Packer, is an account of a young boy, Spurgeon, who is in continuous conflict with his father, Ray, who is inappreciative and indifferent toward the physical and emotional needs of his son. Spurgeon is a college student, and is…
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Ray has to sell his Black Panthers on the March, so Spurgeon accompanies him against his will. There, he listens to a boy speaking about freedom. He learns that he should have to shed the ant of his self, that blind, crumb-seeking part of himself that is keeping him from achieving his dreams. But, he is confused because he has the burden of his father on his shoulders which he cannot throw away because of his dreams.
The author has used remarkable descriptive language to describe the conflict the father and son. There are metaphors in a myriad of places. Consider these lines: “Freedom is attained only when the ant of the self – that small, blind, crumb-seeking part of ourselves – casts off slavery and its legacy, becoming a huge brave ox” (Packer). The ant of the self personifies the self of the man, which keeps him a slave unless he sheds all his fears. We can also take it like this: Spurgeon, like an ant, keeps on trying to pick up the crumbs of appreciation and likeness from his father who is void of all these things. The reader comes across a tension in the relationship between Ray and Spurgeon. They differ in their class attitudes, as they seem to be belonging to invisible, mind-created, different economic backgrounds. These lines are a proof of this: “When most people talk about investing, they mean stocks and bonds and mutual funds. What my father means is his friend Splo’s cockfighting arena…” (Packer). The language used is ironic, and uses insulting words like “pussy” when the author wants to describe how the father talks to his son.
It was very exciting for me to come across the tension that was there between the father and son. Generally, this bond is based on love, respect and support. But here, I read about the contrasting personalities. The most threatening issue that tore the relationship apart was that both of them had totally contrasting psyches. They did not get along
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