Discovery of a Father

In “Discovery of a Father” by Sherwood Anderson and “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayes, Sherwood and the speaker both do not approve of their fathers’ actions but begin to appreciate them later on. In the beginning as young boys, both of the sons are lacking the appreciation for their fathers. In “Discovery of a Father”, Sherwood does not like the fact that his father is a storyteller and how his father would lie about his nationality and take someone else’s as his own. For example, Sherwood recalls, “If an Irishman came to our house, right away father would say he was Irish. If it was a Scotchman the same thing happened” (5).

Sherwood’s father is also a joker and someone who is absent for long periods of time in their family’s life which Sherwood also dislikes. Sherwood also can not understand how his mother could tolerate it. Similar to Sherwood, the speaker reveals his father’s unlikeable traits. The speaker does not like the fact that his father has an unlikeable temper. He expresses how his father’s temper is caused by his long hours at work and the lack of thankfulness. The speaker spends his boyhood “fearing the chronic angers of the house” (Hayes 9). So soon each son comes to know that his father actually does love him.

Although this dislike for both Sherwood’s and the speaker’s father’s actions occur, they also both experience a paradigm shift when they realize that they have some type of reason to New 2 love their fathers; because their fathers love them. Sherwood’s father demonstrates such love when he takes him swimming in the pond which gives them a chance to connect with one another. Sherwood recalls that “it was a feeling of closeness…It was as though there were only we two in the world” (Anderson 8). Ironically, Sherwood’s father is usually very playful and energized but during that night he becomes completely serious and silent.

Then Sherwood relates to his father when he notices that not only his father is a storyteller but he himself is as well. On the other hand, the speaker discovers his father’s love when he is older when he remembers when his father displayed a few acts of kindness to him when the speaker says, “had driven out the cold/and polished my good shoes well” (Hayden11-12). Therefore the sons in both “Discovery of a Father’ and “Those Winter Sundays” each have their eyes open to a love that they thought was not there but always was.

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