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Date) Similar Qualities and Circumstances between Melanie Ballinger in Richard Bauschs Arent You Happy For Me and the Unnamed Narrator in Nurrudin Farahs My Father, The Englishman, and I - Essay Example

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Family problems seem to be a consequence of the psychological issues and challenges that revolve around each family member and how hard it is to deal with them. In most families with problems, the most unfortunate thing is that although the parents are the ones with personal issues, it is the children who suffer from these. …
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Date) Similar Qualities and Circumstances between Melanie Ballinger in Richard Bauschs Arent You Happy For Me and the Unnamed Narrator in Nurrudin Farahs My Father, The Englishman, and I
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"Date) Similar Qualities and Circumstances between Melanie Ballinger in Richard Bauschs Arent You Happy For Me and the Unnamed Narrator in Nurrudin Farahs My Father, The Englishman, and I"

Download file to see previous pages In most families with problems, the most unfortunate thing is that although the parents are the ones with personal issues, it is the children who suffer from these. Both Melanie Ballinger in Richard Bausch’s “Aren’t You Happy For Me?” and the Unnamed Narrator in Nurrudin Farah’s “My Father, The Englishman, and I” share similar qualities and circumstances in the face of family conflicts. In both stories, each child defies his or her parent’s authority. In “Aren’t You Happy For Me?”, Melanie Ballinger defies her father when she decides to get married with William Coombes, a literature professor who is forty years older than she is and even nineteen years older than her own father. It seems obvious that Melanie knows that her father would be very upset because she employs several delaying tactics before she tells her father how old her fiance is. This means that she knows that he would be hurt. Nevertheless, the reason why she has still bothered to tell him about it is only out of “family courtesy,” which she really tries to emphasize at the end of the story (Bausch). It also seems that Melanie does not trust her own father and this could be the reason for her defiance of his authority. In fact, she shows this distrust when after her father asks her to let William talk to him, she immediately asks him, “Do you promise not to yell at him?” (Bausch). This is clearly a sign that Melanie does not trust her own father and perhaps this is the reason that she challenges his authority. Perhaps, the ultimate sign that she does not respect her father’s authority anymore is when she tells him, “I would’ve been better than you were, Daddy, no matter how hard it was” and “If it wasn’t for Mom, we wouldn’t be [coming over for a visit]” (Bausch). Both these lines imply that Melanie does not anymore respect her father’s authority and she would even consider she and her mother to be greater than him in authority. The unnamed narrator in “My Father, The Englishman, and I” actually shows the same defiance of authority but he directs it towards his own father at first, and later on towards his own mother. At first, the narrator’s mother as well as the narrator himself would both hate his father’s kowtowing to the Englishman. Moreover, the narrator would find it ironic that his father would be “kindness itself to non-family [but] temperamental with his dependents” (Farah). Such hatred and temperament is obviously hated by the narrator, and he expresses such hatred, resentment and defiance of his father’s authority by resisting eating the boiled sweets that the Englishman sends along with his father. However, such defiance changes in the second half of the story, after the narrator’s mother dies, he begins defying her legacy by taking the side of his father and the Englishman. At this point in his life, he accepts a new allegiance as the Englishman “embraced” him (Farah). However, although his mother has died, the narrator regrets that he was not able to do anything to prevent the clan elders from agreeing to the treaty of the English: “Had I been present, or had my mother been consulted, maybe this would not have occurred” (Farah). Although perhaps the narrator has had no choice but to take his father’s side when his mother died, deep down maybe he did not want this change to happen. Perhaps, there is some reason why Melanie Ballinger and the unnamed narrator has shown defiance of their parents’ authority, and it could have been because they do not understand their parents. The reason could rather be something deeper. Both characters have parents who are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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