Essay Analysis Of Dorothy West 's The Wedding

1327 Words Nov 9th, 2014 6 Pages
In Dorothy West’s The Wedding, parents decide their children 's’ futures; their ideals are instilled and then passed on, from child to successive child. The cycle of the Coles family begins with Preacher. His life’s work is the improvement of the Coles’ name. He becomes a preacher, pandering to a white community through faith. However, Preacher becomes aware that he cannot rise to the top of society in one lifetime, but rather, over many. He views his son Isaac as the vessel for his successful legacy. In turn, Isaac takes up his father’s mission to advance in society and, through his wife, passes this desire on to the young Clark. Thus, the burden to improve plagues the Coles family for generations; they make choices that will bring them success, rather than self-fulfillment. Fatherhood, says West, is too often a role of trying to correct your own father’s limitations in your son. The need to advance in society is put on each successive son, who takes up the obligation of moving beyond his own father’s achievements. Only when high social status is achieved can a son begin to question the entire history his fathers and their fathers have fought to overcome. Preacher’s aspirations, motivations and overall way of life all stem from the fact that he wants his boy to excel his name. Preacher molds Isaac in his image;this is why Isaac is cold at times to his wife and young family, as they represent his assimilation to society rather than a relationship formed from love. Isaac is…

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