John Wain - Manhood
Author: John Wain
Published: 1980 as a single short story
Genre: a short story
Setting: Willisson´s family
Rob Willison – fourteen-year-old boy, problems with heart, not so strong and ambitious like his father would wish, but he tries to satisfy him and be a good son despite his own desires, passive, resigned
Mr. Willison – very ambitious, wants to give to his son all he hadn´t as a child, frustrated, strict, insensitive
Mrs. Willison – worried about health of her son, doesn´t want to have an athlete from Rob, she wants just healthy and smart child, over-protective
Brief summary of plot:
The story dealts with the awkward relationship between a father and his son. The father is very ambitious. He wants to make a good athlete from his son because when he was young he had to study, for fear of unemployment. He never had the chance to box or to row, he didn't even get a bicycle. And he doesn't want his son to grow up with the same wretched physical heritage that he grew up with. That's why he doesn't want him to rest for too long on his cycling tour. The son has to try to break his fatigue barrier. The reason for the cycling tour was to give the installer the time to fix up a present Mr. Willison bought for his son: a punch-ball. When they get home, the son, Rob, goes to his room, because his tired. At this point the mother starts protesting because she thinks that it's unhealthy for a young boy to do such things. When Rob, at the age of 14, doesn't get in to the football-team, his father is very disappointed. But when he tells him that he did get in the boxing-team, his father is happy again. When the father brings this up to the mother, she's says she doesn't want Rob to fight because it's too dangerous: it could damage his brains. But finally they agree that Rob can go boxing, but he has to stop after the tournament. So they start to train together. But the day of the tournament, Rob gets ill: he has pain in his side and thinks he has appendicitis. Then the father calls Rob's coach: Mr. Granger, but he doesn't know of anything: Rob's school doesn't go in for boxing.
Theme: Influence of society on a family, what society requires, comunnication barrier between the parents and between the parents and son.
Statement I remember: The first thing any athlete has to learn is to break the fatigue barrier.
My evaluation: The story perfectly describes how pushy parents can be. And how children feeling to be under pressure then tends to lie to make their parents happy. But a good family should discuss problems and find solutions together.
Я подумала, что АНБ его ликвидировало. - Вот. Если АНБ в состоянии вывести пять риолитовых спутников на геостационарную орбиту над Ближним Востоком, то, мне кажется, легко предположить, что у нас достаточно средств, чтобы подкупить несколько испанских полицейских. - Его доводы звучали волне убедительно.