The Breadwinner Essay

410 WordsMar 15, 20132 Pages
The breadwinner by Leslie Halward is a short story that explores the theme of the struggle for a young man called Billy to establish his own values. Billy faces the issues of poverty and domestic violence with both parents being unemployed and also having a drunk and abusive father. The story took place in a small mining village in England. Billy’s parents were waiting for him to come home with his first week’s wages and they were arguing about whom Billy should give the money to. The father wants to spend money to go to the nearest public house. On the other hand, the mother wants to buy some food and pay the rent of their house. Billy told his father that he had lost his money and his father beat him "unmercifully". At the end of the story Billy hand the money to her mother which was a surprise ending. The character who aroused my emotions the most was Billy. I felt sympathy towards him because he is the only person working. Then he comes in, gets a beaten and sent to bed with no food. Billy decides that his loyalty to his mother is greater than his fear of his father. As a consequence of this he tells his father that he lost the money. The father belts the boy with "...a wide, thick belt with a heavy brass buckle..." but Billy "did not cry out" in front of his father. Through the boy's struggle his values have been recognized. He understands that caring for his mother is important and that alcohol affects the family. Also he was a clever boy who made a good excuse to not give the money to his father. The second character who aroused my emotions was Billy's mother. I also felt sympathy and respect towards her as she stood up to her husband and has to put up with him. The mother tries to prevent the father from using the money at the public house, “You’ll keep your hands off the money..." to no avail. She was also worried about her son and “frequently

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