Love of a Father
Love is the most important factor in a family relationship as it strengthens the bonds between family members. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, a well-known bible passage, talks about love. “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (ESV, 1 Cor. 13:4-7). This passage states that love is patient, it is not arrogant, it does not enforce it ways on people, and it believes in all things. However, Shepperd, Norton’s father, does not show any aspects of love to his own son.
Shepperd does not show love to Norton at all, until the end of the story. Norton needs his father to be with him and comfort him during the times he misses his mother, who passed away some time in the past. He protects her memories and respects her things, unlike her father or Rufus. For example, Rufus, having no respect for Norton’s mother’s belongings, picks up her comb and uses it. This causes Norton to exclaim, “Leave her comb alone!” (O’Conner 605) and yell “Take your big fat dirty hands off my mother’s clothes!” (606). Norton shows his compassion for his mother, even though she is not there for him anymore, and he is willing to protect her and his memory of her. Shepperd does not share the same feelings of Norton. It seems as Shepperd has completely forgot about his past wife. He shows no remorse when he is reminded of her at all, which saddens Norton. When Shepperd goes to his closet, he sees his wife’s coat, which should have caused some flashback of memories that would cause a regular human being to reminisce. However, he is apathetic and just pushes it away. While pushing it, he discovers Norton, hiding within the coat with his face “swollen and pale, with a drugged look of misery on it” (607). Norton misses his mother and decides to go to her old coat to pretend to be in the presence of her. Shepperd just tosses him out and tells him “get out of there” (607). He doesn’t try to comfort his son at all, but goes and asks Rufus to help his son. Norton does need help, but it is not the help Shepperd is giving. Shepperd arrogantly wants to focus on teaching his ten-year-old son how to share with someone like Rufus, who has nothing, while Norton has everything. Shepperd does not show love to Norton at all. He just wants Norton to be busy so he can forget about his mother. However, Shepperd does not realize that if he just comforts Norton in a fatherly way, Norton will be fine.
Instead of focusing on his son, Shepperd mainly focuses on giving a better life to Rufus, and tries to shape Rufus’ life. He gives all the nice...