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"The Lion In Winter" By John Goldman.

1057 words - 4 pages

The Lion in WinterParental roles in a child's life are one of the most important things in the world. Without a positive mother and father figure, adolescents can grow up to be chaotic and muddled, which is seen between the three boys in John Goldman's The Lion in Winter. Written in 1968, The Lion in Winter portrays the story of King Henry II and his struggle with his wife and his three sons Richard, Geoffrey, and John. The dire relationship between Henry and his wife Eleanor has many different effects on the three boys in different ways. Richard, Geoffrey, and John's relationships with their parents mold the men they are in the present story.Although Richard is the oldest, he is not the first-born son. Henry and Eleanor had a son who died that was named Henry before they had Richard; but since Richard is now the oldest, he acts as if he was first born. He feels that, because he is the oldest, he must be courageous and heroic. When Richard is doing ordinary things such as jousting, he is out to kill. This is mainly because Henry did not give him much attention, and on the rare occurrence that he did, Henry really did not give him much love. Eleanor states, "Henry hacked you up [emotionally]". Toward the end of the story, Goldman reveals that Richard is gay. One can view this as almost a rebellion against Henry. The lack of love from Henry may have caused Richard to be a homosexual. This truth is first given to Henry by Philip, whom Richard had advanced on years ago: "I learned how much fathers live in sons. A king like you has policy prepared on everything. What's the official line on sodomy? How stands the crown on boys who do with boys?". Henry is more shocked than mad by this and leaves the room with the shameful news. The real shame, however, is Henry's lack of presence in Richards's life. Abandoning Richard from himself as a child, Henry makes Eleanor pretty much raise Richard by herself. Eleanor usually favors Richard and oftentimes reminisces about how things used to be: "I taught you music and dancing and poetry and we were everyday together". However, because Richard spends much of his time with mother, he has developed characteristics similar to hers. His angry, stone-serious personality is clearly reflected on his mother. He says to her in a serious, non-comical tone: "The human parts of you are missing". Although Richard scorns his father for not being in his life, his younger brother Geoffrey has it worse, being neglected by both parents.Geoffrey, being the middle child ever since his brother John was born, has always strived for attention. It is never easy to be the middle child in any family, especially a family of royalty. Geoffrey has to figure this out the hard way, having virtually no parents in his life as a youth. Geoffrey, living with this pain too long, confronts his parents and says: "There is no affection for me here". To most parents this would deeply hurt them and they would probably try to make amends with their child,...

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