This project is matching plot points to the short story Father and Son, by Bernard MacLaverty. In the story one can see the conflict between a widower father and his teenage son. There is a no communication between the father and son. This short story is set in Ireland during a time of conflict, which is why the father does not want his son to go out at night. One later finds out the son has had some drug problems in the past and now he hides a gun under his pillow. They used to have a good relationship, but now they hardly speak to one another. This short story ends drastically with the death of the son. He does not die outside as the father predicts, he dies inside of the father’s house. In this project, plot points will be matched with quotes and pictures, to better understand the story.
Quote: “He climbs the stairs and stands breathing through his nose… looking at me” (page #165).
Explanation: This quote introduces the setting.While also introducing the hatred, the son feels towards his father. The reader learns that the father worries about his son and always checks on him before leaving for work and that the son does not sleep, and rather than talking to his father he prefers staying in bed acting as if he is asleep. The setting and the characters are the two main things needed for an exposition.
2) Rising Action
Quote: “No more than pickings for four weeks. Your face is thin. Your fingers, orange with nicotine” (Page #166).
Explanation: One can see the tension is very stiff between the two, the father worries for his son’s life, whereas the son does not care for his life, because he smokes and rarely eats to stay healthy. This is rising action, because conflict starts to occur between the main characters.
3) Rising Action
Quote: “Son you are living on borrowed time” (Page #167).
Explanation: The father reminds the son that not long ago he could have died. This quote is rising action, because it illustrates more conflict between them.
4) Rising Action
Quote: “I had to collect you like a dog” (Page #168).
Explanation: For two years, the father had heard no news of his son, and when he does it is not from his son, but from doctor. The father had to go get him in London. This is rising action, because it furthermore increases the tension and conflict between the main characters.
5) Rising Action
Quote: “The door swings open and he pushes a hand-gun beneath the pillow… Perhaps i did not see what I saw. Maybe I am mistaken ” (Page #169).
Explanation: Here the reader can see a gun, and instantly know that the situation is turning for the worst. However, because of the miscommunication between the father and son, he does not act upon this. The father is very cowardly, he wishes for the son to talk to him, but he does not even talk to the son. This quote is rising action, because it is develops the tension between the father and son.
Quote: “There is a bang… My son lying on the floor, his head on the bottom stair, his feet on the threshold” (Page #169).
Explanation: A gunshot in the house, the son has been murdered right in the entrance of the father’s home. The father did not want for his son to leave the house, because of the dangers, however he was murdered at home, where the father thought it was most safe. This is the climax, because this is what all the conflict has been leading up to, a death.
Quote: “They have punched you and you are not badly hurt. Your nose is bleeding. Something cold at the back of your neck” (Page #169).
Explanation: The father cannot believe his son has just died and tries to make up excuses for all this blood. This can be categorized as falling action, because we are still learning information about the climax.
Quote: “My son, let me put my arms around you” (Page #169).
Explanation: This quote is the father’s last words to his son. He holds his son in his arms. The son leaves this world the same way he entered it, in his father’s arms. This is the denouement, because we get an explanation of the climax and it concludes the story.