Over The River And Through The Wood

800 words - 3 pages

In "Over the River and through the Wood" by John O'Hara, a widowed man's family is unhappy with him because of his unchaste past. Mr. Winfield is taking the first step to better his relationship with his family by making a trip to his daughter's house for the first time in 15 years. His youthful and immoral past makes it difficult for him to earn respect from his family.When Mr. Winfield is in the car with Sheila and her two friends, he is on his best behavior. Sheila and her friends disregard Mr. Winfeld and barely acknowledge his presence. Miss Farnsworth looks at Mr. Winfield as he gets in the car " almost as though she were making a point of not helping him". There is obvious tension between him and Sheila because Mr. Winfield speaks scarcely and is making every effort to not upset her. When he cannot get the window crank started, he offers Sheila "shamed apologies". When Mr. Winfield slips on the driveway, rather than being concerned about his well being, Sheila and her friends are worried that her mother, Mary, will see and think they are responsible for his fall. This shows that Sheila does not truly care or love her grandfather. Mary's maid, Ula, does not even pretend to like Mr. Winfield. When she first sets eyes on him she says " Ugh. Oh. It's you". Mr. Winfield and his daughter exchange a "travesty of a kiss they both knew so well". If a father and daughter must fake the joy they get out of kissing, there is no real love between them. Mr. Winfield clearly does not have a good relationship with any characters in the story.Sheila offers Mr. Winfield tea, hot chocolate, and coffee to warm him up rather than an alcoholic beverage. She comments, "you could have a drink if you wanted it, but you're on the wagon", implying that he is a former alcoholic.Mr. Winfield recollects his son-in-law offering to buy his house. Mr. Winfield sold it to him in order to get himself out of debt and have a source of income. His son-in-law also offered to give Mr. Winfield a job that might have it fixed so that he could go to London, where his mistress resided. This shows that Mr. Winfield was too irresponsible to take care of his own financial...

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