This project was assigned after reading the short story “Father and Son,” written by Bernard MacLaverty. The story is about the tragedy that happened to a family which occurred mostly because of the miscommunication between the father and the son. The story takes place at a house in Ireland, during the IRA campaign. In 1969 to 1997, IRA was an army conducted by some of the Irish people who wanted to end the British ruling in Northern Ireland. The story reflects the background as the family gets affected by the violent society. In this project, the story is summarized into eight plot points, and each point has a quote and a photo that further explains it.
Quote: “This is my son who let me down…when he sees me he turns away. A heave of bedclothes in his wake” (MacLaverty 165).
Explanation: This quote shows the exposition of the story. It introduces the characters by describing how the father thinks of his son. It also tells the reader about the physical setting. It informs the reader that the son is in the bed which implies that they are at home.
2) Initiating Incident:
Quote: “I want you to talk to me the way I hear you talk to people at the door. I want to hear you laugh with me like you used to” (MacLaverty 166).
Explanation: This quote shows the initiating incident because the reader is introduced to the conflict. The conflict is the disconnection between the father and the son. The dad wants to talk to his son like he used to, instead of arguing with him during the infrequent times that they talk to each other. Their conflict is due to miscommunication.
3) Rising Action :
“Then on the radio, I hear he is dead. They give out his description. I drink milk. I cry” (MacLaverty 167).
Explanation: The father never knows where his son is. Therefore, he always worry that his son will die while he is out, because of a previous incident. The quote adds suspense to the short story and is foreshadowing what is going to happen later on in the story.
4) Rising Action
Quote: “The door swings open and he pushes a hand-gun beneath the pillow” (MacLaverty 169).
Explanation: From this quote, we are told that the son has a gun under his pillow. This builds up a lot of suspense in the story because as a reader we now know that something bad might happen. Building up suspense is what the rising action is for.
5) Rising Action
Quote : “There is a ring at the door. The boy answers it, his shirt-tail out. Voices in the hallway” (MacLaverty 169).
Explanation : At ten o’clock, when the news begins, the father hears his son talking to someone at the door. This part of the story builds up the tension as the readers don’t know what would happen with the son and the visitor.
Quote: “My son is lying on the floor, his head on the bottom stairs, his feet on the threshold” (MacLaverty 169).
Explanation: The father runs to the door as he hears a sound of a bang. Then, he sees his son lying on the floor. From this, readers can assume that the son is dead or badly injured. The quote above represents the climax because the conflict has somehow been resolved. The conflict of this story is the disconnection between the father and the son. Now as the son passed away, one may think that the conflict is resolved in the most tragic way. Also, this quote represents the climax, because this part of the story is the highest point of interest as death has occurred.
7) Falling Action
Quote: “I take my son’s limp head in my hands and see a hole in his nose that should not be there” (MacLaverty 169).
Explanation: Falling action is when all the loose ends tie up. This quote gives the reader a further information of the situation. The father finds a hole in his son’s nose and that explains that the son got shot.
Quote: “My son, let me put my arms around you” (MacLaverty 169).
Explanation: This is the final act in this short story. The father gets to hold his son which he hasn’t done for a long time. This is the denouement of the story, because it shows the last moment of the relationship between the father and the son.