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A Conversation with My Father

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By wewahunter8
Words 1038
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Bailey 1 Hunter Bailey Professor Barbara Austin ENC 1102 12 February 2014

Character Builds You Character; a person’s moral values of honesty, courage, integrity, or values. While one person may look as an individual's character being built of what they wear, or where they live, who their parents are, or even what school they go to, all these are wrong. In the story “A Conversation with My Father” by Grace Paley, the narrator is telling an instance of when she visits her eighty­six­year­old father and tells him a story about a drug addicted mother and her son and how no matter what, an individual can turn their life around and make the best out of any situation or tragedy. While using the time to connect with her father in her final days, Paley uses the characters to tell a story on a morality of a person’s character that is reflected by their experiences in life. After reading this story, I completely agree with the daughters statement that, “... it’s not necessarily the end…” (Paley 417) The author adds at the end of the story that “Of course her son never came home again, she did change.” (Paley 417) This is the type of quote that I, as a person of believing “everything happens for a reason”, try to live by. The son in this story may have never came back home to his mother, she made the decision to pick herself up off the couch and make something of herself and her life. While people may think that just because a rough spot in someone’s life comes up, it is time to give up. That is totally wrong in every retrospect of life. On a person’s journey through life, one will experience many different scenarios and hardships

Bailey 2 that will take a toll on their ways of thinking and views. Waking up each day, that person will never know what will hit them on their daily routine. Whether it be a paper that is due by the end of the day, or a semi truck that wasn’t seen before moving on from a stop sign that swept every bit of life out from under you in a split second. Unfortunately, this was the occurrence that woke my friends and I up from the daily routine of May 7, 2013 of our Junior year when we were called out of Trigonometry, the eleventh grade math class, to only be told one of our closest friends didn’t stay home sick that day, but had been killed in a car accident. Ryan Christopher Flowers, age 17, of Kinard, FL was at the intersection of Highway 71 and Highway 392 where he would have made a left turn to head to school just like on any other normal day; this did not turn out to be any other normal day. Not seeing the red semi­log truck headed his way, Ryan proceeded out into the road making his turn when he was hit blindside on the driver side of his green Ford. It is occurences like this day in an individual’s life that makes you stop completely and look at life differently and cherish your time with one another more. It is occurences like this that makes a man cherish life more than ever because it can completely change a person not only emotionally, but mentally as well. This day still plays over and over in my dreams and ever since then, people will still tell you that I am not who I used to be. Character, how a person acts or is perceived around others in a social setting. In the story, Paley conveys the daughter as a caring, yet optimistic person that may judge someone else, but believes that they have the power to change their life. As the daughter tells the story of the mother who changed her lifestyle completely just to fit in and be able to connect with her son, the narrator looks at the two as junkies. People who will never amount to anything in their life. When the son moves away though to start his own life as a writer for a newspaper article, the mother feels lost. She no longer has her “best

Bailey 3 friend” that she has to please and act like just to get the mother­son connection in her life. Now, she does not have anybody. The daughter wraps the story up by telling her father that the junkie of a mother wept and stayed home just reading and rereading the issues of Oh! Golden Horse! that she had received. Ending the story like this, the father seems irate that the daughter would even have the nerve to end a story like that. The father is lead to believe that the mother has now wasted her life trying to “live in a time of fools” (Paley 417). Yet, this is when the daughter cuts him off and says that “It is not necessarily the end, Pa” (Paley 417). That is the main statement where I gathered my argument of: When life hits a bad spot, it isn’t time to give up. That’s when a person must just make changes in their new lifestyle to stand back up and keep going! The dad thinks that now that the woman’s son is gone, so is her life. Wrong. When Ryan was killed back in May of last year, it was hard for a lot of people. Although many struggled with the pain of his loss, I looked behind the scenes of Ryan’s life into his parents. That is who I saw struggle with the pain the most. Chris and Lori Flowers were always the comforters of rough times and the helpers of needy people, then the roles switched and they were the ones who needed the help. Just remember that no matter what life throws your way, always plant your feet even deeper in the ground and come back up swinging with all your might. You will make it through this time, I promise. It will never be “The End”.

Bailey 4

Works Cited:

Paley, Grace. A Conversation with My Father. Fourth. Tallahassee: Pearson, 2011. 414­417. Print.

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