Analysis: All Over But The Shoutin By Rick Bragg

Improved Essays
The relationship between father and son is something complex and fragile. It is generally built from childhood, a very tender point in life, and in some cases the father chooses to shirk his responsibilities rather than be an active presence in their child’s life. This is an incredibly popular topic in all facets of media, and is the subject of “All Over but the Shoutin”, by Rick Bragg. The narrator’s feelings in the piece are quite obviously complicated, and the reader sees him grapple with them and, in the end, come out of it more confused than when he started. This memoir explores the legacy of childhood animosity, and how that animosity can be a burden all the way into adulthood and trying to forgive and forget is much easier said than …show more content…
Upon arrival, the author works up the courage to visit his father for the first time in years, and finds simply a shadow of the man he remembers (217). Bragg imagines his father “a still-young man” and “trim, swaggering, and high-toned like a little rooster,” yet it would only be logical to think of the passage of time, and the fact that clearly his father would have felt the touch of time just as anyone else. However, it is easier to hate an image of a person, and this image he has built of the man he despised for these years. The narrator says that his father would drink excessively and left his family without any means to survive, and seemed to not regret or lose any sleep over the indiscretions. When he encounters his father instead of the image of him in his mind, he is almost unrecognizable. Bragg is shocked, upended to find him like the “walking dead…damaged, poisoned…to die.” The person, and image, Bragg had been so mentally wounded by in childhood was already …show more content…
The two share some father-son moments, the father seems to try make some effort to make up for lost time by asking what hobbies he enjoys to giving him gifts, however, Braggs states, "He never once said he was sorry.” (218). This makes it difficult for the author to really move past his childhood; he says something to the effect of it being a product of his time, a side effect of a culture, where men are not supposed to show any emotional vulnerability. The author, however, does not need an over the top heart-to-heart with his father; he just wants some sort of acknowledgment that his father knows his actions were wrong. However, he does not get that, which plays a part in the author still not being able to truly move forward from his father’s ill-treatment of himself, and his family. Now, his father goes on to surprise him with a gun that he had been saving for the author and some books that he had purchased for him when he was a boy. This emotion confuses the author’s because it reminds him of the lighter side of his childhood and makes him wonder if his dad really did care about him, when he bought the gifts for his son, even if it was in a warped, convoluted manner; this is where these feelings of forgiveness start to bubble up. He thanks him and seems truly moved by these events, but the light of forgiveness starts to dim to a faint glow when his

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    The parallel between the son and the reader depicts the way in which the misunderstanding of the father’s alcohol addiction led to the son looking up to his father as the epitome of an amazing human. Thus, as the son is a novice to adulthood, he looks up to his elder only when this older individual is in his state of inebriation. For instance, one night his father sporadically comes up with the idea to “move to America”. This idea was found to interest the son as he found it to be an interesting goal to think about as his identity degraded into becoming an American gangster (McMonagle 55). This fondness for gangsters, although not fully developed in the child’s mind, is detrimental as he is only following in his father’s footsteps, which to him is positive but to everyone else is not.…

    • 1140 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    As an alcoholic, his father becomes a different person while under the influence. Stripped of his true self, he becomes more frightening, deceitful, and pathetic. This became the family secret for the reason that the community saw alcoholism as a disgrace. Sanders explains how his father was…

    • 1509 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    One certainly for the night you spared me for my father…” (31). This illustrates Buck Cline has a softer side, he did not give the narrator a ticket for the sake of his father. Earlier in the poem the father was said to be a hardworking man that everyone respected. The ticket would just hassle the father and buck cline understood the he is extremely busy and on a budget. The…

    • 448 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Amir learns how dishonesty can affect someone later on in life, even though the lies happened so many years before. Hassan plays a very important part in Amir’s life. Amir is told “ they took him to the street… and order him to kneel… and shot him in the back of the head” (Hosseini 219). Amir is devastated by the loss of his old friend, but is upset more about his death for selfish reasons. Now that Hassan has passed away Amir feels as if his guilt will stay forever, and he will not be able to redeem himself, and will have to live with what he let happen forever.…

    • 1087 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Later in the song, the father realizes his son 's ambitions, goals of college, and a future. The dad wants to spend more time with him, yet slowly grasps the reality that now his son has no time for him. In the last verse, Harry Chapin illustrates that the boy is all grown up with a fast paced job and kids of his own. Some may argue that the son is now exactly like his dad, but the son is choosing not to see him, placing his children 's needs at a higher priority. Neither of the men became replicas of their dads, and chose to be their own…

    • 1013 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Happy always seeme to be looking for his dad’s approval, he even dedicated his life to being like his dad. While Happy was very intent on following exactly in Willy’s footsteps, Biff acts as he has before the funeral, rather uninterested in sales. Biff reminisces on good days with his dad, but he also puts Willy down. Biff states that “[Willy] had the wrong dreams. All, all, wrong,” (Salesman Requiem).…

    • 795 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Characteristics Of Creon

    • 1281 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Creon knew that he made a mistake when he said “ Lead me away, I have been rash and foolish. I have killed my son and my wife. I look for comfort, my comfort lies here dead. Whatever my hands have touched has come to nothing.” (pg,789)Creon knew that he had made a mistake doing many things to not only his family but other people. He is looking for comfort but he know longer can have any comfort because all his family is dead his wife and son died because of his actions that he had committed.…

    • 1281 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    But soon the boy goes into his adolescence, and slowly realizes that there are many things his dad does not know, and actually he is kind of outdated. The son starts to question his father, wrangles with his father, and finally ignores his father. Not until the little boy grows up, will the relationship change again. Not exactly like the way it was, but for the son, father is always a good friend, someone who can help, or just someone to talk to. As we can see, communication is at every stage of the relationship, especially at the point when they are starting to have more and more disagreements, which are caused by the growth of the son.…

    • 1550 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    His dad craves attention from other people and his son has turned into an outlet for getting attention. After, the first initial burst of attention Nick has gotten, he is not addicted to getting that feeling again. However, it comes at the cost of completely disregarding his son. To Nick it may seem like he is helping but throughout the story Gus begins to distance himself from his father. It is not surprising to see them this apart because it has been established that the father has not gotten over the death of his wife.…

    • 1480 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In fact, you should be getting his rations…” (Wiesel 111). It was incredibly hard for Elie to come to terms with the fact that these conditions were turning him against his father, that he very well could be parting ways with his father at any time now. Elie later saw his father die right in front of him, “His last word had been my name. He had called out to me and I had not answered” (Wiesel 112). The death of his father changed him, he became somewhat forced to withhold his emotions as he watched his father die helplessly.…

    • 737 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays