Sarah Vowell – Shooting Dad
On the surface of “Shooting Dad”, author Sarah Vowell offers a reminiscent look at the vast differences between her personality and that of her gunsmith father. “Dad and I started bickering in earnest when I was fourteen, after the 1984 Democratic National Convention.” (Page 171). As the essay progresses, the subtle commonalities become more apparent. Vowell’s evocative recount of how she came to realize that she and her father had more in common than she’d always believed is a story that readers can relate to. Vowell’s “Shooting Dad” is a triumphant example of the challenging transition into adulthood from the rebellion and conflict of adolescence. In the simplest of terms, Wiki defines generation gap as: A difference in values and attitudes between one generation and another, especially between young people and their parents. Supposing that the reader has experienced or is currently experiencing adolescence, an individual might understand the author’s plight. A struggle for individualism is often masked by resistance to all things ‘parental’. The essay is written from the standpoint of a young adult reflecting on her childhood; who like the majority of young adults – finds nothing in common with her father. Vowell defiant personality is clear, “Our house was partitioned off into territories.” (Page 172). A stand is often taken by teenagers against their parents. However, Vowell’s description of her father’s shop, although seemingly in disgust, is lovingly depicted by using distinctive words that almost appeared optimistic. While it is obvious that Vowell’s personality collides with the character of her father, her sense of humor draws on a tongue in cheek approach to pointing out that although they are different, they were always alike. “All he ever cared about were guns” and “All I ever cared about was art” suggests Vowell finds a commonality in their differences. Finally, Vowell acknowledges her commonalities...
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