Scott Russell Sanders The Inheritance Of Tools Summary

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In Scott Russell Sanders’ essay “The Inheritance of Tools”, Sanders explores the relationship that he had with his father. Concrete objects like the wooden tools that he inherits from his father provide the basis for the reflections on his relationship with his father. He manages to indicate his attitude very early on in the essay using both features of style and rhetorical strategies. The author establishes his love for his father and sadness at his passing by narrating an anecdotal story involving his hammer, word choice that conveys his sadness, and strong use of imagery.
The paragraph in Sanders’ essay that explains the story behind the handle of his hammer and how he had broken it several times uses an anecdotal story to convey Sanders’ attitude towards his father 's death. The speaker broke his hammer’s handle once by attempting to “pull sixteen-penny nails out of floor joists”; an idea even the speaker admitted was foolish. His father’s response of “You ever hear of a crowbar?” captures the relationship Sanders had with his father. His father was sarcastic at his son’s humorous and avoidable failure, indicating a close relationship between the two. This revelation of the closeness he had with his father conveys the feelings of sadness the speaker would have immediately after his death. The anecdotal story is also used to provide the reader with what the author feels about his father. After explaining that his hammer’s handle is made out of hickory, the speaker

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