Letter to my Father is a letter that is set in Cork, during the winter months of 1995, which was five years after Eamon Patrick Keane died (the father). This account was written as a way of remembering his father and how life was like with him before he died. The tone in which it is written conveys a sense of resentment and disapproval of the fathers lifestyle and this is clearly shown through various aspects which are touched upon throughout the passage. The passage uses several literary techniques such as metaphors, alliteration and short effective sentences in order to convey hings such as the authors’ feelings towards his father.
Detail such as words or phrases that give a sense of destruction and chaos are used to create a harsh environment that replicates the author’s life and how everything is going wrong. The most effective phrase used to portray this is “here among the broken chairs, the overturned Christmas tree, we are preparing to leave you. ” The author is telling us how they are prepared to throw their old, twisted lives away and start a new one. Here we can tell that the author is ashamed of his fathers ifestyle, he then uses a very short effective sentence saying “we are breaking away from you, Da. This basically summarises the piece of text into a short, bold sentence. The majority of the passage is written in the past tense and therefore giving us a sense of immediacy. By using the present tense, the writer shows us that he is reliving the moments where he witnessed his father at his worst state and this gives us a sense that the author is now empathetic. The use of fragmented narration shows us the small detail that the author remembers about his father, as opposed to chronological chain of thoughts where everything is included.
Onomatopoeic words such as “crashed” and “rattling” describes the actions of the father, this paragraph is written in the past tense however the author effectively describes his memories, again, remembering the small detail which conveys the vividness of the account. At the beginning of the passage, the tone in which it is written in conveys resentment and hatred towards the actions and his disapproval of the fathers lifestyle, and this is where the writer was still young and therefore did not ully understand the seriousness of the situation and this is clearly show when he says “… hen they see a woman and two small boys stealing away in the grey morning, but I don’t care… ” he uses the words “l don’t care” to sum up how he feels towards his father. The use of the world “grey’ also relates to the attitude and tone of the situation, and creates a gloomy atmosphere. Small detail such as “the small empty Power’s bottle” shows how the alcoholism has taken over and the “power” it has over him, where in reality it makes him frail and weak.
In the sixth paragraph the author gives us a clear description of the father and telling us that some things always stay the same even when others change. The author uses alliteration when he says “embarrassed embrace” to emphasize how embarrassed and ashamed he was of his dad. The taxi driver who was “throwing his eyes to heaven and shaking his head” contrasts to the harsh reality of life and in particular the father’s life and the relationship between him and his son, as opposed to how life would be in heaven.
The author effectively uses the word broken in both the first and the last paragraph nd therefore relating them to each other even though his feelings towards his dad have now changed now that he is older, however even though the feeling of resentment and hatred has gone away, the feeling of being broken still remains. Concerning time, the passage is mostly written in fragmented narration as aforementioned and therefore the author almost gives us snapshots of what he remembers from his past life.
The letter is written around the time of Christmas where most families are supposed to be united together, however this passage contrast greatly to the purpose of Christmas time and therefore creating a sense of rony which is effectively delivered to the reader. The letter is written around 5 years after the father passed away and there are many phrases which clearly signify their separation, for example “There was a taxi ride home, we children in the back, you in the front… besides showing their physical separation from each other this also portrays the fact that they have been detached from each other for a long time and always will be. He then says towards the end “at the end I gave up writing, gave up calling. I gave up. ” He uses repetition in order to onvey his true feelings towards the situation. When the author says “because when the car drove you away from our lives, I can see through steamed up windows that your eyes had become waterfalls. he explains how the father was leaving them permanently, and therefore uses the word ‘lives’ as opposed to ‘us’ or ‘me’. He then uses a very effective metaphor when he describes his father and that his eyes had become waterfalls, which is used to clarify how much he was crying and the sorrow and sadness within him. Towards the end of the passage, we get a sudden change of feelings from the uthors behalf beginning from “l was too young to understand what you knew… which shows us that the feeling of resentment and bitterness towards his dad has gone away now that he is older and aware of his dads horrifying state and that he should stand beside him rather than abandon him for the rest of his life. The short sentences in the last paragraph build up tension and effectively show sadness. The author then recalls his father sending him stories in Christmas and that he had sent him nothing, “not even a card” but he then realizes what he lost and that he would have “sent him a thousand” but he has no address.