Lims speaker is much angrier that Haydens, but Clifton and Roethkes are equally angry. There is now understanding in the speaker of Lims poem. Her father has given nothing but bad memories that would only hold her back if she took the time to dwell on them. There is no room to understand that this father might have done the best that he could with what he had or with the knowledge that he had. She seems to especially blame him for the poverty of her childhood. There is an immense amount of resentment toward her father.
There is a resolution in that the speaker she has decided to put him behind her so that she will not think of him. She will not allow him to enter her thoughts. To her Asia and all that it was to her is dust, which is worthless and can blow away.
Cliftons speaker seems to be forgiving her father for something. Is Lims forgiving her father? Is Haydens? Roethkes?
Lim does not seem to be forgiving her father of anything. Instead she is banishing him from her existence. By getting rid of him, she is not forgiving or dealing with the feelings that she has about him. She is trying to convince herself that she can eliminate him from her mind, but instead she is only burying them.
Hayden is displaying some forgiveness. He allows himself to share in the blame for the poor father/son relationship and in through the reasoning that he has done, he is able to work through some of his resentment toward his father and his past. Roethke has also displayed a level of forgiveness. If the poem is seen as though the father has abused the son, then, Roethke has forgiven the event by turning it into a dance or waltz which is something pleasant. Abuse is not pleasant at all, but by taking the memory and turning it into an enjoyable dance, he has allowed himself to deal with his emotions.
Which speakers attitude seems the healthiest? Which the least?
I think that Haydens attitude is the healthiest because allows himself to focus on his fathers positive contributions as well as the negative. He remembers that his father was the one who got up early to provide the small comforts of life for his family. He realized, as the last stanza points out, that his father did provide warmth and cleanliness for his son.
Forgiving My Father by Lucille Clifton:
The poem by Lucille Clifton Forgiving My Father has a resentful and angry tone. She is paying her bills when the ghost of her father comes to her and this allows many unpleasant memories to flood her thoughts. She does not actually see his ghost, but his deeds haunt her. These are memories of a father who was not there for his family and took from its members instead of giving as anyone would expect a father to do.
Clifton is not as angry for what has been done to her as she is for her mother. She has obviously been close to her mother and felt that she has done her best to provide while her husband bled her of money and her emotions. This made me think of the people I know who are in a relationship which should be productive but instead are counterproductive.
Every member of a family should contribute to the unit so that it can be a healthy and vital body. Even small children play a role in the family. They contribute to the love and serve as teachable units who will one day provide extra strength to the unit. All of the family must work together to strengthen each other and occasionally each member will be in need and will require the support of the other members. As soon as he /she is not in a position of need any longer, he/she will be able to be an asset.
Instead of being the provider for the family, Cliftons father has bee a leach. He has been this to his children as well as his wife. He has taken so much from her that we suspect that he is partly to blame for her death. He has sucked the life out of her just as a leach will suck the blood from its victim This father is useless and does not deserve is daughters forgiveness. She is not offering it to him for him, but for herself.
Those Winter Sunday s by Robert Hayden is set in the winter so that the cold can symbolize lack of emotions or the coldness of the heart. It is about the speakers father and the relationship that they shared. Sunday is symbolic of a day when a person is usually with the family because it is a day when there is no work It is a day of closeness and togetherness.
The father of the family gets up early to build the fire so that when the rest of the family rise, the house will be warm for them. He also polishes the shoes. He does not do it out of love but out of duty. There is no warmth from him as there is from the fire which is warm and inviting. His hands are cracked from the hard work that this father does, but again it is out duty instead love.
It is obvious that the father also resents what he must do for the family. This is evident when Hayden tells us that the house is full of anger. He does not understand his son and his son does not understand him. They do nothing to alleviate the problem. They just keep growing farther apart. The father provides without explaining why he does the things that he does and the son keeps taking and does not express his appreciation. So the father feels as if not one is grateful to him and therefore feels worthless.
It is not until the son is grown and looks back that he realizes the work and sacrifices that his father has done and made. If he had done so earlier and his father had realized that he was appreciated, he might have performed his duties out of love.