Those Winter Sundays Figurative Language

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Love is not just a feeling, but a commitment and sacrifice as well. In “Those Winter Sundays”, author Robert Hayden tells the story of a hardworking father waking up in the cold to kindle a fire, while his indolent son ungratefully slumps from his warm bed. The relationship between these two show that love can be shown in a variety of ways, but the diction and figurative language used by Hayden convey that sacrifice is the most subtle approach.
Hayden’s use of diction emphasizes the obverse traits shown by the hardworking father and his sleepy son. The first line states: “Sundays too my father got up early”, allowing the reader to infer that this story is set in the speaker’s past. Sunday, which most people acknowledge as the day of rest, is everything but for the narrator’s father. He wakes up early, into the “blueblack cold”, like he does every other day of the week, to make “banked fires
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He sacrifices his own rest and comfort in order to ensure his family’s. His hands, which “cracked and ached” from years of labor work, push him out of bed every morning, start fires, and go back to work again. Hayden’s word choice reveals that the narrator’s father is a hardworking man who provides for his family, no matter how much it taxes himself, yet “no one ever thanked him,” including his weary son. This exemplifies the “lonely offices”of a parent’s love,which the speaker regrets misunderstanding in his adolescence. Parents are expected to love, care for, and teach their children without the need of thanks or a reward. When this view is shared by both the parent and their child, their bond becomes more of a duty than a relationship. The love becomes cold and “austere”, instead of warm and inviting, detaching the parent from their child, or in this case, a father from his son. The young man is well aware of his father’s struggle, but never tried to get up
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