I Never Sang for My Father

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“It is much easier to become a father than to be one.” — Kent Nerburn Being a true father is never an easy task. As for Tom Garrison, a dynamic character in the play I Never Sang for My Father by Robert Anderson, his traumatic childhood memory of being abandoned has made it even more difficult for him to be a good father for his children. Those painful memories did turn him into a strong, remarkable man, but they also made him become a self­centered person and a pathetic, unloving father. Steel that has gone through the hottest fire is the strongest one. Likewise, the hardships Tom had to endure as a child toughened his soul and sharpened his mind. Abandoned by his alcoholic father, Tom lived in “a miserable two­room tenement” (Anderson 650) with his mom and siblings. The situation went from bad to worse when his mother passed away, leaving her little children uncared for. Tom, who was just 10 years old at that time, forced himself to overcome grief and to hold himself together for the sake of his siblings. He even shoved his father off in the funeral of his mother and worked arduously to fend for his family. While other children at his age are enjoying their lives, he had to sell newspaper five hours a day, and at night he dances a jig in saloons for pennies (Anderson 674). Despite having a gruesome childhood, Tom grew up into a successful and well­respected man. His determination and will of iron helps Tom [him] go through his horrendous past, accomplish more than anyone would expect, and lead the life he had always craved. His wife, Margaret, also compliments him: “He’s a remarkable man,” and “Everything he’s done, he’s done for his family” (Anderson 644). However,

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