Sunday, March 9, 2008

Fatherhood: An Instruction Manual

The Need for a Strong Patriarchal Society

as Explained by Our Cultural Heritage

By: Michael L. Putnam

"There is the evil father, sometimes depicted as a monster, or as a villain like Darth Vader in Star Wars. If we take Atticus Finch to be the greatest dad, perhaps one of literature’s most vile fathers is Huck Finn’s. Pap harasses Huck for wearing good clothes and going to school. “Starchy clothes – very. You think you’re a good deal of a big-bud, don’t you?” He accuses Huck of trying to act better than his own father. Pap remarks that no one in his family could ever read, and that he certainly does not want his son to be smarter than he is. He demands that Huck read him something, not believing that Huck can, and soon becomes quite furious as he realizes his son’s new found ability. “I’ll lay for you smarty; and if I catch you about that school I’ll tan you good…. I never seen such a son.” He makes Huck hand over the dollar that Judge Thatcher "paid" him and then climbs out the window to go drinking in the town. Later in the story, pap and Huck exchange words again: “[Pap] said he’d cowhide me till I was black and blue if I didn’t raise some money for him. I borrowed three dollars… and pap took it and got drunk, and went… cussing… and carrying on… then they jailed him… and had him before court, and jailed him again for a week.”"

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