In Fugitive Pieces, Jakob reflects on his relationship with Alex in Phosphorus. He gives a rather detailed encounter of her relationship with her father and the routines they had especially as she had lost her mother at a young age. The description is given in very emotive language, showing the great influence that her father had on her. This shows how important parenting is and the influence it had on Alex shaping her to be a character full of life ‘always hoping, or so she thought, for someone to wrestle her arms to her sides’. Her positive attitude and excitement reflects her upbringing; although she had a single parent upbringing, her father managed to preserve a sense of wonder and awe and this is seen when ‘he helped win the war with
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It shows a sense of trust and strong bond, showing the importance of parenting. Having nothing to prove shows how well her father knows her and that there is nothing she has to hide. Proving yourself means trying to impress and living up to people’s expectations and it seems like Alex is under a lot of this pressure; only with her father doesn’t have to do this. This is important as it shows that only around her father Alex can really let herself go and relax, showing the importance of parenting.
Similarly, in ‘once in a house on fire’, Ashworth talks about the parenting through the sense of security and closeness she and her mother had. In this extract, Ashworth shows that it is her mother that has nothing to hide from her daughters as she is bleaching her ‘fingertips in a bowl of nicotine stains…until her nails were whiter than white’. This could imply the mother trying to get rid of her impurities, symbolised through the nicotine stains, on a regular basis showing the repetitive struggle and the constant mistakes her mother is making; she is constantly trying to start again like splitting up from her abusive men, and leaving Canada attempting to make it work, yet failing. Through describing this, followed by a regular game of scrabble with her mother, Ashworth shows that her mother is only