees what he thinks is a darkness inside of him and is…

    • 662 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Steinbeck illustrates how Cal’s external locus of control motivates him to rely and conform to the expectations and actions of individuals he has idolized. Cal places the ultimate idolization on his father; he believes his father’s love is the greatest trophy in life. All of Cal’s actions revolve around his father’s acceptance, rather than his own desires. Cal is imprisoned by his father’s expectations and therefore cannot advocate or act for his furtherance. After a conversation between Cal and his father where both Cal and Adam open up, Steinbeck describes how happy Cal feels: “He wanted to serve his father, to give him some great gift, to perform some huge good task in honor of his father” (Steinbeck 457). Steinbeck utilizes the word “serve”…

    • 331 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    When the Trasks and Samuel sit down for dinner, Aron eagerly tells their guest about hares he is raising (an allusion to Abel’s lambs). However, his brother Cal says, “Next year my father is going to let me have an acre in the flat,” (Steinbeck 298) hinting that not only is he following Cain’s footsteps, but also that his father is, perhaps unknowingly, helping him along. Later in the novel, the author will make Adam’s preference for Aron obvious. It is the very foundation of Cal’s inner conflict with himself and with his family, but begs the question if darkness was always a part of Cal. These are the themes of nature vs. nurture and fathers and sons subtly written into a boy’s behavior. In contrast, during this period Adam is disinterested in both of his sons, and Cal has no reason to lash out because he does not feel inferior. Cal is written as a relatively normal boy and this chapter gives the reader a window into how he could have been instead of what he became. All of this ties in the themes of family, and how those things shape a human being.…

    • 698 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Melina Marchetta’s novel ‘The Piper’s Son’ explores the idea that love and acceptance means that despite peoples’ flaws we should try and not to condemn them for their past indiscretions. Throughout the novel the themes of belonging and acceptance are demonstrated through the complicated relationships with the three male protagonists Tom, Dominic, and Sam have with the significant people in their lives. This essay will discuss Tom struggle with his drug addiction, Dominic’s abandonment of his family and Sam’s unfaithfulness and their journey for forgiveness and reconciliation.…

    • 1260 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    McCandless had a huge angry towards his father mainly because of his previous marriage. Walt McCandless was not a horrible father; he worked hard for his family and provided for them. McCandless mother worked with her husband as well, as a couple they worked together even though they had their ups and downs they put so much time into their financial needs to keep their family well stabled. Christopher McCandless had his own issues; it is hard for one to believe that just because of the mistake his father made can impact him tremendously. McCandless want on with his journey for two years without contacting his family. It proves that he had psychological problems developed against his family mainly and to the people he was close to but no the strangers he met on the road. The dangerous adventure he faced that ended his life involves the lack of good relationship with his family. As the authors G. L. Forward, Alison Sansom-Livolsi, and Jordanna McGovern have discussed…

    • 2415 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Their family always was pleased and in check with the bills for the first few months when they moved to a new house. Two places where they stayed the longest was Phoenix and Blue Mountain. In both areas Dad found good paying job as miner or electrician in a mine and for the first few months all the family’s needs were full filled according to the writer. However, when dad lost his job, things around the house would go back into chaos and left mom no choice but to teach and this made life better with their needs met again. During these days everyone was happy and the children received presents regularly like a new bicycle. These events were when the most smiles and happiness in kids was shone off. Finally towards the end of the book everyone moved to New York City and from beginning to end in their stay everyone was joyful. However their dad did die and Maureen moved to California after stabbing her mother but order was still there. Jeanette went to an Ivy League college and after graduating she became a journalist which was what she always wanted to be since high school. The author made this time seem very cheerful except when they talked about her parents in the streets. Towards the end the thanksgiving dinner brought the family all together witch it brought forth a conclusion worth reading. The Glass Castle states on the last paragraph “We raised our glasses. I could almost hear Dad chuckling at Mom's comment in the way he always did when he was truly enjoying something.” This showed at the end of all the pain and suffering there was true peace for their family at…

    • 1042 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    All Souls Book Review

    • 990 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Michael Patrick MacDonald lived a frightening life. To turn the book over and read the back cover, one might picture a decidedly idyllic existence. At times frightening, at times splendid, but always full of love. But to open this book is to open the door to Southie's ugly truth, to MacDonald's ugly truth, to take it in for all it's worth, to draw our own conclusions. One boy's hell is another boy's playground. Ma MacDonald is a palm tree in a hurricane, bending and swaying in the violent winds of Southie's interior, even as things are flying at her head, she crouches down to protect her children, to keep them out of harms way. We grew up watching Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow and Peanuts. Michael Patrick MacDonald grew up watching violence, sadness and death.…

    • 990 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Analysis of Caline

    • 1069 Words
    • 5 Pages

    At the beginning of the story, Caline is awakened by a train, which makes a sudden stop not to far from where she is sleeping in a field. The "sudden stopping which had awakened her" physically which because of her curiosity of this event, caused a young man who was an artist on the train, mentally woke her up to who she was inside. By the description in the first paragraph, Caline is a tall dark skinned Acadian teenager. When Caline checked out what was going on, she realized that the people on the train spoke a different language. The language barrier did not seem to matter to Caline, once she noticed the young artist. Even though there was not a word spoken between to two of them, an attraction went pass words alone. It seems as if words were not even necessary. As the "pleasant-faced youngster" began to draw a "motionless" Caline, infatuation begins to blossom between her and the artist. Before she know it, the boy was gone but she "could never feel the same way after that" incident. Her eyes opened to life in a brand new way. It was as if something new was revealed to her in those few moments with the boys even without the use of words. The situation not only made her curious about herself, but an attraction with the boy, which was something brand…

    • 1069 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Baldwin writes “In his outrageously demanding way he loved his children”. The son knows that his father loves him whereas Cal Trask believes his father does not. Both Baldwin and Trask receive understanding of their fathers bitterness once thrust into the real world. They both experience adversity which molds them into what their fathers had become. The thesis of the movie is that you become who you are from the way you are raised in conjunction with real world experiences. You reach an understanding of others behavior once you have been through it…

    • 488 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Chris McCandless

    • 359 Words
    • 2 Pages

    McCandless wanted to live an independent and self-reliant life. As a child, he grew up in a materialistic and dysfunctional family. Although he had a close relationship with his sister, Carine, Chris preferred isolating himself. It was unimaginably difficult for Chris to have a relationship with his father after he had found out about his father’s second family. Chris’s mother, Billie, didn’t have much of a relationship with him either. For Chris, being alone was normal and part of his every day routine. As he got older he wanted more and more to live on his own and be in the wild. Chris and his family would go to the mountains every year to visit which gave Chris this love for nature. He wanted to live in his own Utopia, in the wild.…

    • 359 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    One of the main characters, Connie who is the protagonist of the story. She plays a key role in the central idea of the story with the way she lives so secretive to her family. She is a young teenage girl who lives a double lifestyle. “Everything about her had two sides to it, one for home and one for anywhere that was not home…” While at home she acts as sweet innocent girl who is overly obsessed with the way she looks. When she leaves the house she becomes almost like an adult. Connie no longer acts 15 years old. She now gets joy from all the attention the men give her. Especially older men. Connie is addicted to the attention they give her. Connie’s maturity level along with her sexual appearance she provides, get her into some grave danger with an older man named Arnold Friend. Arnold friend is the antagonist of the story. He is a very strange character. From his odd car to his appearance. Arnold Friend is not so much a “friend” to Connie. In the story Friend plays the role as a man but in deeper meaning, he is really a demonic figure. When he unexpectedly shows up to Connie’s house, his strangeness begins to grow dramatically. Arnold Friend is not some normal person. He comes off as if he has some deeper issues. Although Arnold Friend has a strange appearance and there seems to be something wrong with him, Connie sees a slight interest in him.Friend…

    • 1247 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    “It’s no real pleasure in, life,” concludes “A Good Man is hard to find.” Discuss two O’Connor characters, from different stories, explaining how they show her criticism of modern spiritual despair. Note primarily their similarities.…

    • 562 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    McCourt encourages the reader to reexamine his/her relationships with others through his portrayal of Frankie. Although his father, Malachy, “drinks the dole money” forcing his mother “to beg … and ask for credit” (McCourt 208), Frankie is able to forgive his father and appreciate the positive aspects of Malachy’s character. With the justification that his “father is like the Holy Trinity with three people in him, the one in the morning with the prayer, the one at night with the stories, and the one who does the bad things” (210), the boy enables himself to evaluate the good in his father and ignore the disagreeable aspects of their relationship. As a result, Frankie is able to love his father for the time that they spend together, especially in the mornings…

    • 995 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays