Essay on Review of Grace Paley's A Conversation With my Father

Essay on Review of Grace Paley's A Conversation With my Father

Length: 853 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Review of Grace Paley's A Conversation With my Father Works Cited Missing Grace Paley's short story "A conversation with my Father," is a story
of a patriarch relationship between a father and his daughter. The
father in this story has made a last request for his daughter to
"write a simple story just once more" (26) before he passes away. The
father's idea of a simple story is in the same format as those stories
written by well known male authors. Paley uses symbolism and character
to emphasize the patriarch relationship. The father has a patriarchic
ideology by telling his daughter how to write, and by always getting
the last word in during arguments between the father and the daughter.

The father's character in the story mirrors a patriarch. A patriarch
is an "old man who is venerated by a group and whose opinions have
great influence or authority" (Merit Students Dictionary 738). The
reader is introduced to the father at the beginning of the story as a
very old man. He is "eighty-six years old and in bed. His heart, that
bloody motor, is equally old and will not do certain jobs anymore"
(26). One can see that the father holds authority over others by the
fact that the daughter has promised her entire family she will always
give him the last word in an argument. This shows the father has the
power to have this privilege without asking for it. One can also se...

... middle of paper ...

different instances. The first time she lets him have the last word is
after he has complained about her second story. They end their
argument for a moment and she writes an ending she thinks he may like
although he has not asked her to write the story again. The second
instance is when Paley's story ends. The father is still upset with
his daughter's writing and does not like her new ending, but nothing
is said after he asks her "When will you look it in the face?" (30).
Having the advantage of always getting in the last word assists the
father in gaining more control over the family.

The father in this story mimics a patriarch because the father
patronizes the daughters writing and tells her how to write. The
father mirrors patriarchic qualities by making demands for his
daughter to write the story over again.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about A Conversation with My Father by Grace Paley

- “A Conversation with My Father”, by Grace Paley The short-story “A Conversation with My Father”, by Grace Paley, combines several themes and the author uses the elements of abandonment, denial, irony, humor and foreshadowing, to bring this emotional story together. This story is mainly about the relationship between a parent and his child. The primary characters are a father, and his child. There is no mention of whether the child is his daughter or son. The tone of the story and the conversations made me believe that the old man has a daughter, and hence I will refer to the child as his daughter....   [tags: A Conversation with My Father by Grace Paley]

Good Essays
1000 words (2.9 pages)

Racial Barriers in Grace Paley's Short Story Samuel Essay

- Racial Barriers in Grace Paley's Short Story Samuel It is hard to distinguish the difference between which race is more important. One might ask themselves if white is superior over colored skin. There have been numerous struggles and much success in the fight towards equality between the races. Although many large steps have been made, there are still existing racial barriers. One particular struggle is whether or not people of different races should interact with each other. Should Caucasian adults interact with young children of color....   [tags: Grace Paley Papers]

Good Essays
820 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Amazing Grace Book Review

- Amazing Grace Book Review My reaction to the book was very shocking. I like the book very much and thought it was very informative. It kept me at the edge of my seat wanting to read on and learn more. It was amazing to learn about how bad living conditions are in some neighborhoods. It was shocking to hear about some things that go on in neighborhoods like the Bronx and how people are treated....   [tags: Amazing Grace Book Report]

Free Essays
1130 words (3.2 pages)

White Teacher by Vivian Gussin Paley Essays

- "‘My Children are black. They don't look like your children. They know that they are black, and we want it recognized. It's a positive difference, an interesting difference, and a comfortable natural difference. At least it could be so, if you teachers learned to value difference more. What you value, you talk about.'" p.12 The things that Mrs. Hawkins says to Mrs. Paley are things that really stuck out to me. I think that if Mrs. Paley had thought more about what Mrs. Hawkins said to her in the beginning of the book she would have made a few of her discoveries about teaching African American students earlier....   [tags: White Teacher Vivian Gussin Paley]

Free Essays
818 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Wants by Gracey Paley

- Wants by Gracey Paley      Grace Paley wrote a story, “Wants”, which deals with the fact that there is more to life than just wanting to have possession of a certain item. Sometimes when two people have different attitudes, outlooks, and values in life, their personalities tend to clash. This is exactly what happened to the two characters in the story.      At the very beginning, a woman is at the library when her ex-husband walks by her. “Hello my life”(8). Her husband replies bitterly by saying “What....   [tags: essays research papers]

Good Essays
586 words (1.7 pages)

Music as Substance and Form in Grace Notes Essay

- Music as Substance and Form in Grace Notes In the novel Grace Notes by Bernard MacLaverty, Catherine's growth as an artist through the story provides both substance and form to the story. Early on in Catherine's life, she was taught and influenced by the people close to her. Miss Bingham was her first formal teacher. She taught Catherine things she seemed to have known beforehand: "Miss Bingham says it's all inside her head and all she has to do is draw it out" (99). Miss Bingham also gave Catherine her first manuscript jotter, taking her on her way to becoming a composer....   [tags: Grace Notes]

Free Essays
795 words (2.3 pages)

Life as A Princess: Grace Kelly Essay

- Life as A Princess: Grace Kelly Even before Grace Kelly married a prince, she had the characteristics of a princess. Frank Sinatra once commented, "Grace was a princess from the moment she was born." She had remarkable elegance and sophistication that made her different from other Hollywood actresses. Some say she had a bit of fire beneath her charm. Alfred Hitchcock, who directed her in three films, called her "a snow-covered volcano". Grace was born into a family of fame and success. Her father was a wealthy bricklayer, her brother was a champion sculler, and her uncle, George Kelly was a famous playwright....   [tags: Biography Grace Kelly]

Free Essays
1131 words (3.2 pages)

Free Essays - Amazing Grace

- Within the next few pages here I intend to address two issues. First I will try to give a personal review of what I saw this book to hold, and second I will try explain the revelence which this book has to the field of Public Administration. First try to picture children in a slum where the squalor in their homes is just as bad as that which is in the streets. Where prostitution is rampant, thievery a common place and murder and death a daily occurrence. Crack-cocaine and heroin are sold in corner markets, and the dead eyes of men and women wandering about aimlessly in the streets of Mott Haven are all to common., Their bodies riddled with disease, disease which seems to control the neighbor...   [tags: Amazing Grace Essays]

Free Essays
1065 words (3 pages)

Alias Grace Essay

- Alias Grace                 Based on a notorious double murder in Canada in the1840's, the novel Alias Grace tells the story of a pretty 16 year-old servant girl who conspired with a ranch hand to kill their employer and his mistress and escape with their belongings. They were captured in several days, and later, in a much-publicized trial, found guilty of premeditated murder. The young man, James McDermott, was sentenced to death, and the girl, Grace Marks, narrowly escaped it. Alias Grace begins after the murderess has served 8 years in prison.  The death of Nancy Montgomery, Kinnear's housekeeper and mistress, has been disregarded as both villains had already been sentenced to de...   [tags: Alias Grace]

Free Essays
1332 words (3.8 pages)

Defining Grace Essay

- Defining Grace The Dictionary of the Accademia della Crusca, dating from 16th century Italy, defines grace as "belleza... che rapisce altrui ad amore." Grace is beauty which seduces one unto love. Grace is the prayer before nourishment, it is the passing of power through blood, it is a classical muse, it is a verb, it is liberation, it is a head-ransom, it is a gazelle, it is simplicity, it is complexity, it is sanctifying, it is controversial, it is desired, it is metrical, it is ubiquitous, it is rare, it is actual....   [tags: Definition Grace Essays]

Free Essays
3600 words (10.3 pages)