Good Parenting In The Return By Andrey Zvyagintsev

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The Return Essay Seiji Shaw In Andrey Zvyagintsev’s The Return, a father, who has been gone for twelve years, suddenly returns to his family. He decides to take his own two children, Ivan and Andrei, on a fishing trip, and on the way, disciplines them in many lessons of life. These lessons range from principles of responsibility to surviving in the wild. Although this disciplining may seem like good parenting, there are still examples in which the father is less of an admirable person. In the end, he is inconsiderate, badly behaved, and most of all, abusive toward his own children. One of the most important qualities of a good parent is consideration towards a child. This quality enables the parent to create a sense of safety and understanding in his or her parent-child relationship. However, when a parent forcefully imposes his will on an already uncomfortable child, he can gradually break the bond that they share. In The Return, Ivan’s father does just that - he forcefully imposes his will upon his son to call him father. This scene plays out in a car, where Ivan keeps on complaining about small disturbances. In the end, Ivan’s father forces him to submit by acknowledging him as father instead of some random person. This may seem like a petty argument, but the fact that the father doesn’t consider Ivan’s own feelings indicates the qualities of subpar parenting. Although it is true that a parent always wants his or her child to acknowledge him or her as a parent, it still is frowned upon to suddenly force a child to acknowledge, especially when that child still doesn’t have any positive feelings towards his or her new guardian yet. Another quality of a good parent is the ability to exert self control in situations where chi... ... middle of paper ... guardian. Even though these things, with the exception of abuse, may not amount to much, when put together, they can have detrimental effects on any kind of child. The father’s indifference toward Ivan was what first set the parent-child relationship off course. The bad examples shown afterward did not help mend the relationship at all, but instead made it even worse. Finally, the abusive axe punishment was what finally broke the parent-child bond between Ivan and his father. All of these actions drove Ivan to be suicidal, which in the end, resulted in his father’s death. If Ivan and Andrei’s father were actually considerate, more behaviorally adequate, and less abusive, a fate like death wouldn’t have happened. However, these qualities, in the end, did create the downfall for their host - they gradually ate at the parent-child relationship until it was no more.

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