This assignment is based off the tragic short story, “Father and Son,” by Bernard MacLaverty. The story is based on the conflict between the father and his son. It most likely took place in the 70s-80’s, Ireland during the IRA campaign. The relationship between the two is shown through both character’s perspectives. In this project, the story is simplified with the main plot points, and they are explained through photos and explanations. Their toxic relationship eventually leads them to a unfortunate ending.
“I know that in a few minutes he will come into look at me sleeping” (165).
This quote shows the doubt that the father has against his son throught the short story. In the son’s point of view, it reveals that his father comes to his room everyday to check on him and make sure that he’s in his bed and alive. Even though the son resents his father, because of the lack of trust that is shown to him, his father cares deeply for the boy and is giving up his time to make sure that he’s safe from past danger. The exposition introduces the characters and the setting of the story. The reader knows the mood of the story and the two main characters.
2) Rising Action
“My mother is dead but I have another one in her place. He is an old women” (167).
After the son’s mother died he feels like his father abandoned his role as being the man of the house and turned into the mother, because he prays, and weeps for his son like a woman. This quote shows how bitter the son is towards his father because of his word choice, and the reason behind the son becoming rebellious is possibly because of his mothers death and how his father dealt with it. The readers gets to know one of first the conflicts between the two characters that build up tention between them, which is one of the first rising actions.
3) Rising Action
“Look, Da, I have not touched the stuff since I got back. Right?” (168).
In the picture, it shows that the son and father are currently in a heated argument, because the father wants a conversation with his son but the son is trying to avoid it, and uses the excuse of not touching the drugs since the accident that occurred in the past. Every moment that the father and son have a conversation, it always becomes an argument about the son’s health and his whereabouts. In this scene, the readers get to know one of the main reasons as to why the two’s relationship has deflated.
4) Rising Action
“The door swings open and he pushes a hand-gun beneath the pillow” (169).
This quote shows the readers that even if the son says that he is healed and doesn’t do drugs anymore, the gun points out that the situation is about to worsen. Even though the father saw the gun he doesn’t do anything about it, possibly because he is hesitant about confronting him, and getting him mental help or it maybe because he doesn’t want their relationship to worsen. The gun firshadows that there will be a bigger problem to come. It is building up tention towards the climax, which is a rising action.
5) Rising Action
“My son with friends. Talking. What he doesn’t do with me” (169).
In this scene, the father thinks to himself, while listening to his son talk to his friends. He realizes how different his son is around others, and misses the feeling of getting along and bonding with him. It fits the rising action, because suspense is still building up, and the reader isn’t sure of the outcomes of the event.
“My son is lying on the floor, his head on the bottom of the stairs, his feet on the threshold” (169).
When the father hears a loud noise, he runs down to see what happened, and there his son was on the floor, bleeding out. It’s assumed that the son is dead, which is the highest point of interest of the story. The highest point of interest is fitting for the climax of the story, because all the key events have been leading up to the climax through plots that foreshadows the highest point of interest.
7) Falling Action
“I take my son’s limp head in my hands and see a hole in his nose that should not be there” (169).
The father notices a hole in the son’s nose, which shouldn’t be there. The father realizes that it is a gun shot wound, and that he doesn’t have much time left with his son. It is ironic that the father wanted him to stay home, because the son still ends up dying in his own house. This event fits the falling action, because the father is fully understanding the situation, and it clarifies the situation to the readers as well.
“My son let me put my arms around you” (169).
This is the last event of the story, when the father puts his arms around the son for the very last time. The father is having his last moment with his son, and all the hate that has been going on between them has come to an end. Throughout the story of the father’s perspective, he only ever wanted the best for his son, and a better relationship with his son, and the regret of not making an effort is shown when he holds with son before he passes. This scene fits the denouement, because it is the resolution of the story’s plot, where the story’s conflict ends.