Irresponsibility And An Unemployed Man Essay

1060 words - 5 pages

“Richard Black’s Romance,” a short story from Randy Hendrick’s The Twelfth Year and Other Times, depicts Richard, an unemployed married father who finds meaningless tasks to carry out from day to day. Every day, he spends much of his time watching television. As television aids Richard into adapting to his new life as an unemployed man, the television introduces the ideas of how selfish, irresponsible, and lazy Richard really is.
For Richard Black, the television diminishes his abilities to maintain hope in searching for another job. Ideally, men are expected to work and be the authoritative figure in their household. In the short story, Richard proves to be the exact opposite. Instead of ...view middle of the document...

He wants to make his actions seem as if there is absolutely nothing wrong. He is in complete denial. He refuses to accept the fact that his unemployed life is completely unacceptable.
Black spends his days relaxing and watching television while his wife, Mary Ann, works hard to keep their life as normal as possible. Mary Ann has to carry the burden of paying all the bills, while Richard selfishly decides to spend his money on miscellaneous items such as pizza and a sandbox for his daughter, when he should have saved the money or put it to better use. As previously stated, for generations, men are automatically expected to be the sole provider of the household. Women are assumed to stay at home and take care of their children. Socially, the gender roles are completely reversed. It is not traditional for the man of the house to be at home watching television while his wife is at work, providing a living for her entire family. Mary Ann is found in the bathroom, crying, because she cannot figure out how she is going to be able to continue to provide for the family on her on. Richard procrastinates, saying that he is going to get “serious about finding a job”. He knew that it is too much for his wife to handle by herself, but he could not manage to actually search for a new source of unemployment.
Mary Ann and Richard lack shared hopes and dreams. Mary Ann dreams of having enough money so that they will be fiscally fine not only today, but for the future to come. She wants to have enough money to send her children to college, and give them a bright future. Mary Ann is constantly planning for the future, and worrying about the days ahead. She dreams of seeing her children becoming successful and believes that it is only possible if her kids receive college degrees. Richard feels the exact opposite. He feels that there is no reasonable use of receiving a college degree. He discourages the fact that his children should go to college and believes that there is no point in going to college because...

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