A Father's Duty In Those Winter Sundays By Robert Hayden

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A duty, is a word defined in many ways by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. It is commonly used to describe “a moral or legal obligations; the service required under specified conditions; and obligatory tasks, services, or functions that arise from one’s position. It is a word used to speak of the performance of obligations to others in some type of fashion. In Robert Hayden’s, “Those Winter Sundays”, it explains a son’s regret over his inability to honor and truly appreciate his very own father during his upbringing. Throughout the poem, Hayden uses one event to describe the relationship of a father and a son. Within the poem “Those Winter Sundays”, Hayden uses many different emotions such as unconditional love, fear, ungratefulness, hate, and …show more content…
Throughout the poem Hayden looks back into his younger years speaking remorsefully on the inexperienced approach to fully recognize and appreciate a father’s subtle love. In line 14, the word “austere” points to the speaker’s mature realization of that, his father did not perform any loving duty with expectations of receiving any type of gratitude. As a man and a father it is their duty and responsibility to provide, nourish, shelter, and protect their families. In this poem, the speaker uses imagery (vivid words) such as “cracked hands that ached” as a symbol of hard work and also a symbol for pain and discomfort that a man is willing to go through just for his family. Growing up, Hayden was not as appreciative of his father and the amount of work and effort that was put in order to provide for the family. His father would wake up early Sunday mornings just to get wood outside the extremely cold weather to warm up the house in order to provide comfort within the house, and the fact that his father got up on Sundays shows the devotion he put forth into tending to his family. Sadly, not one person acknowledge him, nor thanked him. In line (10-12) “Speaking indifferently to him, who had driven out the cold and polished my good shoes as well” reflects back to Hayden’s feelings towards his …show more content…
The first "What did I know" is a generalization of lacking knowledge and understanding of the self-sacrifice of others. However, "what did I know of love's austere and lonely offices" conveys matures realization of duties one performs willingly and in isolation from loved ones. The young Hayden was young and ignorant and full of hate and fear. Hayden neglected how his father faced the monstrous cold every morning only to foster the comfort of his family. The supplement of the word “lonely” however, adds sadness to the tone and shows seclusion towards his father and how he endured it every day. As a child, Hayden was oblivious and he did not comprehend why his father was the way he was. He believed his father was heartless with a lack of care only because he did not express his love and affection towards his family more solely towards him. He felt as if his father did not love him and for that he became harsh and a bit cruel towards his father only because of a lack of understanding. According to Jeannine Johnson, “The child seems to have dreaded the chilly emotional atmosphere of his home as much as its physical coolness. Though he feared the “chronic angers of that house,” we do not witness any verbal or physical battles between family members. In fact, most of the poem points to a kind of deliberate silence among them. The father never heard words of thanks from his family, and the only conversation in

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