Father and Son Waltz What is the difference between love and abuse? While reading “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke it could easily be seen how this poem can be portrayed as abusive opposed to loving. The words and tone of this poem seems hurtful and strong. For example, the son is described to hanging to his father “like death” (Roethke 3). Those words sound really negative, when in reality the son is holding on to his father, while dancing, so he would not fall to the ground.
Even though the father is intoxicated, he still wants to show affection towards the boy. In the last line of the stanza the author says “such waltzing was not easy” (line 4). Even though the boy loves his father, seeing him drunk can’t be easy for him. The denotation meaning of the line is that the boy struggles to walk hand in hand with his father because of the father’s intoxication and unpredictable stumbling. In the poem the word “waltz” is used in the title and throughout the stanzas.
He loves his son and was not deliberately trying to hurt him here it's just that he was drunk and didn't realize he was scaring and hurting the kid. The first couple of lines suggest that they may be dancing, or in this case waltzing it is clear that with the authors word choice there is a sizable difference in the physical build to the boy and his father. “The whiskey on your breath/could make a boy dizzy” (lines 1-2) The way the boy expresses his though about his fathers breathe is shown that this isn’t the first time he has smelled whiskey on his breath,
This leads the reader to believe that the two probably had a strained relationship much of the time due to the alcoholism his father struggles with. But even though this is a problem the small child still “hung on like death: Such waltzing was not easy” (Roethke 501). While the speaker does not approve of his father’s actions he accepts them for what they are. The ‘Waltz’ is a direct symbol of the father and son’s relationship. The next stanza gives the reader insight into the many problems that the father causes in the speaker’s household.
In “Barn Burning,” the author, William Faulkner, composes a wonderful story about a poor boy who lives in anxiety, despair, and fear. He introduces us to Colonel Satoris Snopes, or Sarty, a boy who is mature beyond his years. Due to the harsh circumstances of life, Sarty must choose between justice and his family. At a tender age of ten, Sarty starts to believe his integrity will help him make the right choices. His loyalty to family doesn’t allow for him to understand why he warns the De Spain family at such a young age.
This foreshadowing leads the reader to believe there is more under the surface than what is seen quickly. The speaker’s life with his father is not a pleasant one. This becomes clearer when the speaker admits that the dance “was not easy” (line 5). Despite this, he wants to be with his father and treasures this rare time with him. The mother’s attitude during this dance also sheds light on the family situation.
The tone throughout the poem shows me a boy having a fun moment with his father. The lines “we romped until the pans slid form the kitchen shelf”, “hanging on like death”, or “still clinging to your shirt.” All indicate the boy did not want to leave the papa. If he was scared or hurting he would attempt to get away but line 9, “the hand that held my wrist” shows the boy may not been able to get away even if he wanted to or again the instability of papa’s drinking and the safety of the child to have a better grip on the little boy. The words whisky and waltzing are connotative words as I read the poem. The word whiskey automatically brings up thought of drinking while the word waltzing brings up meaning of dancing.
Jim v Jim: Huck's True Father Huckleberry(Huck) Finn is the protagonist in the novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain. Throughout his adventures Huck develops a great deal by the influence of those around him. His "Pap" Jim Finn and Jim the slave each leave profound, contrasting impressions on a young Huck Finn. Pap had provided Huck with few lessons, mainly material, and was not an ideal father by any stretch of the imagination. On the other hand Jim the slave truly cared for Huck and had helped him look deep inside himself and caused an internal battle between Huck's conscious and heart.
My Papa’s Waltz "My papa's waltz" is a reflection of a childhood experience involving a father. Roethke’s use of diction and details covers the narrator's comply attitudes toward his father, the boy is a little sacred about his father. In the poem "My papa's waltz" Theodore Roethke, the narrator is reflecting on a childhood experience including his father. It appears that the young boy is afraid of his father. The first line says, "the whiskey on your breath/ could make a small boy dizzy"(1-2).
Tyler Evans Margo Williams English 113 September 22, 2011 Haunting Memories in Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz” Theodore Roethke’s Poem “My Papa’s Waltz” is often viewed as a loving relationship between a father and son but when viewed in context it is actually describing the atrocious memories of the relationship the son recalls with his father. Bobby Fong of College Literature states in an article, “Despite its seeming lightness, "My Papa's Waltz" is a poem of terror, all the more terrible because the boy is frightened and hurt by the father, even in play.” (78) The poem begins with an image of a helpless child and a careless, drunken father playing crudely through a house. In the first stanza Roethke states, “The whiskey on your breath could make a small boy dizzy; But I hung on like death such waltzing was not easy. “ (1-4). When alcohol is thought of in a situation such in relation to a father and son, there is immediately a negative vibe.