An Essential Emotion Obstacles appear whenever an individuals attempts to accomplish any goal. The majority of these obstacles can be overcome; nevertheless, there are some hurdles in life which are now and will never be able to be mastered. Gene Garrison from Robert Anderson’s I Never Sang for My Father strives to conquer his innate inability to love his father Tom, however, is constantly impeded by his ambivalent feelings towards this domineering “old man (689).” Trapped in an emotional obligation to uphold his roll as the “dutiful son (690),” Gene is forced to show false affection. The figure Gene has been seduced to play, feels he must serve and appreciate his father, yet the magnitude of his resentment towards this man forbids him to ever develop a true love for him. This enveloping emotion of indignation pushes Gene into an unconquerable “static emotional impasse.” The relationship between father and son assumed to be sacred. This appellation is supposed to indicate a loving relationship created and endured by choice, a pure affection.
Gene, as the dutiful son, feels the necessity to love his father, but is unable to force the feeling of this deep emotional sentiment upon himself with the sole excuse of obligation. He compares the feelings he holds for his mother to the ones holds for his father. Never will he be able to say they are the same or even close to equal. “Mothers are soft and yielding. Fathers are hard and rough to teach… the way of the world (689).” He tried time and again to win his father’s affection and make him realize the possibility of the emergence from the hard and rough world fathers supposedly live within to a world filled with open emotion and devotion.
... that repression is good; We are taught to keep our feelings and emotions inside. Ecstasy is a drug that releases all that ... clearly aren't part of it. Although the mental and emotional aspects of using ecstasy are amazing, the physical aspects cannot ... found myself in a state of depression. I was very emotional, and I couldn't really face the "real world." Ecstasy ...
This apathetic relationship was not the first tim in Garrison history which lack of love was a problem, perhaps this solitude was all that Tom knew. Tom’s father was his “mortal enemy (692) ” and the thought of his presence within his early life always disturbed his childhood memories. People only know what they have been taught by others. Tom learned not to feel any compassion towards the father he loathed; yet, still acquired the behavioral traits he had despised. With these traits it was impossible for Gene to ever overcome his bitterness for Tom and ultimately love him, the same pattern Tom and his father had followed.
Tom felt to show any type of sensitivity would show weakness, therefore, never once did he express to Gene any type of tenderness. Without these small expressions of love, Gene never believed his father loved him, only tolerated him for his mother’s happiness. Gene “loved his mother [and] wanted to love [his] father. (652) “A son is not supposed to make his [parents] life, (681) ” only be there to receive love and give love, to bring happiness, solidity, and unity to a family through devotion, not to be depended upon. After the death of his mother Gene needed more than ever to feel his father’s love.
Gene whole-heartedly felt “the absence of his father, ” he felt “incomplete, deprived” and did “not want to let [his] father die a stranger, (689) ” yet, “from the moment [Gene] was born a boy, [he was] a threat to this man and his enemy (689).” Tom needed to feel bigger and better at every thing than Gene was. He had to feel superior. Tom constantly mentioned the things Gene valued in contempt. The only time he was proud of Gene was when his son “gave him an extension of himself he could boast about, with his phony set of values (689).” Tom merely brought Gene up the same callous way he was raised, as a man, a man who had to be the best at everything in order to prove himself. Even the inconsequential fact that Gene had hair on his chest and Tom never did, bothered him. Out of duty, Gene stayed around and tried to help his father.
... Summary for Love of Life: Love of life started out on a trail with two men being the characters. In the beginning they ... was squatting in moss, sucking at the shreds of life. In the afternoon of the next couple days ... the stream that lead to the Coppermine River. The man got up and started to proceed towards his destiny ... started out as tired and weak. Each man had a rifle. They came upon a some ...
Almost his entire life Gene was too scared to stand up to his father because the moment he did, Tom would “lash out at [him] with his sarcasm, and that [would] kill [the] lovely, necessary image [Gene had of himself] as the good son. (688) ” Gene did not know why the love of his father was so important to him. Tom claimed that he “never wanted to be a burden to [his]children (687) ” yet the dependency and lack of love deeply burdened Gene, perhaps more than if Tom would have showed his emotion. A child Reich man 3 cannot grow with out love. There was a hole in Gene’s life which could only be filled Tom’s love. The devoted son “in [Gene ] want[ed] to extend some kind of mercy to [his] old man.
[Gene] never had a father. [He] ran away from him. [Tom] ran away from [Gene] (689),” and depressingly they were never able to find each other. “Death ends a life, but it does not end a relationship, which struggles on in the survivor’s mind toward some final resolution, some clear meaning, which it perhaps never finds (652).” Tom’s death left Gene with a great void always to be felt in his life and with the knowledge that the accomplishment of his lifelong goal to love his father was unobtainable.