My Father Running With A Dead Boy Analysis

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When looking into someone’s eyes, a connection is formed instantly. Eyes express emotion, and they reveal character. Through a simple glance into someone’s eyes, their emotions convey the feelings of their heart. In the stories Like Wallpaper and My Father Running with a Dead Boy by Carl Nixon, the manipulation of characters’ eyes leads to added suspense and melancholy. Throughout each story written by Nixon, the reader notices the uncertainty and grief through the movement of characters’ eyes. Nixon expresses the theme through the perspective of the narrator. In Like Wallpaper, the narrator’s view of his depressed mother brings about suspense and melancholy. The mother is clearly upset at the fact that her husband left her, and the narrator…show more content…
In Like Wallpaper, the son imagines meeting his father at a grocery store. He anticipates the moment where the cashier will greet his dad at the front. He imagines that the cashier will glare at his dad darkly, a sign of melancholy. In another passage the quote says, “You stare at [the pictures] before you go to sleep at night. The eyes and the ears and the mouths and chins. Are they like your own? Which one is [his father]?” This is suspense leading up to more details of his lost father. In My Father Running With a Dead Boy, both traits are revealed to the reader with the manipulation of characters eyes. Nixon writes, “Out of the corner of my eye I think that I see my father shuffling forward to listen, shoulders stooped. But when I turned my head there is nothing. A thick drape stirred by a draught in a shadowy corner. In this specific quote, both themes are revealed. The son is clearly sad to missing his father, as he is having hallucinations of his father standing in the room at his own funeral. He clearly misses him and wishes that he were back in his life. The quote also portrays suspense as it creates a murky feeling in the reader’s mind. It provokes questions. The reader is curious to know why he keeps seeing his father reappear. “Humor, wistfulness, and pain are captured along with the visual detail of everyday life” (Marshall memo). Owen Marshall…show more content…
“Flashbacks allow a situation to be presented and then the explanation for that character’s response in the situation to be explained. They allow information to be drip fed to the reader without literally telling the reader” (email interview 03/21/17). In each story, Nixon jumps around with time and uncovers past details of characters that add suspense and melancholy. In My Father Running With a Dead Boy, Reginald Black gets in front of the audience at the father’s funeral and shares memories and stories that flashback to different times in the father’s life. The most important story he tells is the story of the kids who were digging in a sand pit until it collapsed in on them. He builds suspense in the story by saying that the boy’s dog had been barking at an unusually high pitch and that Ray sprinted over to the sand pit without saying a word to Reginald Black. We have no idea what is about to happen until we find a leg sticking out from the sand pit. Later in the story, melancholy kicks in. Reginald mentions how Ray never completely got over the fact that he had not saved the lives of both kids. This contributes to the overall sadness present in the story. The narrator also mentions a quote a quote about Reginald’s eyes. He says, “His eyes are the same shade of blue as my father’s.” This is impactful to the theme because blue is a color of calmness that can
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