Significance Of Sam In Free Ham

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How important a role does a father play in a child’s life? A father plays the most important role in a child’s life. A father is an equal partner in care giving and his presence and effort plays a very important role in his daughter’s life. But some people are not ready to accept this huge responsibility and shy away from it. One of those people is Sam who neglected his daughter also named Sam and physically and mentally abused her. Marie Helene Bertino in her story “Free Ham” talks about how oppressiveness faced by children in their childhood can lead to negative mental effects like having horrific nightmares, having a low self-esteem and avoiding responsibility to adulthood. It causes a fear in children leading them to believe that their …show more content…
She is a woman who knows the reality of her family and does her best to hold it tight together. Sam states, “My mother looks into the extended yawn of the incinerator. ‘Don’t you have a place where you put all the trees you don’t want?’” Later Sam also states, “My mom wants one that looks like a Charlie brown tree. You know from the Charlie Brown Christmas Special” (Bertino 6). Sam and her mother go to buy a Christmas tree but her mother wants a rotten tree from the incinerator. Rotten tree symbolizes the reality of their family i.e. the burnt scarce remains of the value of their relationships with each other. Sam compares her mother’s choice of tree to a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree which symbolizes death in the family. Due to the family trauma the only thoughts that Sam got were of violence and hatred. First she got a dream of her house burning down and now she symbolizes a rotten tree as a form of death. Children have to be treated with love and care and in an extremely safe loving environment around them to boost their mental growth. “Low self-esteem is the belief that we are less worthy than other human beings and therefore, don’t deserve attention, love, or any other form of life’s rewards. In fact, we often believe we deserve to be punished by life in some way” (Tyson 81). Sam’s mother had an extremely low self-esteem and unstable sense of self i.e. feelings of being insecure about personal identity which caused her to not apply for the contests from her name. She always put Sam’s name for a raffle and never her own. The Ham is a symbol of avoidance of responsibility which Sam’s mother avoided herself and put it on Sam. This responsibility was forced upon Sam although against her will and she had to go to collect the ham. Sam’s mother felt that she wasn’t as good as other people and always hid under the shadow of her

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