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Under The Influence Essay

812 words - 3 pages

Emily LaffertyProfessor SternENG 101-022014 September 19Word Count: 800Under the InfluenceScott Russell Sanders's "Under the Influence" is about a son's perspective of growing up with a father, who was controlled by alcohol. Sanders was only around the age of ten when his father changed into a drunk. Now, his son is around that age, so he wrote this story sparing the heartache and feeling responsible for other's actions. Being a drunk has many effects on the people around you, and Sanders does a respectable job painting an image of those effects.Sanders starts out naming a list of cars that his dad used to own over the years. This made me think, "Why would he have owned so many cars? Did he crash them all? Was he drinking and driving?" Sanders already gets the reader thinking from the first page. Also, in the beginning he uses a strong simile comparing his dad to a dragon. He keeps that simile throughout the story, because he uses it later on page 103. This goes to show that Sanders's writing is cohesive and well thought out. He then talks about when he was little and used to blame himself. "He would not hide the green bottles in his tool box, would not sneak off to the barn with a lump under his coat, would not fall asleep in the daylight, would not roar and fume, would not drink himself to death, if only I were perfect. (101)" Sanders kept thinking to himself "I have failed him. (101)" This is powerful coming from such a young child. Why should a ten year old boy blame himself for his father's irresponsible actions? This is a vast point that alcohol can have a huge effect on family.Many people do not recognize the dangers of the use of alcohol. Jokes, cartoons, plays, films, and television shows often resemble the drunk as the comic relief. By doing this, individuals may think that drinking alcohol is not a big deal. Sanders discusses certain cases where alcohol may seem like all "great fun." He talks about getting drunk and burping, singing, using a lampshade as a hat, and walking into a stranger's house, thinking it was their own. In cases like these, it may be comical at first, but it won't be when that person becomes infatuated with alcohol and continues to do things without thinking. Like Sanders's father, when drinking, someone can be...

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