Under The Influence By Scott Russell Sanders Analysis

1301 Words 6 Pages
The Emotional and Lethal Effects of Alcoholism In many households, people struggle with alcoholism or deal with family members who are alcoholics. This is an ongoing issue that many people deal with every day. In the article of “Under The Influence” by Scott Russell Sanders, an American novelist, essayist, and teacher at Indiana University, explains how life was like in his childhood years and dealing with an alcoholic father. As a young child him, his mother and his little brother and sister feared their father when he became intoxicated, for he had a short temper. Not only would he lie about drinking, but he would also hide alcohol around the house. Sanders goes on to describe his father as “ kind” when sober but a “fearful stranger” …show more content…
He vividly explains his story in details to create a picture for his audience. He started his story off with “MY FATHER DRANK” instantly letting his readers know what his story is about. This paints a picture for the audience right away which draws them in immediately making them more interested. Throughout his story he uses many different types of metaphors and similes to show how heavy his father drank. In the beginning of his story, he wrote, “He drank as a gut-punched boxer gasps for breath, as a starving dog gobbles for food-compulsively, secretly in pain and trembling” (87). This imagery shows the intensity of his father’s condition; it shows how much his father relied on alcohol. Sanders goes on to describe his father as “so playful and competent and kind when sober” but “when drunk, our father was clearly in his wrong mind. He became a stranger, as fearful to us as any graveyard lunatic, not quite frothing at the mouth but fierce enough, quick tempered, explosive” (92). Dialogue is also used in the essay to demonstrate a purpose and prove the author’s point.His father’s alcoholism created an environment of rage and fear for the family. This also made his father a stranger to the …show more content…
He addresses the issue to let others know that they are not alone. The author shows that he has learned and gained some knowledge from his experience. As he grows, he tries his best not to proceed in the same footsteps as his father and tries to be the best role model for his family. “I played the stalwart and dutiful son who would hold the family together. If my father was unstable, I would be a rock” (96) he says. Sanders allows his audience to know his life as a kid and also his adult life as his story progresses. He reflects his and his mistakes made along his journey even with his own kids; this allows the readers to get to know his life as a father. The last three paragraphs if his essay shows how he continues to cope with his father’s situation. His father being an alcoholic also affected his children. He shows how his ten-year-old son sometimes feels the same way he felt with his father when he was his age. He explains that his son tells him “that when I am gripped by sadness he feels responsible; he feels there must be something he can do to spring me from depression, to fix my life” (97). Even though Sanders barely drinks, he has somehow turned into his father; he has turned into a workaholic to deal with the pain left behind by his father. Sanders became all about work same way his father was all about

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