My Father Calls Me Every Sunday Morning Analysis

859 Words 4 Pages
In Jan Keller Levi 's “My Father Calls Me Every Sunday Morning," Levi 's mixture of refreshing imagery and harsh, aggressive phrases evokes an ambivalent tone. The juxtaposition of these contrasting devices effectively mirrors Levi 's relationship with her father; she loves him but is frustrated at the emotional toll it takes on her.
Levi’s use of word choice begins with hostility to express her antipathy towards her father but ends with her awe of his laugh; she is waiting for her father to “explode” the “black box” with his “idea of / fatherhood.” When she does this she is demonstrating anger towards the father and it’s confirmed when she calls him a “recalcitrant child”. She is in a way referring to herself as a recalcitrant child, currently
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. . / Pulsing; / through 200 miles of tense wire.” The act of the father punching his Sprint code is the author’s conflict, she has some built of tension, that of the 200 miles and yet tries to use the face of the phone as a scapegoat; but on the other end of the phone is Levi. The 200 miles, is not only a physical distance but, also a metaphorical distance, likewise the Sprint code, which was used to talk long distance before newer technology. The “black box” exploding “precisely on schedule” shows the repetitiveness of their relationship. In the way the author uses the black box, it is black, the color of darkness and evil, what she thinks of her father. On the other hand, a black box is also a recorder, like those on planes, and their weekly conversations are like the latter, they “ start with the weather what it’s doing up here, / what it’s doing down there.” She would then make herself “sound like a fool” to elicit a laugh. The author’s conversations like recording follow the same path, the weather and end with …show more content…
She starts with “My father calls me every Sunday,” this shows the repetitious relationship and the distance between her and her father; they only talk once a week. “He’s been awake for hours. / He checks his watch,” The father has been looking for to the call or has been anxious about the call; he’s been awake through the night and checks the time to call exactly at the same time every morning. Levi comments that “Pulsing; / through 200 miles of tense wire, my father’s idea / of fatherhood speaking towards . . . explodes precisely on schedule,” The fathers idea of fatherhood consists of simply a call every week and lacks a true emotional appeal to Levi who is almost dreading the call. When they are conversing, the father states” cold fronts, travel advisories, are heading steadily” towards the author and “everything of consequence / happens first in Baltimore.” Baltimore is where the father resides and the cold fronts heading steadily towards the author is a comparison, metaphor, to the father’s bad vibes meeting the author. Later, the author has “learned one trick” which makes her “father laugh” His laugh “billows up and up into the world” unlike other laughs it makes her think of a “man striding through deep woods”, a lumber jack. She continues how she “loves him madly. Like the tree / loves the man who comes to fell her.” The love relationship between a

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